USF Entrepreneurship Program Shines

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine rank USF’s interdisciplinary program among the top 25 programs in the nation.


Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2012) – The graduate entrepreneurship program at the University of South Florida has been named one of the top entrepreneurial programs in the nation by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.


The only Florida program included in the annual roster, USF moved up eight spots to be named No. 11 in Entrepreneur magazine’s November 2012 issue. The Tampa-based center has been included in the top 25 roster for the past five years.


The Princeton Review, a leading provider of educational services, surveyed more than 2,000 undergraduate and business schools about their entrepreneurship offerings. The survey covered everything from mentoring, experiential learning, and specific course offerings to alumni success and career prospects for current students.


The USF Center for Entrepreneurship is part of three colleges at USF – the College of Business, College of Engineering, and the Morsani College of Medicine – and also works with the Patel School of Global Sustainability to provide a wide-ranging learning experience for students.


“We have been able to help students deepen their knowledge of one discipline while introducing them to core concepts in venture formation,” said Michael Fountain, director of USF’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “We have remained true to our vision to create an exceptional interdisciplinary, innovative, hands-on educational program linked directly to the business community. This is the primary reason for our continued success.”


The end result: nearly 100 businesses have been created by Center for Entrepreneurship graduates over the last decade. 


While many of the center’s alumni have gone on to launch successful small businesses, USF’s program also focuses on intrapreneurship – teaching employees to think and act like an entrepreneur inside a large corporation, in order to turn new ideas into profitable ventures for the firm.


“Alumni from the USF Center for Entrepreneurship know how to think creatively and solve complex problems, while understanding the business fundamentals that are necessary to create viable new ventures,” said Fountain. 


Such entrepreneurial thinking, he said, gives USF graduates a strong competitive edge in global opportunities after graduation.


 “Our graduates have many opportunities. Some start new ventures, others create and grow new business, and others go to work for venture capital firms,” said Moez Limayem, dean of the USF College of Business. “These new ventures bolster existing businesses and create new jobs locally. When new, innovative businesses launch and grow here, highly trained graduates are less likely to take their skills to other areas of the country.”