As you explore new industries and business issues in the classroom, experiential learning 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.
Texas Venture Labs is a campus-wide initiative making it easier for student entrepreneurs to start businesses by providing a faster, step-by-step method to bring their innovations to market. Venture Labs directly links you to the appropriate entrepreneurial, business, technology and legal resources available both on the campus and in the Texas entrepreneurial eco-system while providing the mentoring, team-building, market and business plan validation, technology commercialization and domain knowledge needed to start and grow innovative ventures.
The Venture Labs Investment Competition (VLIC) creates an environment in which the world's entrepreneurially minded MBAs solicit startup funds from experienced investors in a simulation mirroring the real-world process of raising venture capital. 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 begins at a regional level from which teams from around the world advance and converge in Austin for the Global VLIC each year in May. The Texas VLIC took place in February 2012, from which a team of two Executive MBAs (pictured at right) took the top spot to advance with their business plan for eyeQ, a product providing retailers with the ability to monitor consumer purchasing behavior, generate retail business intelligence and influence consumer purchasing at the shelf. Read more about eyeQ's experience in the Texas VLIC competition on our MBA Insider blog feature.
The Global VLIC 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, other national competitions hosted by the University of Texas at Austin include the Idea to Product Competition and the Dell Social Innovation Competition.
Texas MBA+ Leadership Program
For those MBAs interested in professional development opportunities and gaining additional experience in a new function or industry while in school, the Texas MBA+ Leadership Program facilitates an individually tailored leadership experience just for that. 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, heightens communication skills and 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 EMBA 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.
Learn more about the Texas MBA+ Leadership Program
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. 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. In addition to the Executive MBA groups, interested students are encouraged to connect with student organizations formed by full-time MBA students for access to additional resources that match up with your goals and interests.
Washington Campus is a three-day, Washington, D.C. residency program for Executive MBA students designed to enrich your understanding of the public policy process, with a focus on those policy issues that are most likely to impact business outcomes as well as the strategies that busy corporate executives can utilize to ethically and effectively share information and influence public policy outcomes. The curriculum is developed with guidance and oversight of the faculty and administrators of the Washington Campus Consortium, a group of 17 top graduate business schools whose representatives serve on our Board of Directors to ensure that our programs are of the highest academic quality and worthy of the graduate credit students receive for completing the course. The program includes meetings with and presentations by a long list of notable Washington insiders, such as current or former Members of Congress, congressional staff, Administration officials, agency representatives, advocacy organizations, trade association representatives, lobbyists, economists, business leaders and members of the media. The residency program also includes site visits to relevant Federal buildings and agencies, such as Capitol Hill, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Treasury, or the National Press Club. The program provides numerous learning and networking opportunities while giving executive participants a chance to see what it is like to live and work in our bustling Nation's Capital!
Learn more at www.washcampus.edu/mccombs