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UT, venture capital, new business creation leaders bring workshop series to aspiring entrepreneurs

The thousands of engineers, developers, and managers in Austin’s high tech community who are bursting with ideas for new businesses now have a forum to help turn those ideas into viable businesses. The University of Texas at Austin, the venture capital and investor community, and those who advise entrepreneurs have joined together to create a series of workshops, called From Idea to IPO®, to help these idea generators continue the phenomenal growth of Austin’s high tech economy.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The thousands of engineers, developers, and managers in Austin’s high tech community who are bursting with ideas for new businesses now have a forum to help turn those ideas into viable businesses. The University of Texas at Austin, the venture capital and investor community, and those who advise entrepreneurs have joined together to create a series of workshops, called From Idea to IPO®, to help these idea generators continue the phenomenal growth of Austin’s high tech economy.

The From Idea to IPO® workshop series will cover the entire entrepreneurial life cycle, teaching aspiring entrepreneurs how to take an idea and turn it into a thriving business that can sell stock to the public. Faculty who are entrepreneurs or have extensive experience investing in or advising entrepreneurs will teach each workshop. Sponsors include Texas Executive Education in the Graduate School of Business, the Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Austin Ventures, AV Labs, McKinsey & Company, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP, Ernst & Young, and Chase H&Q.

“Austin Ventures is delighted to be associated with this vital, innovative program,” said Ken DeAngelis, General Partner of Austin Ventures. “We applaud the efforts of the University and the entrepreneurial community to offer a hard-hitting workshop which will help aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses.”

“Today the difference between winning and losing on the Internet is the difference between being first and being second to market,” Rob Adams, Managing Partner of AV Labs said. “Rapid development of strategies, business models and teams requires sharp focus on identifying the opportunity, articulating its strategy, and raising capital. The From Idea to IPO® workshop series will directly address these key success factors.”

“Until now, professionals in the high tech community had no where to turn to learn how to transform their ideas into viable businesses — this forum meets a dire need,” said Associate Dean Phillip Zerrillo, head of Texas Executive Education in the Graduate School of Business. “It may be a new economy,” added Jeff Sandefer, Chairman of the Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence, “But the fundamental lessons about your customer, costs and competition still apply. These workshops will help you turn your ideas into businesses that won’t defy the basic laws of physics!”

The From Idea to IPO® workshop series consists of four segments:

  • Ignite Your Venture®: Teaches entrepreneurs how to fully develop their ideas and approach investors and venture capital firms for funding. They will also learn how to effectively use advisors and concisely articulate their business idea and strategy.

  • Launch Your Venture®: Teaches entrepreneurs how to launch their businesses once they have received initial funding from investors.

  • Grow Your Venture®: Teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their business to the point that they are ready to take their company public.

  • Take It to The Street®: Teaches entrepreneurs how to capture the value that they have created by deciding whether an IPO (Initial Public Offering), Acquisition, Merger or Sale is best for their company. They will also learn what they must do to make each option happen.

“The Graduate School of Business is extraordinarily proud to be able to bring this timely and valuable program to the Austin market by collaborating in a unique partnership with leaders of the venture capital and entrepreneurial advisory communities,” said Bob May, Dean of the Graduate School of Business. “The strength of the partnership will really show in the unmatched talent and experience of the teachers and leaders of the program.” Dean May has asked John Doggett, an award winning adjunct assistant professor and experienced entrepreneur, to guide the development of the From Idea to IPO® workshop series.

“If the meal is only as good as its ingredients, this is going to be one heck of an intellectual feast. Our sponsors represent the best that their professions have to offer. We are excited that they have joined us to help create new companies, new jobs and new wealth for all of our people,” said Professor John Doggett, Workshop Director.

Texas Executive Education in the Graduate School of Business of The University of Texas at Austin is committed to developing programs that meet the needs of Austin’s growing high tech community. From Idea to IPO® joins the Texas Evening MBA Program as the first of a new series of offerings for those individuals and companies who will help keep our economy growing as we enter a new century.

The first workshop in the series, Ignite Your Venture®, will be offered four times a year starting on March 24th at the Austin Sheraton’s new Executive Conference Center. Space in each workshop will be limited and competition for these slots, given the support of the venture capital and high tech advisor community, is expected to be fierce. Tuition for Ignite Your Venture® will be $1,600 for two Friday sessions and includes all materials and meals.

The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence (EE) has created an innovative entrepreneurship program that gives MBA students at UT the knowledge, skills and judgment to prepare for life as entrepreneurs. The development of a dynamic curriculum that imparts the best of entrepreneurial knowledge and the ability to attract and train talented entrepreneurs to be master teachers are the key elements of the program’s success. Companies look to EE, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, to ensure that the courses deliver information and tools that MBAs need to excel in today’s high velocity environment.

Austin Ventures is the largest venture capital firm in Texas and the Southwest. With more than $1.6 billion of capital under management, Austin Ventures is the third-largest early stage venture firm in the U.S., focusing primarily on investing in information technology businesses.

AV Labs, a spin off of Austin Ventures, is an early stage venture fund focused on seed and first round investments in Internet companies delivering B2B, B2C, applications and infrastructure products and services through the Internet. AV Labs focuses on companies where the differentiation AV Labs delivers — executive operating talent and experienced entrepreneurs — makes a significant difference in a company’s time to market.

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm with 79 offices in 41 countries that advises companies on strategic, operational and organizational issues. It has just decided to open an Austin accelerator office to facilitate faster launches of new businesses in the electronic commerce arena.

Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP, with more than 625 attorneys in 10 offices, is a national leader in the representation of technology companies. Brobeck provides fast-growth companies with the ongoing legal resources, business acumen and industry connections needed to grow businesses from start-ups to market leaders.

Ernst & Young (www.ey.com) is one of the world’s leading providers of dot-company services in assurance, consulting, corporate finance and tax. More than 85,000 people around the world act as creative catalysts, joining forces with clients to do all it takes — From Thought To Finish — to achieve positive, significant change. E&Y pioneered the development of advanced solutions that connect clients, partners and employees with E&Y resources and knowledge to help them rapidly reach their goals. Ernst & Young refers to the U.S. firm of Ernst & Young LLP and other members of the global Ernst & Young organization.

Chase Hambrecht & Quist (Chase H&Q) has been a leader, since 1968, in providing entrepreneurs and their companies with access to capital and financial expertise, and providing investors with access to opportunities for growth. In the last four quarters, Chase H&Q has raised over $12 billion in public offerings and private placement transactions for growth companies, and has advised on mergers and acquisitions valued at over $11 billion. The firm currently has more than 950 employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Newport Beach, San Diego and London and a strategic partnership in Tel Aviv.

Contact Information:

For additional information about the workshop series, interested individuals can visit the From Idea to IPOTM web site @ www.mccombs.utexas.edu/ExecEd/Entrepreneur. They can also e-mail Jennifer Rea, the Workshop coordinator @ Jennifer.rea@bus.utexas.edu or call her @ (512) 232-5536 or write Professor John Doggett, Program Director, From Idea to IPO®, Executive Education Division, Graduate School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712.

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