Austin’s Gary Hoover Launches Community Course in Entrepreneurship

“This is for any entrepreneur–not-for-profit, social entrepreneurship, high tech, low tech, no tech and service industries.”

Gary Hoover with Students[UPDATE: Those interested in Gary Hoover’s Art of Enterprise Course can find free sample videos here, with information on course registration.]

Gary Hoover is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at McCombs School of Business on the UT Austin campus. He has coached hundreds of students in the principles of bootstrapping, business plans, market validation and startup financing.

But if you aren’t a UT student, don’t fret. He is about to launch his second Foundations of Entrepreneurship class through the University Extension program, and that means it is open to anyone. (Class starts September 1.)

“The first time I taught this about half the students were from UT and the other half were from the community at large,” he says. “You have to know Word and Excel to take the class, but the rest I can teach you.”

What can you expect from Hoover?

First, prepare to “drink from a fire hose.” Hoover is a whirlwind of ideas and insights who, I’m convinced, knows a little about everything, and a lot about what it takes to launch a successful enterprise.

He writes:

“This course is appropriate for anyone who is thinking about starting a business or has a desire to do so, whether they know what type of business or not.  We start out talking about what makes an entrepreneur and what it takes to succeed.

“We study some of the greats from history and learn from them.  Then we go through the process of coming up with ideas and spotting opportunities. We cover the basic economics and industrial structure of our society to put our entrepreneurial activities into context.

“We go out into the field to observe customers and think about their lives and needs. Then we learn how to sort them out and pick from among them. We then go step-by-step through all the key things you need to give thought to: revenue sources and projections, expenses, capital required, who your customer is and how to reach them (marketing), management and culture, even finance and accounting.

“This all culminates in a written business plan averaging about 15 pages in length.  I spent over an hour reviewing each one and giving pointers to each student.

“Students read Peter Drucker’s great book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and also use my book which focuses on being curious and finding and recognizing opportunities.  But most of the class is based on my real world experience in a diversity of industries, at many stages of enterprise development, and various methods of financing.

“This is for any entrepreneur–not-for-profit, social entrepreneurship, high tech, low tech, no tech and service industries.”

The class runs every Wednesday night, on the UT Austin campus, from 6 to 9 pm, September 1 through December 1. It costs $660.

“Without much humility, I have to say that I think this is one of the great bargains out there in entrepreneurial education,” he says with a smile.

“It would be wonderful to see a bunch of bootstrappers in the class.”

Course Details

Gary Hoover Video Library

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