The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), which has its national headquarters in The University of Tampa’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, will host its annual CEO National Conference Oct. 27–29, 2016, at the Tampa Convention Center.

Nearly 1,000 nascent student entrepreneurs with an irrepressible spirit from more than 150 universities are expected to come to Tampa for the three-day conference, where attendees network with other entrepreneurial-minded students and listen to presentations from seasoned entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, motivational speakers and fellow students who are making the transition from dreamers to doers.

Guest speakers at this year’s conference include Jeff Vinik, chairman and governor of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning; Gene Landrum, founder of Chuck E. Cheese; Craig Burris, founder and CEO of; Sharon Bui, co-founder of Frill Clothing; Kevin Harrington, founder of As Seen on TV and former judge on ABC’s Shark Tank; Michael Delazzer, founder of RedBox; and Joe Quaglia, president, the Americas, for TechData. Nearly 50 other subject matter experts will speak on a wide variety of topics of interest.

One of the highlights of the conference is the CEO National Pitch Competition, where student-entrepreneurs will have 90 seconds to pitch their startup business idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win part of $7,000 in prize money                 

The conference is sponsored by The University of Tampa, Northwestern Mutual, Marketplace Live, World Cup of Sales, Hillsborough County and The Coleman Foundation. Hillsborough County Economic Development has partnered with CEO to support this event.

For more information, contact James Zebrowski, managing director of CEO, at


The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to “inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and to seek opportunity through enterprise creation.” From its inception in 1984, the organization has grown to approximately 4,500 members, representing nearly 250 college- and university-based chapters.

The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 8,310 students from 50 states and 140 countries. Approximately 65 percent of full-time students live on campus, and more than half of UT students are from Florida.

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