UNF opening new downtown Center of Entrepreneurship

Paulo Cesar

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The University of North Florida will host the grand opening of a new Center for Entrepreneurship on Feb. 4, in the renovated historic Barnett National Bank Building on Adams Street in downtown Jacksonville. Credit for the Center’s creation falls onto Luther and Blanche Coggin’s generous $1 million gift.

“The Coggins have had an enormous impact on the future business leaders in Northeast Florida and beyond with their long history of investing in higher education,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “We are eternally grateful to Luther and Blanche for their efforts to ensure student success.”

The historic Barnett National Bank building will host UNF’s new downtown Center for Entrepreneurship. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Center will act as a living-learning lab for students to assist entrepreneurs in market and financial analyses. Entrepreneurs will also be able to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The Northeast Florida Small Business Development Center and Administration will also provide additional resources and advice to aspiring business owners.

UNF Alumna Karen Bowling is slated to direct the Center for UNF.

“Karen is a strong asset to our University,” said Mark Dawkins, Dean of the Coggin College of Business. “I’m confident that her extensive management experience will bring the Center great success.”

Bowling, a Riverside resident, already has over 30 years of experience and success in the healthcare, government, and technology industries and served as president of Thrive Consulting, LLC. in Jacksonville and other executive positions prior to joining UNF.

The ceremony will take place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, in the Barnett National Bank Building, 112 W. Adams St., Jacksonville.

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