Entrepreneurship program named finalist for national award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Program (MSE) at the Hough Graduate School of Business at the Warrington College of Business Administration was named a finalist for the 2012 United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship Program award.

The winner of the award will be announced during USASBE’s annual conference January 12-15 in New Orleans.

“We are honored to be selected as finalists for this award,” said MSE Program Director Chris Tassin. “Everyone at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has worked very hard over the years to build a quality academic program, and it is very gratifying for our efforts to be validated by our peers.”

The USASBE bestows three National Model Program awards annually (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral). The awards are given to colleges and universities “that have developed and currently still offer high quality and innovative programs, the purpose of which is to educate and train future generations of entrepreneurs.” Programs are evaluated on innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact. Past winners have included Harvard University, Babson College, Indiana University, the University of North Carolina, Wake Forest, and the University of Texas.

The MSE program fuses a diverse and robust curriculum with immersive and engaging experiential learning opportunities. Students gain a thorough understanding of principles in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship and apply those lessons to real-world business ventures such as GatorNest, an eight-week program whereby students work with a startup organization to assist with the development of a new venture opportunity, or the Integrated Technology Venture Program (ITV), a year-long program bringing together business, law and engineering students onto a multi-disciplinary project team tasked with the responsibility of developing a targeted technology commercialization plan and prototype.

“MSE students are not just studying entrepreneurship at UF, but living it,” Tassin said. “In addition to Gator Nest and ITV, they are creating real businesses as part of the Lean Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP), and are able to directly apply the lessons learned in the classroom to their startup ventures. We are very excited about the accolades our program is receiving, and look forward to making it even better in the future.”

The program is named after Thomas S. Johnson (BSBA ’72). Mr. Johnson served as Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Imaging Systems which he founded in 1994. Global Imaging Systems acquired 110 office imaging businesses and reached $1.3 billion in annual revenue.