HSN, University of Tampa partner with program to help entrepreneurs

Daymond John, founder/president/CEO of FUBU and an investor on the ABC  TV show Shark Tank. [AP]
Daymond John, founder/president/CEO of FUBU and an investor on the ABC TV show Shark Tank. [AP]
Published Oct. 4, 2017

A two-day summit for entrepreneurs dubbed the American Dreams Academy and backed by St. Petersburg's HSN with content supplied by the University of Tampa will debut at various university sites starting next month. The third day of each free event features an open invitation for local entrepreneurs to pitch their product to a panel of experts from HSN and UT for the opportunity to launch on HSN.

Daymond John, founder/president/CEO of the hip hop apparel company FUBU and an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," will lead an opening conversation at the first summit held Nov. 16-18 at American University in Washington, D.C.

HSN and UT will partner with different universities to host quarterly training academies across the country. All applicants must have a product or business concept in development or established in order to participate.

Enrollment in the American Dreams Academy begins Friday online at:

The effort is part of HSN's "American Dreams" initiative to discover new entrepreneurs, while helping to educate inventors as they bring their products to market.

RELATED COVERAGE: Inventors try pitch their way onto HSN in entrepreneur contest.

"The University of Tampa helping us launch the American Dreams Academy will introduce an integral educational component into HSN's strategy to support and elevate emerging entrepreneurs as they bring their products to market," stated HSN president Bill Brand.

"We hope to not only provide small business owners with the tools they need to successfully launch their brands," he said, "but also hope these academies serve as a catalyst in encouraging other businesses to partner with higher education institutions."