A Tampa Bay Ecosystem study funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and conducted through the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa, Sykes College of Business found that entrepreneurial ecosystems within small metropolitan areas – such as Tampa Bay – lack the collaboration and vision necessary to instill an entrepreneurial mindset.
The solution to growing a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is increased collaboration between stakeholders in the ecosystem and education.
At the Sykes College of Business, the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center’s programs teach skills that are critical for today’s entrepreneur to succeed in a changing business economy, and help build healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems. As an academic program, student learning is at the core of all entrepreneurship activities and programs at The University of Tampa. The focus of the program is to be nationally recognized and engage students and the regional business community in mutually beneficial learning experiences. Additionally, the program provides research opportunities focused on student engagement and entrepreneurship pedagogy.
The academic programs within the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa include both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship degree programs. Undergraduate degree programs include majors in entrepreneurship and international business and entrepreneurship and a minor in entrepreneurship. Graduate degree programs include an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship and an MS in entrepreneurship. Launched in 2016, the MS program utilizes design thinking, systems thinking, collaboration and prototyping to help students move from concept to business in 12 months.
The Lowth Center offers a customized learning approach to entrepreneurship education and is leading the discipline in innovative approaches to integrating curricular and co-curricular learning and assessment.Through our programs, we bring together prospective student entrepreneurs, educators and experienced entrepreneurs to generate, refine and develop business concepts and to launch new ventures. Through a combination of classroom study and applied learning with the local business community,students learn how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, recognize business opportunities, conduct marketing research, prepare executable business plans, identify financial needs,acquire funding,maintain liquidity,manage cash flow and much more.
The Lowth Center is housed in an exceptional facility that was created with experiential learning in mind. The entire blueprint is based on the assumption that meaningful learning only takes place if it is embedded in the social, as well as the physical context within which it is used. The space provides an environment that is conducive to five learning modalities: apprenticeship, collaboration, reflection, coaching and multiple practice. These learning strategies are reflected not only in the center, but in its curriculum and programs. Students and members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have multiple opportunities to get engaged in a wide variety of diverse learning experiences,including accelerator and incubator programs,networking events with local business leaders and entrepreneurs,pitch competitions,speaker series led by entrepreneurial leaders from all over the nation,coaching from entrepreneurs-in-residence and education seminars.
Success at the Lowth Center stems from the ability to build and grow students’ entrepreneurial mindsets so they have the right skills and experiences to further pursue their entrepreneurial career in an evolving economy.