April 2018

Students studying franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University will have the opportunity to enter the Kobel Franchise Challenge to compete for up to $300,000 to be used to acquire a franchise, according to Dr. John P. Hayes, director of Titus Center for Franchising at the University.


Ed Kobel, president and chief operating officer of Tampa-based DeBartolo Development, said that the gift to establish the competition has three goals: 

1)    to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ by sharing the gospel message with franchise employees, vendors and customers;

2)    to generate profits to sustain the franchise and nurture its employees; and

3)    to contribute financially to Palm Beach Atlantic University in support of the Titus Center for Franchising.

“To my knowledge, this is a unique competition for students studying through the Titus Center” Hayes said. “Most of our students say they want to buy a franchise but many are concerned about how to raise the investment money. The Kobel Franchise Challenge will be the answer for one or more students.” 

“The University is grateful for the visionary leadership and free enterprise commitment of the Kobel Family Foundation in establishing this franchise challenge to offer an incomparable opportunity for students studying the dynamic business sector known as franchising,” PBA President William M. B. Fleming, Jr. said. “Franchising is growing nationally and internationally. Students who meet the Kobel Franchise Challenge will be perfectly positioned for success.”

Hayes said that details concerning the Kobel Franchise Challenge will be released in the fall with the competition set to begin in 2019.

Watch a short video of Ed Kobel introducing the franchise challenge here.

About the Titus Center for Franchising

The Titus Center for Franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University, the only academic center of its kind in Florida, offers academic coursework, internships, job shadowing and training at area franchises, including the global headquarters of United Franchise Group in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Center, based in the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. School of Business, was established in 2016 through a gift from Ray Titus, founder and CEO of United Franchise Group. Dr. John P. Hayes is the Center’s director. 

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