August 17, 2020

Tampa Couple Creates Franchising Challenge at Titus Center

PBA News

The newly-established Kobel Franchise Challenge allows students and alumni of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Titus Center for Franchising to compete for as much as $300,000 to buy their first franchise.

Ed and Becky Kobel, of Tampa, Florida, established the challenge with a $300,000 fund, the only one of its kind to help students and graduates acquire franchise businesses. Ed Kobel is president and chief operating officer of DeBartolo Development. His passion is mentoring young people in business – especially people who want to leverage their business to promote the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He was the University’s American Free Enterprise Medalist in 2010.

“The Kobel Franchise Challenge helps PBA students and graduates become franchisees,” said Titus Center Director Dr. John P. Hayes. “Moreover, they benefit from invaluable, ongoing mentoring by Mr. Kobel.”

Current franchising students and PBA graduates who earned the concentration in franchising are eligible to apply. Recipients are expected to operate their businesses full-time and pay back the money over the course of three years. Applications are due by Dec. 15, although those who are interested must file an intent to compete by Oct. 15.

The Kobel Challenge Selection Committee will name a winner or winners by the end of January. The committee will include Ed Kobel; Geoff Seiber, founder and CEO of FranFund and a Titus Center Advisory Board member; another member of the Titus Center Advisory Board and a member of PBA’s administration. Hayes serves as an adviser to the committee.

One of the University’s six Centers of Excellence, the Titus Center for Franchising is one of the few places in the world where students can prepare for a career in franchising. The program was endowed with a $1.5 million contribution by franchise entrepreneur Ray Titus, founder of United Franchise Group in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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