Markus Vogel: Center's Sense of Community and Camaraderie Hard to Describe

Markus Vogel

Editor's note: In November, Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business No. 10 among entrepreneurship graduate programs in the United States. The reviewers said the program was the best in the Southeast and named USF as the only university in Florida to make the Top 25. It also was the 10th year in a row the center has been on the list. In recognition of the honor, 10 graduate-entrepreneurs were interviewed and profiled. This is one of them:

Besides being a life-changing experience for Markus Vogel, graduating with a degree from the University of South Florida's Center for Entrepreneurship has resulted in making some life-long friends and building a solid business network.

"I have made lasting friendships and connections with my fellow students and faculty, who have all exhibited a sense of community and camaraderie that is hard to describe," said Vogel, who graduated this fall and has already started a business.

During his time at the center, Vogel, 30, met his current business partner for his company, Metabology, which is part of the Student Innovation Incubator, which provided guidance, resources and a space in the early days to hash out the details of operation.

Metabology is a fitness and lifestyle company, focusing on weekly fitness meal plans in which freshly made, healthy food is delivered twice a week to customers in the Tampa Bay area. The business for about a year, has prepared more than 50 entrees that all contain a protein, vegetable and carbohydrate serving exactly tailored to the specific dietary needs of their customers.

He also is the director of corporate development at Occam Technology Group, which has offices at USF CAMLS.

"There is a sense of everyone wanting to see each other succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors and such a passion for entrepreneurship itself that I find every week in communicating with former and current classmates about business ideas or problems in person or via phone, text or email at any given time of day or night."

He said that pursuing graduate studies in entrepreneurship "has not only been a life-altering experience but in a way has become an integral part of the very person I am today."

He was pleased – but not surprised – to find out that the Center for Entrepreneurship in November was ranked No. 10 in the nation for graduate entrepreneurship programs and was named the best program in the Southeast by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.

The center, which has been on the Entrepreneur magazine's Top 25 list for the past 10 years, is the only Florida school to make the grade.

"My knowledge in areas such as venture capital and private equity or mergers and acquisitions was non-existent before attending USF," he said, "yet now it is thorough enough to win the 2016 ACG (Association for Corporate Growth) Tampa Bay Cup intramural competition with my team."

The ACG competition involves students presenting their work on acquisitions and mergers. Vogel's team reached the final round competing against students from the University of Florida, the University of Tampa and Rollins College.