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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2005

SOC 396l • Entrepreneurship and Incubation: Identifying and Commercializing New Opportunities

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45820 W
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
utc 1.118

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to understand the relationship between entrepreneurship and the reduction of risk through incubation. Although we certainly discuss and give a strong consideration to the entrepreneurial process, the main emphasis is on how this process is enhanced by the entrepreneurial environment. Over the last 25 years or so, the majority of the great companies that scaled in America were founded in three environments; Austin, Texas, Silicon Valley, and Rt. 128 in Boston. Studying and understanding the environment, and how entrepreneurs use that environment for wealth creation and job creation, is the subject matter of Entrepreneurship and Incubation. The course also depends on "live' case studies, which are entrepreneurs from Austin, who have created great companies or are in the process of creating companies. We also include people who have sold companies or who ended the entrepreneurial process because of competition. These include Carl Paul (Golfsmith), Kay Hammer (Evolutionary Technologies), Robert Diwian (Austin Computers), Gary Hoover (Hoovers/Travel Fest/ Book Stop) Carol Thompson (The Thompson Group), Alan Blake (GloFish), Robert Sak (ThermaCode) and, Gary Cadenhead (Past Director of Moot Corp). The course will also feature a trip to the Austin Technology Incubator, where the staff and entrepreneurs will speak to the class. Live" cases are utilized because Austin, Texas has been one of the regions that have been on the forefront of entrepreneurial behavior. This takes place as we move through the traditional entrepreneurial process. We will analyze the readings, which concentrate on entrepreneurial environments around the globe, just as we would analyze a traditional case. As we analyze the reading, we are always interested in what it would take to create a company in that environment. In the tradition of the Engineering discipline, teams of students will reverse the business plan of a company. Here the emphasis is on learning the fundamentals of the business plan without actually writing an original plan. The reverse business plan allows us to see, post-hoc, on how companies scaled through a strategic process that has growth at its very center.


  • BC Crandall (edited), Nanotechnology.
  • David Rosenberg, Cloning Silicon Valley.
  • Harvard Business School (HBS) Press, The Entrepreneurial Venture.
  • Gary Hoover, Hoover's Vision: Original Thinking for Business Success.
  • Kay Hammer, Workplace Warrior: Insights and Advice for Winning on the Corporate Battlefield.
  • "Austin, Texas: Building a High-tech Economy," Harvard Business School Case Number 9-799-038.


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