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The Startup Journey – Phase 1

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The startup journey starts with phase one: theoretical development.

Entrepreneurs run the world! That is what we would like you to think. While entrepreneurs who run small businesses create many new jobs each year, the reality is that entrepreneurship is both an activity and a state of mind. Here at UT Dallas, we preach innovation and entrepreneurship as a philosophy, a lifestyle and a call to action. The entrepreneurial startup journey can be broken into four main categories: theoretical development, idea to launch, launch to growth and the innovative mindset. Over the next few weeks, I will walk you through the life that is entrepreneurship through four main phases and then tie in our academic and nonacademic programs in order to show you what UT Dallas has to offer; you don’t even have to leave campus, yet.

Theoretical Development

It all begins in the classroom. The first phase in the entrepreneurial journey requires some deep, thought-provoking and rigorous work to properly understand how businesses work. If you don’t understand how marketing, sales, management, operations, finance and accounting work, it can be quite difficult to launch and grow a business. Understanding the broad components of a business provide future entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop a holistic startup idea that has the potential to grow into a legitimate operating business by considering all aspects and challenges involved in the concept.

Beyond just the basics of business, future entrepreneurs must understand fundamental aspects of the entrepreneurial process, business-model development, financial projections, developing and executing a sales presentation, and building a network of partners. The academic programs at UT Dallas offered through Innovation and Entrepreneurship coursework offer foundations to these and many more skills necessary to launch a business. Each semester, highly talented faculty (excluding your truly, of course) wax poetic on the fundamentals and practical implications of launching a growing a business. These course range from Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ENTP3301/6370), which takes you through the process of developing an idea and testing feasibility, to courses in technology and new-product development, entrepreneurial finance and startup launch.

The academic courses offered through the Jindal School provide students with an opportunity to test ideas, grow in their knowledge and build a network of other entrepreneurially minded students, all while getting credit toward that oft-forgotten goal of getting a degree. (That is the point, right?) So I challenge each of you to consider taking at least one entrepreneurship course in your time here at UT Dallas, and if the bug strikes (…and it often does), take a close look at ENTP concentrations and the Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree program. I promise it’s a real degree, and your mother will be proud! Join me next week in exploring the programs and resources available to you in taking your idea out into the world of entrepreneurship and in the meantime, learn more at the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship website.

Jeremy Vickers

Jeremy Vickers

Jeremy Vickers is the executive director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he leads a team focused on cross-campus startup activity and entrepreneurship curriculum. Prior to his arrival at UT Dallas, Jeremy was at the Dallas Regional Chamber from 2011 to 2015 as the vice president of innovation. He led strategy and program implementation to support building the North Texas innovation ecosystem. Read more articles

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