Published: January 17, 2014

The University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business was recently awarded the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) at its annual conference in Fort Worth, TX.

According to Tony Mendes, president of the USASBE, the excellence in entrepreneurship education awards recognize outstanding initiatives in both undergraduate and graduate programs and also serve to inspire and inform other colleges and universities.

Rebecca White, director of the Entrepreneurship Center and professor of entrepreneurship, said this award highlights the success of UT’s students, faculty and alumni in pursuing entrepreneurial activity.

“We’ve had outstanding, motivated students take advantage of a top-shelf entrepreneurial education at the University of Tampa, and it shows in their success,” White said. “In the past few years, entrepreneurship has become a popular program for students at UT in all different majors. It’s really an amazing and productive trend.”

The entrepreneurship major at UT is one of the largest on campus and provides students with skills that are critical for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur or think like one.

Most recently, a team of entrepreneurship students and alumni from UT were named semifinalists for the Global Food and Health Innovation Challenge. Their project focuses on addressing the global food crisis through the construction of sustainable farming tower systems.

White said she was also excited that the award comes only weeks after UT announced plans to build a dedicated top floor of a new building as the location of the Entrepreneurship Center. The space will be creatively designed to bring together prospective student entrepreneurs, educators and experienced executives to generate, define and develop entrepreneurial concepts and to launch new ventures. The building is set to be completed by Spring 2015.

“The award fits beautifully with our strategy of re-launching our entrepreneurship program with the new space in the upcoming year,” White said.

UT is also slated to be the host institution of the 2015 USASBE annual conference.

Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business, said this award really is a win for the Tampa Bay area.

“UT’s entrepreneurship program is unique in the close interaction between UT’s entrepreneurship students and the Tampa Bay entrepreneur community,” Ghannadian said. “This strong entrepreneurial environment contributes to economic development and startups in the region.”