About the Kelleher Center

About the Kelleher Center

About the Kelleher Center

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

Our Mission

The mission of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal is to create the finest academic research and teaching center focused on entrepreneurship in the United States. It will bring financial resources, leading entrepreneurs, students, and faculty from multiple disciplines and multiple colleges and universities to:

  • Develop and communicate new knowledge about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process
  • Publish case studies in current entrepreneurship
  • Develop and deliver outstanding program in entrepreneurship
  • Encourage and facilitate the development of successful entrepreneurs

The Center will link the McCombs School of Business with the entrepreneurial community and other centers of entrepreneurial and related activities within The University.

Our Vision

The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal strives to be the pre-eminent platform for:

  • Thought leadership in the areas of entrepreneurship, growth, and renewal in Austin and the state of Texas
  • Academic-business collaborations that advance the management knowledge about entrepreneurship, growth, and renewal globally


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Our History

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. The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal was founded in 2001 to provide resources to others with an entrepreneurial spirit and encourage innovation; Herb’s vision and passion for positive change are reflected in the Center, both in name and spirit.

How I Built This | Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher
In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a 3-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day.