Rick Duke / UWF Center for Entrepreneurship
In July 2015, UWF announced the formation of the Center for Entrepreneurship through a $1 million gift commitment from Quint and Rishy Studer. Thanks to the Studers’ generosity, the Center will encourage and support educational initiatives related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking while serving as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation for students, industry and community partners.
Duke’s experience in entrepreneurship and economic development includes 25 years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he worked from 1984 to 2009. He served in a variety of roles in economic development at Georgia Tech, culminating as General Manager for Business Development at the Enterprise Innovation Institute. He also spent four years as Director of the Economic Development Institute, which was named the “best university-based economic development organization in the country” by Innovation Associates in 2005.
Duke then transitioned to the University of Southern Mississippi where he was hired in 2010 to lead the startup of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, a university-based community engagement enterprise. His most recent position was Director for Economic Development and Executive Director for Insight Park at the University of Mississippi. In that role, Duke established a framework for the technology incubator and research park marketing plan and engaged the university community to identify knowledge assets suited for both economic development and university-industry partnerships.
UWF Center for Entrepreneurship
The Center for Entrepreneurship serves as a source of support for the complete life cycle of the entrepreneur.
The University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to seeding economic growth. The Center encourages and supports educational initiatives related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking and serves as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation for students, faculty, industry and community partners. The Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to support the complete life cycle of an entrepreneur.
The Center is housed in the College of Business and hosts numerous activities and initiatives related to creating a culture of entrepreneurial thinking. Additionally, affiliate units and organizations create a synergistic support for entrepreneurial efforts and innovation. Quint Studer serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence to mobilize a professional network of entrepreneurs that positively impact the Center through contributions to advisement, seminars, classes, workshops and a host of other initiatives.
The UWF College of Business is actively developing degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship. The College of Business recently launched the MBA program with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and the College provides an undergraduate certificate in small business management/entrepreneurship and a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship.
Jennifer Jackson / Margaritaville Beach Hotel
Director of Marketing & Activities
Director of Marketing and Activities for Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Marketing Committee Member for Visit Pensacola, and Meeting and Travel Trade Committee Member for Visit Florida.
Calvin Bonifacio/Tech for Non-Profit
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