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Client Q&A with Peter Z. McKay, Business Librarian at the University of Florida

This month, we caught up with Peter Z. McKay, Business Librarian at the University of Florida, to find out what’s going on in his world.

IBISWorld: What challenge(s) do you and your company or department face right now?

Peter Z. McKay: The University of Florida is making a major push to foster entrepreneurship and innovation and take research from the benchtop to the marketplace. Major initiatives include the Innovation Academy; the Innovation Hub; the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and the Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition, which awards over $40,000 in prizes to student teams with the best business ideas.

IW: How does/might IBISWorld help you overcome this challenge?

PM: We’ve been a long-time subscriber to IBISWorld’s excellent Industry Reports. Last spring, we picked up IBISWorld’s Procurement Reports. These reports fill a critical information gap in the B2B space, analyzing price trends on products and services essential for operating a business using Porter’s Five Forces and offering negotiation strategies to obtain the best price. Our entrepreneur students use them to price start-up costs and analyze the market for their business ideas.

IW: What do you foresee happening in your industry within the next year?

PM: Colleges and universities in the United States and around the world are embracing the challenge of educating students to become entrepreneurial and to commercialize university research and technology.

IW: Tell us something interesting about yourself (hobbies, experiences, travel, etc.)

PM: In 1974, my family moved to Costa Rica, started a lumber company, set up a sawmill in Puerto Limón on the Atlantic coast and manufactured lumber for the domestic and export markets. As the only Spanish speaker in the family, I became known as Don Pedro.

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The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida, serving the information needs of a comprehensive research university.

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