USFSP Student Entrepreneurs Win 3rd National Startup Competition

On a whim, Lazar Anderson enrolled in a 'Creativity in Entrepreneurship' course at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg a few years ago. It quickly became his favorite class.

Anderson's impulse paid off. In April, he and four team members from the USFSP Entrepreneurship Club took home top honors from a national business competition for the third consecutive time.

"Each year it's an intense challenge, working for weeks against some of the best entrepreneurship students in the country,'' Anderson says. "The strength of our team is what pulls us through every year. There's so many amazing minds at USFSP  that putting five of them in the same room has incredible potential.''

In the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization's Startup Simulation Challenge, student competitors worked on business simulators with a team of 3-5 of their peers. Participating USFSP Entrepreneurship Club team members included Anderson, Andrew DeFraties, Christa Hegedus, Kevin Mircovich and Liz Powers.

Startup Simulation Challenge gameplay lasted from March 1-31, over six virtual quarters. Teams competed at their own pace to make decisions about a simulated startup business using the Marketplace Business Simulation platform.

Awards included a $500 first place cash prize for USFSP and $250 to the second and third place teams, Willow International Center and Brigham Young University-Idaho.

The three top teams will be acknowledged at the 2014 CEO National Conference Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, FL. The event is expected to draw over 1,000 students and entrepreneurs and will include a National Elevator Pitch Competition, CEO Chapter Awards, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

"Winning this competition demonstrates that our entrepreneurship program is competitive on a national level,'' says Anderson. "We've consistently beaten top tier universities across the country. Although we're a young program, we're dominant.''

The USFSP Entrepreneurship Program has received national recognition as an outstanding emerging entrepreneurship program in the United States.

Writer: Justine Benstead
Source: Lazar Anderson, USFSP Entrepreneurship Club

Read more articles by Justine Benstead.

Justine Benstead is a feature writer for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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