USF Research News

USF CONNECT wins industry achievement award

October 28, 2013

USF’s business development arm honored for excellence in service in Tampa Bay’s technology industry

TAMPA, Fla. – USF CONNECT, the University of South Florida’s business development organization , received the 2013 Excellence in Service Award at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s 10th annual Industry Achievement Awards, held Oct. 18, 2013, in downtown Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) presents the annual Industry Achievement Awards to recognize individuals and organizations that are leaders in the Tampa Bay technology community. A panel of judges selects the winners.

Presenters this year included Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who exhorted the more than 400 industry professionals gathered at this year’s gala to keep making Tampa a great city.

“This award for excellence in service is particularly meaningful because it recognizes the efforts of a large team of people who’ve worked together to achieve this success,” said Wendy Plant, program manager for USF CONNECT’s incubator programs. “It is a reflection of the great support we receive from our university leadership, including President Judy Genshaft and senior vice president for Research & Innovation Dr. Paul Sanberg, and our partners, including Randy Berridge and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Shri Goyal and our Council of Professionals and Mentors, and Ronald Barton, Marilyn Hett and the economic development team for Hillsborough County.”

USF CONNECT, which is part of USF Research & Innovation through the USF Research Foundation, reaches businesses throughout a 23-county region and operates the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator. It focuses on the needs of Tampa Bay's technology and bio/life sciences entrepreneurs throughout the business life cycle, providing the facilities, partners and resources to support business development. Among other services, USF CONNECT offers access to technologies, workforce programs, technology commercialization, critical research equipment, incubator facilities, and expert mentoring to its member businesses.

Plant also singled out members of the USF CONNECT and USF Research Foundation team for their contributions, including Chris Prinzel, who oversees university’s collaboration with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, including its successful matching grants program; Allison Madden, director of Research Foundation operations; Patty Gamble, Research Foundation CFO; and former director of incubation programs Tracey Swartz; along with Valerie McDevitt, assistant vice president for patents and licensing and her team in the USF Technology Transfer Office; and USF CONNECT student interns Christeene Brinkley, Ileana Ebanks and Meagan Eng.

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) is a membership organization comprised of nearly 300 Tampa area technology companies. The organization was founded 11 years ago to provide programs and events to advance industry and promote job growth in the Tampa Bay region and Florida.

“USF CONNECT is a key part of how the University of South Florida is working to facilitate economic development and create jobs in Tampa Bay,” said Paul Sanberg, who, in addition to serving as senior vice president for Research & Innovation, is also president of the USF Research Foundation. “We are proud and honored to receive this recognition for Excellence in Service on behalf of our partners, board, mentors, advisors, and our dedicated staff, who are all committed to the growth and success of our companies and our community.”