Entrepreneurship Students At USF St. Pete Bring Home National Championship

Students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) showed off their entrepreneurial problem solving skills in the 2013 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge.

The challenge is hosted by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), the largest student entrepreneurship network in the nation with 240 chapters at universities in 43 states. The virtual competition asked teams of students to take a new business through several rounds of decision-making during the course of eight weeks. Scenarios included what products or services to offer, pricing models and target market selection. All teams were given the same business, and their decisions were ranked against each other.

The USFSP team won first place in the challenge, for the second year in a row.

The university takes a somewhat different approach to entrepreneurship education with a focus on creative problem solving. "That’s what made the difference," says Bill Jackson, director of the Entrepreneurship Program at USFSP. "It wasn’t a mechanical decision. It was getting to the root of the problems and making decisions based on solving those problems."

The students benefitted from the real world application in the challenge, seeing how those creativity and problem solving skills apply to the day-to-day decisions involved in operating a business.

Now in its third year of operation, the Entrepreneurship Program at USFSP is one of the most unique academic programs in the nation. "We’re developing a pipeline of creative problem solvers that may not start their own firm, but may be some of the best employees for an entrepreneurial company," says Jackson.  

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Bill Jackson, USFSP Entrepreneurship Program

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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