TAMPA — The University of Tampa will welcome Jeff Stevenson, founder and CEO of VinoPRO, on Wednesday, March 19, to speak on “Yes, Profit Does Matter: How we flamed out, then catapulted VinoPRO to No. 236 on the 2013 Inc. 500 list in four years.”
The event will be held in the Vaughn Center Crescent Club. Breakfast and networking begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program will start at 7:45 a.m.
Stevenson is the founder and CEO of VinoPRO, a business process outsourcing company in the wine industry based in Sonoma County, CA. Starting in 2008, he built VinoPRO from a mere idea to a company that achieved more than 1,800 percent growth in three years, earning the No. 236 spot on the 2013 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.
At the event, Stevenson will share why he feels failing is a healthy part of building a successful business, why our challenging economy should scream “opportunity” to all entrepreneurs, the secrets to building a profitable company once you decide to pull the trigger, and why it is so important to follow your passion.
No stranger to startup companies, Stevenson joined NetManage in 1992 and helped take that company public in a highly successful IPO. He went on to join Internet giant Netscape Communications as the company was just getting started, went public and became another successful IPO.
As a general partner and venture capitalist with Alcatel Ventures, he got insight into starting other high-tech companies and helped lead investments in groundbreaking technologies that are now a part of smartphones and other devices used daily. He then founded his own firm, Venture Crossing, and raised millions of dollars for several promising startups.
The event is part of the Sykes College of Business Entrepreneurship Center Main Street Speaker Series and is sponsored by NorthStar Bank. Tickets are free for UT students, faculty and staff with a reservation; $15 for individuals; $150 for a table of eight (four seats go to sponsor a student); and a corporate sponsorship is $500. RSVP by Monday, March 17.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 105 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 7,200 students from 50 states and 130 countries. Approximately 65 percent of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.