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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

Resources for Liberal Arts Entrepreneurs

Thinking about starting a business?

Liberal Arts students can take advantage of comprehensive on-campus and community resources to help conceive, plan and launch your entrepreneurial enterprise.

UT Austin Courses

LA 325: The Liberal Arts Entrepreneur This three-credit, upper-division course is designed to help you use your creativity, innovative ideas, and skills to create an entrepreneurial business. By the end of the course you will have a fully developed launch-ready business plan.  Whether you choose to immediately embark on your entrepreneurial career is up to you.

SOC 321K: Entrepreneurship & Innovation This course is concern with entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on technology transfer and wealth creation. Technology transfer is the process of taking innovations out of laboratories and finding commercial applications for those technologies.

1 Semester Startup – 1 Semester Startup (1SS) is an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship practicum for undergraduates already on startup teams. We aim to help advance these “Longhorn Startups” by teaching fundamentals of company formation, but mostly by connecting the teams into networks of real world resources: outside speakers, startup mentors, and professional investors.  

UT Austin Events & Resources

The Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency of Student Government at UT Austin – The Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency connects, educates, and supports student entrepreneurs on the 40 Acres.

UT Entrepreneurship Week – Workshops and events designed to inspire, empower and promote student entrepreneurs and those who are inclined to be one. 

Texas Venture Labs - Texas Venture Labs at UT Austin is a campus-wide initiative that aims to accelerate start-ups from the UT System and Central Texas seeking to raise capital and take their innovations to market and to transform UT Austin graduate students into future entrepreneurs and business leaders

12P UT Competition  The I2P® UT Austin Competition is a student-led event, coordinated by the I2P® Program and the Technology Entrepreneurship Society with support from the Chair of Free Enterprise. The competition is an early-stage technology commercialization plan competition that is open to UT Austin students of all disciplines who are interested in technology-focused entrepreneurship.

Technology Entrepreneurship Society  TES focuses on identifying, cultivating, and supporting the current and future entrepreneurs in the UT technological community.

Bridging Disciplines Program: Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship - Through an interdisciplinary program that combines courses from Business, Communication, Fine Arts and Liberal Arts, students will learn how ideas, inventions, talents, and skills are developed and transformed into commercial and social ventures. 

Austin Technology Incubator ATI’s student associates get real-world, hands-on experience working with startup companies. Our associates help our member and pipeline companies identify and solve key problems and execute their growth plans. ATI associates also work with the ATI professional staff and mentor networks to help determine which companies will be admitted into membership. And our associates support the ATI professional staff on projects – recently, those projects have included white papers in the clean energy sector, a feasibility study for a large wet lab incubator project in Austin, and thought leadership articles on university commercialization.

IC2 Institute - As an interdisciplinary research unit of The University of Texas at Austin, the IC² Institute has advanced the Theory and Practice of Entrepreneurial Wealth Creation.  

Community Events & Opportunities

Small Business Development Program Calendar of Events - Explore the small business-related classes offered throughout the year by the City of Austin's SBDP.

Dell Social Innovation Challenge - The DSIC identifies and supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving the world's most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. We provide university students with world-class teaching and training, as well as with start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisors. 

RISE University - RISE University Day + Campus Fast Pitch is a free one-day un-conference for university entrepreneurs of all types and stages, providing a forum where students can exchange ideas that inspire the entrepreneurial spirit. 

Austin RISE Week RISE Week (typically held in mid to late March) offers entrepreneurs a combination of interactive learning sessions, inspiring keynotes, unique competitions, funding opportunities and celebratory networking. 

SXSW Startup Crawl – Search the SXSW site for details closer to the festival date. Have a gold or platinum badge? If so, check out the SXSW Interactive Startup Village that brings together the startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and cutting-edge digital tastemakers within the SXSW Interactive Festival.

Regional Resources

City of Austin – Austin’s Small Business Center offers a variety of resources to help you conceptualize, create, launch and grow your startup.

City of Austin Small Business Development Program - SBDP provides assistance and business solutions to emerging small businesses.

