Jesse Panuccio, the executive director at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, recently visited the University of Central Florida Starter Lab and Blackstone LaunchPad, supported by the College of Business Administration. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity promotes economic opportunities for all Floridians, formulating and implementing successful workforce, community, and economic development policies and strategies.

“UCF’s College of Business Starter Lab and Blackstone LaunchPad are remarkable places for students to cultivate and develop innovative business ideas. These academic resources service as an economic development platform for Central Florida and UCF College of Business’s young entrepreneurs are on their way to achieving great things in our state,” said Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

While visiting the Blackstone LaunchPad, Panuccio spoke with student entrepreneurs, including Joshua Imel, president and managing partner of Teeps, LLC, a custom mobile app developer.

“The LaunchPad has accelerated my business dramatically over the last year. I started my company, Teeps, with the idea to build custom iPhone and Android apps for businesses and individuals. I wasn’t sure what steps I needed to take next or how to reach the goals I made for myself. The LaunchPad provided me with coaching sessions, extensive resources, and networking opportunities that changed my life,” said Imel.

“LaunchPad directors, Dr. Cameron Ford and Pam Hoelzle, have been mentors to me and have created an entrepreneurial movement on campus that empowers students, like me, to pursue their business ventures,” Imel added.

Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business Administration offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business now and in the future. As such, the college establishes partnerships with some of the nation’s most innovative leaders to model new and best practices that harness evolving technology. In addition, the college promotes a unique culture of engagement, risk-taking, cross-disciplinary collaboration and data-driven decision making in an effort to ensure students are well prepared to enter a dynamic marketplace.