Center for Entrepreneurship talks branding in newest lecture series
By Jamie Calvert
The Center for Entrepreneurship has been hosting a speaker series to expose students to different aspects of innovation, all in anticipation of the Da Vinci Innovation Celebration- a competition where students come together to showcase their most creative projects.
This week’s speaker was Dr. Mona Amodeo, an industry expert and award-winning management strategist. Dr. Amodeo filled the Idea Space on the first floor of the UWF Library on Wednesday with ideas and concepts on how to create branding that matters.
“Your job is to create a brand with substance, not just sizzle,” Amodeo said.
Her upcoming book, Beyond Sizzle: The Next Evolution of Branding, will ignite the marketing industry in new ways. Her trade secrets unlock the answers to building innovative and passionate brands for any individual or organization.
“The Idea Space Speaker Series, especially in the fall semester, is attached very closely to the Da Vinci Innovation Celebration,” Jim Sparks, program director for the Center for Entrepreneurship said. “What we’re trying to do is generate a culture of innovation and creativity. We really want to reach those students that want to be entrepreneurs and problem solvers.”
Basil Kuloba, the Center’s student entrepreneur-in-residence, does everything he can to create buzz for these kinds of events and spread the opportunities to his fellow students.
“We want to give students the support network and the tools they need to take these ideas to the next level,” Kuloba said. “In the modern world that we’re living in, there’s so many things that a business leader needs to know. These types of events are great for those that might be great at programming, but maybe not as strong at branding and vice versa.”
Kuloba himself is a testament to how a college student can benefit from projects and events like this. His nonprofit organization, INERTIA, began its roots and was aided in growth thanks to people like Jim Sparks and Ed Ranelli, who is director of the center.
“The Center for Entrepreneurship helped me in ways I didn’t think was possible,” Kuloba said. “My company was taken off the ground by Sparks and Ranelli. INERTIA is designed to teach elementary level students in low-income neighborhoods about science with hands-on projects and instill a passion for STEM. We’ve been in operation for about a year, and we’ve already established workshops and sessions with two schools in Escambia county and plan to continue growing.”
Shiv Patel, a student in the College of Business, came to the event hoping to absorb as much information as he could about branding.
“I’m at the point now in my degree where we’re encouraged to expand and build upon our knowledge outside the classroom,” Patel said. “In the real world, it doesn’t cut it to just be good with numbers or good with selling a product. You have to understand and invest your brand and make people feel the same way you do about it.”
Patel felt that this speaker series, his first one that he’s come to this semester, gave him exactly what he was looking for.
“I was shocked that we had someone so renowned and celebrated come to our campus. I’m leaving this event with way more insight on how I can make my future business the best it can be, just by branding it the right way.”
To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship and their upcoming events, visit uwf.edu/cfe