Press Release

HSN and the University of Tampa to Host the Second American Dreams Academy

Corporate News
December 5, 2017: Award-winning entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg will kick off scholarship-based program that provides hands-on experience and training for budding entrepreneurs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, HSN(Nasdaq:HSNI), and The University of Tampa’s John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, Sykes College of Business, announced today the next American Dreams Academy – an interactive, educational and hands-on two-day experience for emerging entrepreneurs. Randi Zuckerberg, entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media will lead an opening conversation for the event.

“Today, more than ever, we believe in the powerful role small businesses play in building communities and local economies.  Through our Academies we are helping support innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs by giving them the tools and training they need to take a great idea and bring it to life,” said Jill Kermes, head of corporate affairs, HSNi. “Based on the feedback from our first Academy, we know there is a real need for practical, hands-on instruction that helps entrepreneurs bring a product to market and ultimately build a great business around it.”

The scholarship-based Academy, which is sponsored by Quirky, will be in Tampa, Florida, January 24-25, 2018, and include and optional opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their product to a live panel of HSN, University of Tampa and Quirky judges on January 26th.  The first American Dreams Academy was in Washington, D.C., in November and attracted a capacity crowd of nearly 150 entrepreneurs.

“To design this curriculum, we combined our experience as both entrepreneurs and educators to create a skills-based program that will provide participants with the opportunity to enhance their odds of success in the marketplace,” said Rebecca White, professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

The University of Tampa, in partnership with HSN, has developed a dynamic, informative curriculum that includes courses across categories including:

  • Thinking Like an Entrepreneur: Mindset, Vision and Strategy
  • Money Matters: Accounting and Financing Your Business
  • Risk Mitigation: Legal and Tax Issues
  • Product Issues: Securing a Patent, connecting with big brands and Licensing Options
  • Manufacturing and distribution
  • Quality Assurance
  • Defining and Acquiring Customers
  • Customer Discovery: Branding, Marketing, Research
  • Perfecting Your Pitch

The Academy is a key component of HSN’s American Dreams initiative – a program designed to tap into the joy and excitement of discovering new entrepreneurs, while collaborating with strategic partners to find, educate and train inventors as they bring their products to market.

All applicants must have a product or business concept in development or established in order to participate. Enrollment for the American Dreams Academy will begin on December 5, 2017 and close on December 30, 2017 here:

For more information about HSN’s American Dreams initiative, Quirky or The University of Tampa’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, please visit and join the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.


Brad Bohnert

About HSN, Inc.

HSN is a leading interactive entertainment and lifestyle retailer, offering a curated assortment of exclusive products and top brand names to its customers. HSN incorporates entertainment, inspiration, personalities and industry experts to provide an entirely unique shopping experience. At HSN, customers find exceptional selections in Health & Beauty, Jewelry, Home/Lifestyle, fashion/Accessories, and Electronics. HSN broadcasts live to 90 million households in the US in HD 24/7 and its website - features more than 50,000 product videos. Mobile applications include HSN apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. HSN, founded 37 years ago as the first shopping network, is an operating segment of HSN, Inc. (Nasdaq:HSNI). For more information, please visit, or follow @HSN on Facebook and Twitter.


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