Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization supports student entrepreneurs at more than 250 university chapters nationwide; UT professor named executive director
TAMPA — The University of Tampa announced today that the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the largest and premier national organization devoted to collegiate level entrepreneurs, will now be housed at UT’s John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business.
The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), founded in 1983, works to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation. It serves more than 250 university chapters nationwide, provides networking opportunities, coordinates pitch competitions, produces a newsletter, offers leadership programming and organizes an annual conference that in past years has attracted nearly 1,500 participants. This year’s CEO National Conference will be held Oct. 27–29 at the Tampa Convention Center.
UT President Ron Vaughn said he is very pleased to bring CEO to Tampa as it will help to enhance both the University’s and the Tampa Bay community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“The CEO will bring large numbers of talented young entrepreneurs to Tampa where they’ll get the chance to discover some of the many benefits to launching their businesses and living in Tampa,” Vaughn said.
Giles Hertz, UT associate professor of business law and entrepreneurship, was named the new executive director of CEO. Hertz, who has taught at UT since 2009, is also the faculty advisor of the UT Entrepreneurs’ Club, a chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He has served as a CEO chapter faculty advisor at various schools for 15 years and has served on the CEO National Faculty Advisory Board for the past five years.
Hertz, who follows organization founder Gerry Hills as only the second executive director in CEO’s history, said his initial goals are to focus on the growth of the organization and to deliver even more outstanding programming to the affiliated chapters around the U.S.
“I am committed to continuing the legacy of providing an outstanding conference and high quality programs to our chapters,” Hertz said. “I am also excited by the fact that the programs and activities offered by CEO fit perfectly with UT’s new Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), with its emphasis on experiential learning, since almost all of CEO’s activities enable students to learn by doing, in other words, to apply what they learned in the classroom,” Hertz said.
The CEO announcement comes within nine months of UT opening the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center on the top floor of the Maureen A. Daly Innovation and Collaboration Building. The center, which is part of UT’s Sykes College of Business, was creatively designed to bring together prospective student entrepreneurs, educators and experienced executives to generate, define and develop entrepreneurial concepts and to launch new ventures.
In January 2016 the entrepreneurship center was awarded the National Model Program Award for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship® (USASBE) at its annual conference in San Diego. In 2015 the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center was awarded the Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
Also in 2015, a team of UT entrepreneurship students (Tembo) were finalists — and the only U.S.-based team — in the $1 million Clinton Global Initiative Hult Prize, amongst 20,000 student participants.
The entrepreneurship major 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. Additionally, UT has approved the offering of a Master of Science degree in entrepreneurship beginning in the Fall 2016 semester.
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 8,037 students from 50 states and 140 countries. Approximately 62 percent of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.