Brett Hurt started coding at age seven and by age 25 launched his fourth business. Last year he led his company, Bazaarvoice, to a successful initial public offering, and in August he announced his own seed-stage venture capital firm, Hurt+Harbach. Now Hurt, BBA ’94, is sharing that startup savvy with students as the 2013-14 entrepreneur-in-residence at the McCombs School of Business Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship.
Hurt will serve as a mentor to students, host office hours and a speaker series with other prominent entrepreneurs.
An alumnus well practiced at giving back to his community, Hurt delivered the keynote address at the Texas MBA Class of 2015 Orientation. He expressed his love for the Forty Acres where his grandfather, James Mann Hurt, taught mathematics for his entire career and described his satisfaction in joining entrepreneurs such as Red McCombs and Herb Kelleher in devoting time and resources to the school.
His advice for entering students: set big goals, don’t play it too safe and take calculated risks.
“You have nothing to lose at your age, so you should swing for the fences,” Hurt said in August. “Look at where the world is going: There are huge industries being transformed. Nothing is safe anymore, and everything is subject to disruption.”
Hurt is known for cultivating company culture. While he was CEO at Bazaarvoice, the firm earned numerous “Best Place to Work” awards. As he told the McCombs School’s OPEN magazine in 2011, culture is more than an employee perk; it’s essential to company performance.
“At the end of the day it’s the people who are going to make the company successful,” he said. “Who’s going to create those products, defend when competition enters your space?”
Hurt’s next speaker series event is Oct. 15, featuring Capital Factory founder and Department of Computer Science specialist Joshua Baer.
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[Banner photo by Jen Bertrand.]