TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) will feature Randal D. Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners and season four winner of NBC's "The Apprentice" with Donald Trump, as the keynote speaker at the “Invention to Venture” Technology and Entrepreneurship Workshop scheduled for Friday, February 29, 2008. The workshop is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. until 4:15 p.m.
The daylong "technology bootcamp" is designed to empower the academic community with the knowledge and resources of how to commercialize their innovations, while connecting them to the local technology business community.
“The School of Business and Industry is excited to take the lead in establishing multidisciplinary partnerships to create a campus-wide environment at FAMU that supports entrepreneurship and innovation and encourages creativity, experimentation and cross-functional collaboration,” said SBI Dean Lydia McKinley-Floyd.
There is a registration fee of $10 for students; $20 for faculty, staff and alumni; and $40 those in the business community any others interested in attending. The fee will cover the participant guide, lunch and a continental breakfast. Interested individuals may register at www.invention2venture.org
Sponsors for the event include FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, Office of Technology Transfer and Small Business Development Center; and Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County.
“There are over 2000 universities in the United States with entrepreneurial programs; however, very few are offered at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) or Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs),” McKinley-Floyd said. “It is our ardent desire to facilitate the development and sustainability of viable new business enterprises that transform our communities and bring wealth accumulation and economic viability to Tallahassee and the Big Bend area.”
Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and community servant. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion dollar, management, technology and policy consulting services firm based in Newark, NJ, that works with corporations, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. BCT Partners is a minority-owned and operated company and one of the leading firms in the country with expertise in the following industries: housing and community development, economic development, healthcare, human services and education.
Pinkett was also named the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump. He was selected as one of 18 candidates chosen from among 1 million applicants to compete for the opportunity to run one of Donald Trump’s companies. During his first year, he was responsible overseeing both renovation and information technology projects for Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, NJ. Since then, Pinkett has maintained a role with the Trump Organization as a boardroom advisor on The Apprentice, national spokesperson for the Trump Institute and faculty member for Trump University.
Prior to founding BCT Partners, Pinkett gained corporate experience as a member of Technical Staff at General Electric, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Lucent Technologies. He holds five degrees: a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Rutgers University; a master of science in computer science from the University of Oxford in England; a master of science in electrical engineering; a MBA; and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Pinkett has received numerous awards: the National Society of Black Engineers’ National Member of the Year, NCAA Academic All-American, and has been recognized by USA TODAY newspaper as one of the top 20 scholars in the country. Also, he has been featured on nationally televised programs such as The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Nightline and Larry King Live. He is a brand ambassador for Verizon Communications and Outback Steakhouse, and a spokesperson for Autism Speaks; National Black MBA Association; Miller Urban Entrepreneurs Series; New Jersey Reads; and Junior Achievement of New York. Most notably, Pinkett is a Rhodes Scholar, and was the first and only African-American ever to receive this prestigious award at Rutgers University.
He is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash. His forthcoming book, Black Faces in White Places, chronicles his experiences as well the experiences of his college roommate, Jeffrey Robinson, as African Americans who have successfully navigated predominantly white institutions.
He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as a member of the board of directors for the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute (NJPPRI), the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (N-TEN), and the Institute for Innovation in Government Technology (IIGT), and the board of advisors for the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet).
Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, Pinkett attends First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides. He is happily married to his wife, Zahara, and they are both proud parents of their daughter, Amira. He firmly believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors, he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.
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