As you explore new industries and business issues in the classroom, experiential learning experiences outside of class will help you build on these concepts and carve out a niche for yourself. The University of Texas at Austin and the McCombs School of Business are rich with opportunities to hear world-renowned speakers; participate in business plan and case competitions; attend interdisciplinary conferences, and join student organizations. Many of these activities are student-initiated and could not happen without the ambition and passion of our students.
Entrepreneurial Resources & Competitions
Have a business idea you are interested in developing? The University of Texas at Austin offers unique entrepreneurial resources and competitions to help you get your idea off the ground.
The Venture Labs Investment Competition, formerly known as Moot Corp, creates an environment in which the world's most entrepreneurial MBAs solicit startup funds from experienced investors in a simulation mirroring the real-world process of raising venture capital. MBAs from around the globe converge in Austin each May to present their business plans to panels of investors, demonstrating diverse and creative perspectives on business and society. In May 2011, 40 teams from 12 countries competed in the event.
Founded as Moot Corp in 1984, this investment competition is both the first and longest operating, inter-business school, new-venture competition in the world. The competition's winners earn $100,000 in seed funding as well as a year's office space and overhead costs in the Austin Technology Incubator. About half of each year's teams actually go on to start companies based on their ideas.
In addition to the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition, the Idea to Product Competition and the Dell Social Innovation Competition are two other national competitions hosted by The University of Texas.
Texas MBA+ Leadership Program
The Texas MBA+ Leadership Program facilitates an individually-tailored leadership experience for those MBAs interested in professional development opportunities and gaining additional experience in a new function or industry while still in school. Unique to the Texas MBA program, MBA+ provides an evolving series of services, micro-consulting projects (formerly known as ENHANCE projects), and workshops that connect our MBAs to companies of interest. The program improves communication skills and helps to keep our students ahead of the curve. As recruiters search for applicable experience, "fit," and initiative from among candidates around the globe, MBA+ helps propel Texas MBAs to the top of their lists.
Of particular note are the MBA+ micro-consulting projects. Similar to a summer internship experience, these projects allows a team of four to seven Working Professional MBA students to tackle a well-defined business project provided by a participating organization. You and your team act as consultants on projects that address real issues a company is facing and present your solutions to the management team. This not only gives you exposure to future job possibilities, it connects you with potential mentors in your desired field.
Depending on the interests and goals of each class of MBA students, a number of student organizations form each year to further professional development opportunities, serve the university or build social networks. Organizations centered on consulting, entrepreneurship, finance and student government have been popular with working professional MBA students in recent years. You are encouraged to take on a leadership position in an existing organization or start your own group. This is an excellent opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership skills and make connections with industry leaders.
The Capstone Integrative course is an opportunity to put your studies into practice by tackling a topical, compelling contemporary business challenge, and competing to develop the best, most plausible set of strategic scenarios to resolve it. You'll face distinguished panels of judges that include industry leaders, successful alumni and faculty, and engage in frank interaction. It's a priceless part of the MBA experience.