Centers | Kelleher Center


Entrepreneurship at McCombs is not just about startups. It's about the spirit of entrepreneurship. That idea that ignites you and causes a huge change, driving innovation, big thinking and risk taking into any company you work for.

“The most important thing I learned at McCombs was how to take your idea and structure it as a business plan that you can effectively communicate to customers and investors. how to explain your idea in a simple and lucid manner. That is the confidence that came through our coursework and the Moot Corp process. “ Jiten Dalvi, MBA ’07, co-founder of Qcue

The differences between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur are not that numerous according to MBA alumnus Chris Treadaway, who has experience with both start-ups and large enterprises. “The entrepreneurship classes at McCombs are ironically the ones that best prepared me for work at both Microsoft and in my new start-up. At Microsoft, I was rewarded for passion, thinking opportunistically and creating solutions for difficult problems. The start-up world is very similar, although we have far fewer resources at our disposal. In both situations, you either survive or die nothing prepares you for that like learning about how companies are started and how founders deal with difficult problems and succeed against all odds.”

“The academics at McCombs were extremely important, but the take-away for me was the opportunity. I sought out one of the better entrepreneurship programs in the country and it was McCombs. Scott Evans, MBA ’04, founder of Chipotle Business Group

”The entrepreneurship classes at McCombs are demanding but also help people think creatively both inside and outside the classroom. that’s the key — learning lessons but then applying them in the real world where the impact of a bad decision could be worth millions of dollars.” Chris Treadaway, MBA ‘05, CEO of Notice Technologies

“We formalized Texas Venture Labs in order to streamline the process of creating new business from within the university. By putting intellectual horsepower behind viable ventures, providing mentorship and market validation, we give students an unmatched educational experience while actually launching ventures that are robust and viable.” Rob Adams, Director of Texas Venture Labs

“Are we born entrepreneurs? I’d probably be the most unlikely person to be an entrepreneur. When I saw the opportunity I said, ‘I’m going to take this up for sure.’ It was a wonderful opportunity and UT trained me well.” Ranjit Nayak, MBA ’07, founder of eVapt

“Our first year was hell. We all had day jobs, and then nights and weekends we were flying around getting money. All I can say is, persistence will win.” Harlan Beverly, MBA ‘04  founder of Bigfoot Networks

“I took a lot of the entrepreneurship classes,” explains Bigfoot Networks’ founder. “We got to meet a new entrepreneur every week, and got to hear their story and their experience. That helped me prepare for the battle ahead.”  Bigfoot Networks won Texas Moot Corp in 2005, gaining access to start-up cash and office space in the university’s Austin Technology Incubator. “The incubator was awesome,” Beverly says. “We spent three years there and saved tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, they introduced us to our series A investors and some of our series B investors.” The start-up went on to raise $14 million in two rounds of financing.

Like many McCombs graduates, Beverly regularly shares his insights with those who are following in his footsteps. “This is like playing a game, and each time we achieve something new it’s like I’ve reached another level in entrepreneurship. That’s why I keep coming back to McCombs, because I love growing my own knowledge and sharing it.”

“Being able to say ‘I helped cure blindness’ is the motivation for me. That is the passion. And if we make money doing that, all the better.” Doug Baum, MSTC ‘07 Co-founder of MacuCLEAR

“If not for the Moot Corp Program, eVapt would not have existed. I was part of the Evening MBA Program, working at another company, and the idea was born. To take that idea and take it through the development process was what Moot Corp was all about. At the end of it I asked the question, ‘Do I jump into this for real or not?’ and how often does that happen in one’s life? That is how important Moot Corp was for us.” Ranjit Nayak, MBA ’07, founder of eVapt

Page last updated: 8/5/2015