Photo: University of Tampa"Students today want the skills to be their own boss or to build something meaningful in the business community." ~ Rebecca White, director of the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Tampa
Focusing on health care and tech at UT
University of Tampa
Six years ago, Rebecca White left her job as director of the entrepreneurship program at Northern Kentucky University to lead what was then called the Florida Entrepreneur and Family Business Center at the University of Tampa.
She shortened its name to the Entrepreneurship Center and created a new focus on health care and technology startups. "I wanted to be more reflective of where I think the growth and opportunity is in Florida today," she says.
In 2010, UT's graduate entrepreneurship students began working with physicians and scientists at Moffitt Cancer Center to evaluate the feasibility of turning their research into businesses. Two years later, UT launched the Spartan Accelerator, helping students and recent alumni grow technology startups.
The privately owned university offers four related degree programs through its Sykes College of Business: A major and minor in entrepreneurship, a major in international business and entrepreneurship and an MBA specialization in entrepreneurship. All told, enrollment has tripled during White's tenure to about 250 students, she says.
"Students today want the skills to be their own boss or to build something meaningful in the business community," she says. "It's about more than making lots of money. It's about having a passion for something."
The Entrepreneurship Center will hit another milestone this year when it opens its own dedicated space on the top floor of a new building.