Business Dean Paul Jarley joined Ravago Holdings America president and CEO Jim Duffy on Thursday to celebrate the dedication of the new Ravago Entrepreneurial Hub at UCF College of Business, where students can launch and grow their businesses. Ravago Holdings America is headquartered in Orlando and is a part of the Ravago group, a multinational distributor and compounder of plastic resins with roots in Belgium.
“Ravago’s transformational gift is helping us build the inspiring, high-tech, creative spaces necessary to encourage students to get out of their comfort zones, collaborate and invent their futures,” Jarley said. “Our goal is to provide students with more than just the knowledge and perspective necessary to make good business decisions. We look to create student experiences that instill the mindsets, habits and behaviors necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace.”
The Ravago Entrepreneurial Hub is home to the UCF Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which includes the Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator and Starter Space. The center encourages and guides entrepreneurial Knights by providing the support and resources needed for successful student startups. These services and programs are available to all UCF students.
Ravago said it believes their donation of $500,000 toward naming the entrepreneurial space and supporting the college’s recent building renovation will begin a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership with the college. The company employs a handful of UCF graduates and strives to be a top employer of choice for College of Business graduates looking to work for an entrepreneurial company interested in growing new talent.
“Orlando is our home and so UCF was a natural draw when we were deliberating our philanthropic efforts,” Duffy said. “We’ve had a lot of success with UCF graduates coming to work for us. UCF is a strategic pipeline for talent, and this is a great partnership for us.”
Ravago is also partnering with the college’s Executive Development Center to provide custom training for its leadership team, managers and employees. The center, in downtown Orlando, offers professional master’s degrees, executive workshops and custom training opportunities and was named the Best Local MBA in Central Florida by readers of the Orlando Business Journal.
Earlier this year, Ravago also donated $750,000 to the UCF College of Medicine, which named a specialized medical-education classroom the Ravago Lecture Hall.
Ravago Holdings America is headquartered in Orlando and has grown to become the company’s largest subsidiary, with estimated annual sales of nearly $5 billion. The local office was selected as one of the Orlando Sentinel’s 2017 Top 100 Companies for the fifth year in a row.