The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship selected its 2011-2012 entrepreneur-in-residence last week.
The entrepreneur-in-residence is chosen from a group of businesspeople nominated by the faculty, said John Butler, director of the Kelleher Center. Melinda Garvey was chosen as this year’s entrepreneur-in-residence because of her extensive experience, great success in entrepreneurship and her approachability, said Jim Fredrickson, chair of the Red McCombs School of Business Department of Management.
“We were trying to identify someone who would be high energy and a good example for students,” Fredrickson said. “She’s very open and energetic, as well as unpretentious and student friendly. She’s built a small business from an idea to a flourishing business.”
Garvey has been a guest lecturer in classes on entrepreneurial management for the past five years. She launched Austin Woman Magazine nine years ago this month.
“Our goal is for her to meet with as many students as possible and to bring her vision of entrepreneurship to students,” Butler said. “Having an entrepreneur on campus allows students to see an entrepreneur who is doing good things and can talk to them about their ideas.”
As entrepreneur-in-residence, Garvey will be interacting with students on a small-ratio basis. Garvey said she wants to contribute her previous knowledge of how to run a consumer-driven small business to students.
“I have always just really enjoyed interacting with the students,” Garvey said. “What I can bring to the table is a lot of knowledge and experience, showing the students what it’s really like to start a small business and do something that you’re passionate about.”
Garvey said there will be one-on-one meetings, as well as a first-come, first-served round table discussion offered at different times throughout the week.
The purpose of the small, group setting is for students to discuss business and entrepreneurship ideas with each other and with Garvey.
“I want for students to be able to throw around ideas and get guidance,” Garvey said.
Garvey will be focusing on small business entrepreneurship during the year but also hopes to offer ideas to any students with different focuses within the business school.
“My belief is the small business will be the engine of the future,” Garvey said. “It will fuel and drive the economy — and students will hopefully grasp the idea that they can have a great life and give back to the community.”
She said she is excited to see how being entrepreneur-in-residence will change her perspectives.
“It’s really an opportunity for me to pull back a little — the students are a great fresh resource, but it’s also a chance for me to look at my business from a different perspective,” Garvey said. “It’s really going to help me do that. I think there’s going be a lot of great exchange of ideas.”
Printed September 22, 2011 as: Business lecturer named entrepreneur-in-residence