skip main site navigation go to current site section navigation
Centers | Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurship is about vision and passion. New ideas that change industries. In 1967, Herb Kelleher founded Southwest Airlines. Prior to this, flying was a luxury and only those that were wealthy or traveling for business used airplanes. With the start of Southwest Airlines, the industry changed. Today, Southwest Airlines is still one of the most profitable airlines. Herb’s entrepreneurial vision and smarts are reflected in the Center, both in name and spirit.

The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship Growth and Renewal is not just about new ventures, it’s also about teaching, learning and researching entrepreneurship and business enterprise. The entrepreneurial research done at McCombs, by both McCombs faculty and faculty around the university enables companies in Texas and the nation to improve their course of action, advance company growth with more effective preparation and initiate renewal in mature companies that would otherwise fail.

John Sibley Butler, Director, The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship Growth and Renewal
John Sibley ButlerThe Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship Growth and Renewal creates forums for successful entrepreneurs, students and faculty. We introduce students to the dynamic world of new venture creation and sustainability. Research supported by the Kelleher Center explores how firms are created, organized, and how they interact with developing technologies.

The university's capacity to inspire and enable new enterprises is immense. The Kelleher Center keeps strong ties with Texas Venture Labs, the IC2 Institute, the Austin Technology Incubator and other colleges and schools with robust entrepreneurial philosophies, like the Cockrell School of Engineering.  

Thomas W. Gilligan, Dean, McCombs School of Business
Dean Tom GilliganFor decades, value creation through innovation and entrepreneurship has been a dominant and consistent focus of the McCombs School of Business. McCombs is situated in a university with considerable assets in innovation and creativity. Courses on innovation and creativity can be found in at least eight other colleges at the university. McCombs has a significant research and teaching presence in these important areas as faculty in all academic departments teach and conduct research on creativity and innovation.

The international reputation in entrepreneurial studies that McCombs has had for years will only keep growing as we continue to foster innovation and new business creation. At the forefront is one of the most influential academic research units in this area, the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship.