Texas Venture Labs hosts entrepreneurship seminar

Mikaela Cannizzo

First-year graduate students pursuing two types of master’s degrees at McCombs learned about putting business into action at a seminar hosted by Texas Venture Labs on Wednesday night. 

Various speakers presented at the event to inform Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Technology Communication students about Texas Venture Labs, which provides entrepreneurial resources and startup opportunities to students and faculty at UT. Mark Lampton, venture partner and speaker at the event, said he wants to familiarize students with the unique opportunities available at Texas Venture Labs. 

“The mission of Texas Venture Labs is to inspire students at UT to become entrepreneurs and join startups as part of the entrepreneurial community,” Lampton said. 

Tina Mabley, assistant dean for the full-time MBA program, said entrepreneurship is important because it helps students use learning to advance their ideas.

“Our students really enjoy studying entrepreneurship because it brings all the pieces of business together in a way that they can seek out opportunities to develop products for undeserved markets,” Mabley said. 

Participation in the program means students get the chance to partake in investment competitions, receive scholarships worth up to $174,000 and engage in startups with the venture partner position. The organization also offers electives at UT such as a multidisciplinary practicum course and new venture creation courses. 

In the practicum course, students collaborate with a team of about five students from different graduate programs at UT. According to Lampton, this accelerator connects the students to local startup companies.

“The experience provides students valuable business experience as researchers and consultants while they perform projects,” Lampton said. 

Following the completion of the semester-long project, startups will be showcased at a venture expo. The event will be  Dec. 3 from 1–5 p.m. in the AT&T Executive Education Center amphitheater. 

The new venture creation course, taught by Rob Adams, director of Texas Venture Labs, and business lecturer Stephen Courter, focuses on students starting their own enterprise. After completion of this course, students can attempt to obtain funding for new ventures at the Venture Labs Investment Competition. 

First-year MBA student and new Austin resident Taylor O’Brien said he attended the seminar because he is interested in entrepreneurship and wants to get involved in the Austin startup community. 

“I don’t have any ideas of my own right now,” O’Brien said. “But I want to see if I can help someone else out.”