HSN and the University of Tampa to Host the Second American Dreams Academy in Florida

Award-winning entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg will kick off scholarship-based program that provides hands-on experience and training for budding entrepreneurs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, HSN (Nasdaq:HSNI), and The University of Tampa’s John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, Sykes College of Business, announced today the next American Dreams Academy – an interactive, educational and hands-on two-day experience for emerging entrepreneurs. Randi Zuckerberg, entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media will lead an opening conversation for the event. 

“Today, more than ever, we believe in the powerful role small businesses play in building communities and local economies.  Through our Academies we are helping support innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs by giving them the tools and training they need to take a great idea and bring it to life,” said Jill Kermes, head of corporate affairs, HSNi. “Based on the feedback from our first Academy, we know there is a real need for practical, hands-on instruction that helps entrepreneurs bring a product to market and ultimately build a great business around it.”

The scholarship-based Academy, which is sponsored by Quirky, will be in Tampa, Florida, January 24-25, 2018, and include and optional opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their product to a live panel of HSN, University of Tampa and Quirky judges on January 26th.  The first American Dreams Academy was in Washington, D.C., in November and attracted a capacity crowd of nearly 150 entrepreneurs. 

“To design this curriculum, we combined our experience as both entrepreneurs and educators to create a skills-based program that will provide participants with the opportunity to enhance their odds of success in the marketplace,” said Rebecca White, professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

The University of Tampa, in partnership with HSN, has developed a dynamic, informative curriculum that includes courses across categories including:

  • Thinking Like an Entrepreneur: Mindset, Vision and Strategy
  • Money Matters: Accounting and Financing Your Business
  • Risk Mitigation: Legal and Tax Issues 
  • Product Issues: Securing a Patent, connecting with big brands and Licensing Options
  • Manufacturing and distribution
  • Quality Assurance
  • Defining and Acquiring Customers
  • Customer Discovery: Branding, Marketing, Research
  • Perfecting Your Pitch

The Academy is a key component of HSN’s American Dreams initiative – a program designed to tap into the joy and excitement of discovering new entrepreneurs, while collaborating with strategic partners to find, educate and train inventors as they bring their products to market.

All applicants must have a product or business concept in development or established in order to participate. Enrollment for the American Dreams Academy will begin on December 5, 2017 and close on December 30, 2017 here: http://americandreams.hsni.com/academy-landing/.

For more information about HSN’s American Dreams initiative, Quirky or The University of Tampa’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, please visit http://americandreams.hsni.com/ and join the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About HSN:
HSN is a leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, offering a curated assortment of exclusive products and top brand names to its customers. HSN incorporates entertainment, inspiration, personalities and industry experts to provide an entirely unique shopping experience. At HSN, customers find exceptional selections in Health & Beauty, Jewelry, Home/Lifestyle, Fashion/Accessories, and Electronics. HSN broadcasts live to over 90 million households in the US 24/7 and its website - hsn.com features more than 50,000 product videos. Mobile applications include HSN apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. HSN, founded 40 years ago as the first electronic retailer, is an operating segment of HSN, Inc. (Nasdaq:HSNI). For more information, please visit www.HSN.com, or follow @HSN on Facebook and Twitter.

About American Dreams
For 40 years, HSN – the original TV retailer – has been dedicated to finding and supporting innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. HSN helps entrepreneurs bring their products to life by giving them the HSN platform to share their product and their story. Today, more than ever, HSN believes in the powerful role small businesses play in building communities and local economies, and is passionate about helping to build the economy one entrepreneur at a time. HSN has developed strategic partnerships with Good Housekeeping, The Stable, SCORE, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Comcast Xfinity, ABC’s Shark Tank, CBS’ HATCHED and more to further discover and elevate entrepreneurs across the country.

About The University of Tampa:
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 about 9,000 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.

About the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center:
The University of Tampa John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business teaches skills that are critical for today’s entrepreneur. Learning to identify opportunities, prepare executable business plans and hone skills through a combination of classroom study and applied learning, makes our program unique. Entrepreneurship education is the fastest growing field of study in the United States, with entrepreneurs projected to be the group that creates vigorous and sustained economic development worldwide.

About Quirky:
Founded in 2009 with a mission to “make invention accessible,” Quirky brings new products to market by connecting a global community of inventors to established manufacturers. At the nexus of technology-enabled cultural trends like the maker movement, community creativity and the demand for meaningful product backstories, Quirky has challenged the status quo of invention to become a major force in the product development landscape. Quirky has launched more than 150 products across categories including electronics, home and kitchen, and more than 1 million active community members share in the product royalties.

Media Contacts:

Jaclyn Miklos

University of Tampa
Eric Cardenas

Primary Logo

Source: HSN, Inc.