Texas continues to win accolades as one of the best places in the nation to launch, grow, and expand a business. One reason is that there are nearly two dozen schools in Texas currently offering entrepreneurship curriculum. There are also dozens of ways to build upon an academic business foundation through post-graduate programs in entrepreneurial technology, finance, law, and other related specialties.
The UT Dallas graduate Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree has earned prestigious national recognition. The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship awarded it with the designation of a National Model Master’s Program, and it also won an award for excellence from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. Choose between a New Venture major, or one that focuses on corporate innovation and technology. Courses available include Startup Launch, which qualifies for academic credit while giving students a chance to apply for up to $25,000 in grant money to start their own business.
The SMU Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, also based in business-friendly Dallas, boasts faculty members with Silicon Valley IPO start-up experience. SMU offers four specialized learning tracks for those interested in entrepreneurship. One is focused on identifying entrepreneurial opportunities; one teaches entrepreneurial business management; another is concentrated on how to start a successful business; and there is also a program devoted to applicable entrepreneurial law.
UT’s Longhorn Startup Seminar
The University of Texas at Austin also plays a vital leadership role in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit. A prime example of UT’s commitment to entrepreneurs is the lecture-based program it offers during the fall semester, called the Longhorn Startup Seminar. Prominent entrepreneurs explain their own unique stories of startup challenges and successes, while sharing their hands-on knowledge and insight with seminar participants. Students also have an opportunity to pitch their own entrepreneurial ideas, receive valuable feedback, and network with potential co-founding business partners. They can also ask questions and receive personal business advice from experienced entrepreneurial mentors.
Longhorn Startup Lab and Herb Kelleher Center
During the spring semester, UT-Austin follows up with a project-based course that helps identify entrepreneurs who are creating scalable tech companies. The intensive experience allows students to earn course credit while they simultaneously work on building their own startup businesses. They receive one-on-one mentoring from established, successful entrepreneurs as well as free membership in the Capital Factory co-working organization. The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal, named for the founder of Southwest Airlines, is another University of Texas program for entrepreneurs. The Center offers a full menu of resources including workshops, seminars, incubators, speeches and presentations, and networking events. It also provides financial grants in support of entrepreneurship.
Baylor’s Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation curriculum gives students both classroom and real-world knowledge, and there are undergraduate and graduate programs available for both business and non-business majors. Grad students can even take an experience-based entrepreneurial technology course that includes a summer internship in China. Baylor also offers a number of certification programs, each focused on specific areas of entrepreneurship. There are also opportunities to create a new product or idea, and then have a team of in-house experts analyze it’s market potential, based on nearly three dozen key criteria.
Texas is a consistent, energetic national leader in small business growth and entrepreneurship. With so many localized programs available, it is easy to understand why businesses and entrepreneurs continue to flock to Texas and thrive.