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Center for Entrepreneurship's Graduate Program Ranked in Top 25 Nationally for the 11th Consecutive Year

By Keith Morelli

Michael Fountain watching presentation

TAMPA (November 30, 2017) -- For the 11th consecutive year, the graduate program at the University of South Florida's Center for Entrepreneurship was ranked among the top 25 in the nation by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The center, housed in the Muma College of Business, was ranked No. 11 and was the only Florida program to be represented.

USF and the University of Virginia were the only two universities in the Southeast to make the list.

The Princeton Review surveyed entrepreneurship programs in some 300 schools that offered both undergraduate and graduate courses. The findings are to be published in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

"Each year we make that list boosts the prominence of our program," said Michael Fountain, the center's founding director. "We couldn't be prouder of our program, our faculty, our students and our graduates who together make this effort so much more than the sum of its parts."

He said students who go through the program get more than just an education on how to start a business and keep it going. They develop strong international business networks and gain valuable insights into success.

As international business leaders, USF's 463 entrepreneurship program graduates since 2006 have gone on to create new ventures around the world with over 60 percent of graduates founding one or more new enterprises after graduation, he said. These students represent the best and brightest students from over 50 different countries, he said.

The center also helps intrapreneurs – corporate executives who want to implement entrepreneurial strategies within their own workplaces – achieve success. These corporate innovators utilize skills gained in creativity and innovation to foster a more competitive position for the companies for which they work.

"Part of our legacy is how many graduates go on to create vibrant and successful businesses," Fountain said, "but it also includes this lasting entrepreneurial spirit that is imprinted not only on the Tampa Bay region, the state of Florida and the United States, but around the globe. Small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy and we here at the Center for Entrepreneurship are doing our part to fuel that engine."

The Princeton Review sent out a 60-question survey between May and August, asking schools for data on the levels of their commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom, according to the announcement of the survey results.

More than 40 points were analyzed to determine the rankings, the announcement said. Topics included: the percentage of faculty, students, alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, the number and reach of mentorship programs, scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

The center is in good company. The list of top graduate schools has Harvard in the No. 1 spot. The center here was ranked above several prestigious universities, including Northeastern, New York University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In April, the center was ranked among the top 15 programs on the planet by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the largest business school accreditation body in the world.