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Business Observer Monday, Apr. 18, 2022 3 months ago

USF receives $14M to create fintech ‘hub of excellence’

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The donations came from St. Petersburg philanthropists Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton.

The University of South Florida has received gifts totaling $14 million, from St. Petersburg philanthropists Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton, that will be used to support and enhance the institution’s financial technology programs.

According to a news release, the USF Muma College of Business will use the funds to realize its goal of becoming a fintech “hub of excellence,” offering education in areas such as mobile banking, crowdfunding, blockchain, cryptocurrency and investment apps.

Courtesy. USF Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem, at lectern, and USF President Rhea Law announce the $14 million gift from Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton.

“Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton have made an indelible impact on the University of South Florida, and their generous new gifts continue their legacy of preparing our business students for a bright future,” USF President Rhea Law states in the release. “Fintech is a rapidly emerging field, and Kate and Ellen have paved the way for a cutting-edge program at USF that will help fill the talent pipeline to serve the Tampa Bay region’s thriving tech community.” 

The donations, the release states, are earmarked for the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, one of six schools in the Muma College of Business. The school is located on the USF St. Petersburg campus but students and faculty at each of USF’s three campuses will benefit from the gifts.

“Fintech is one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in the world,” USF Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem states in the release. “There is a seemingly endless array of fintech applications, and this gift will help us educate students on blockchain, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, automation and data science that is the backbone of innovation.”

USF St. Petersburg renamed its business school in honor of Tiedemann in 2014. She is the founder and former CEO of Katena Products Inc. in Denville, New Jersey, one of the most successful eye instruments companies in the country. 

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