News Releases

UWF contributes to success of entrepreneurship conference, EntreCon

Faculty and students from the University of West Florida College of Business participated in the third annual EntreCon, held in November in downtown Pensacola. This year’s conference focused on “Entrepreneurship and Continued Learning,” providing tactical business advice for business growth and leadership success.

Fifteen UWF faculty members and nine students joined more than 450 entrepreneurs, business executives and professionals for the two-day event, which is hosted by the Studer Community Institute to help grow regional local businesses and advance the area’s economic development. Quint Studer, UWF Entrepreneur in Residence and founder of the Studer Community Institute, organized the event, and the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship served as a sponsor.

“The Center for Entrepreneurship has been a part of this event since it was born, giving us the opportunity to contribute to its growth and popularity each year,” said Dr. Ed Ranelli, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “This year’s event was the most successful thus far. The speakers were phenomenal, and the event provided a tremendous opportunity for UWF students and faculty to interact with leaders in the field.”

At the event, Ranelli introduced Brad Israel, a keynote speaker. Israel, chief operating officer of 68 ventures and chief leadership officer for its core companies, discussed the importance of a high performing team and explained how to create one.Ranelli

Mort O’Sullivan, UWF Board of Trustees chair, and Kelly Massey, regional director of the Florida Small Business Development Center, conducted a panel discussion. Their presentation, “8 out of 10 Businesses Fail — Avoiding the Small Business Graveyard,” delved into the common mistakes entrepreneurs make within the first 18 months of starting their businesses.

Dr. Robert Perkins, assistant professor of management at the University, conducted a panel discussion with Bob Foster, program coordinator for the Military Veterans Resource Center Veterans Florida Entrepreneurial Programs at UWF. Perkins and Foster detailed the importance of fostering creativity in the workplace, helping attendees realize their innovative potential in order to achieve personal and business success.

EntreCon provided all participants the opportunity to share their perspectives and approaches to challenges confronting entrepreneurs, while allowing opportunity to network with one another.

To learn more about EntreCon, visit

To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship, visit