University of Houston: First steps toward faculty entrepreneurship
If you are a faculty inventor, you’re likely also interested in becoming a faculty entrepreneur. Aspiring to be an entrepreneur is the first step, but what should you do next?
Bruce Fischer, professor of business and economics at Elmhurst University, said in a blog post that “above all, you should take action” and not procrastinate.
Fischer suggests taking a course in entrepreneurship that covers the fundamentals of management.
Your university is a great place to start. For instance, the University of Houston houses the Gulf Coast chapter of the Small Business Development Center, which offers in-person and online trainings as well as free business advising.
The Bauer School of Business at UH also has programming suited to entrepreneurs at various stages of experience. Depending on where you live corporate, nonprofit, and government-sponsored startup development organizations may also provide resources to introduce you to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
Find a mentor
Fischer also stresses the importance of finding a mentor. Find someone, maybe someone you know, that is already in the entrepreneurial space. Maybe they already have their own business, and they can give you help on your entrepreneurial journey.
The Associate Director of Startup Development at UH, Tanushree Chatterji, offered some advice for first time entrepreneurs.
“Networking is the key. Going to every relevant event and introducing yourself and talking about what you are doing is the most effective way to network. There are a lot of folks looking to mentor, you have to find them,” she said.
One way to get the conversation going is to reach out to your university’s office of technology transfer.
What's the big idea?
If you are a creative and passionate person, then maybe entrepreneurship is right for you. Taking these first steps will help you determine if entrepreneurship is a good fit while giving you exposure to the fundamentals of establishing your own business.
Fischer leaves us with some parting words of encouragement: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Entrepreneurs are a close community because they can relate to one another through their shared experiences.”
This article originally appeared on the University of Houston's The Big Idea. Cory Thaxton, the author of this piece, is the communications coordinator for The Division of Research.