BigAUSTIN - BiGAUSTIN provides entrepreneurial education, tailored business counseling and flexible loans. 

Austin Score - Austin SCORE offers free business counseling and resources, low-cost workshops and special customized services.  If you're starting a business, preparing for a loan, or have existing business issues or opportunities, SCORE mentors can help. 

Startup Texas - Startup Texas is part of a national network of state and regional efforts coordinated by the Startup America Partnership, a national organization working to help young companies grow in order to create jobs in America.    

RISE - RISE is a non-profit program dedicated to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs. RISE has grown into an ongoing annual conference for enterepreneurs.

Locally Austin - Locally Austin is a City of Ausitn interactive on-line directory of locally-owned, small businesses in Austin, Texas.

Texas Entrepreneur Networks - A local networking organization that puts startups and mid-market companies in front of Angel Investors around the state.


U.S. Small Business Administration - SBA offers a variety of programs and support services to help you navigate the issues you face with your initial applications, and resources to help after you open for business. The SBA also offers business plan resources

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright – Learn about the copyright process and how to file for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.

IRS Small Business – The IRS provides industry and profession-specific tax information as well as links to other helpful non-IRS resources.

The National Federation of Independent Business – The NFIB offers a variety of tools and tips for small business owners. NFIB's Young Entrepreneur Foundation promotes entrepreneurship through scholarship programs, classroom games and teacher and student programs. 

Nolo – Nolo offers a wide array of basic legal information for small businesses. 

Legal Issues for the Entrepreneur (California), Mark Skaist.

Ethical Behavior Is Good Business, Pacific Association of Colleges & Employers/The Ohio State University

Blogs & Articles

Steve Blank Blog – Steve Blank teaches entrepreneurship at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford and Colombia. He developed the “Customer Development” model and is author of “The Startup Owners Manual.” He is listed as one of the 10 influencers in Silicon Valley.

The Lean Launchpad, – a series of excerpts from Steve Blank’s book, “The Startup Manual”  

The New Entrepreneur, – a series of articles for entrepreneurs, written by Michael Gerber. 

Schurenberg, Eric. “What's an Entrepreneur? The Best Answer Ever.” January 9, 2012.

Gerber, Michael. “They Myth – and the Truth – About Planning.” May 9, 2012.

Gerber, Michael. “The Business Plan that Always Works.” May 3, 2012.

Tugend, Alina. “Forget Networking. How to Be a Connector.” January 29, 2012.

Gibney, Bruce and Howery, Ken. “Just How Risky is Enterepreneurship, Really?” Harvard Business Review Blog Network. January 30, 2012.

McLanahan, Kip and Morgan Flager. "Starting a Company? Here's how to figure out salaries" Austin Business Journal. January 7, 2013

Reading List

How To

Blank, Steven G., and Bob Dorf. The Startup Owner's Manual. the Step-by-step Guide for Building a Great Company. Pescadero, CA: K&S Ranch, 2012. Print.

Osterwalder, Alexander, Yves Pigneur, and Tim Clark. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010. Print.

Lee, Jennifer. The Right-brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2011. Print.

University of Texas Libraries Small Business Dummies Collection, including Small Business Overview, Business Plans, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Personal Branding and More. 

Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business, 2011. Print.

Guillebeau, Chris. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. New York: Crown Business, 2012. Print.

Port, Michael. Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011. Print.

Mohr, Angie. Bookkeepers' Boot Camp: Get a Grip on Accounting Basics. North Vancouver, B.C.: Self-Counsel, 2010. Print.

Label, Wayne A. Accounting for Non-accountants: The Fast and Easy Way to Learn the Basics. Naperville, IL: Source, 2010. Print.

Success Stories

Battelle, John. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. New York: Portfolio, 2005. Print.

Hsieh, Tony. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. New York: Business Plus, 2010. Print.

Hoffman, Reid, and Ben Casnocha. The Start-up of You. New York: Crown Business, 2012. Print.

LA 325 Press

Sinn, Jessica. “Liberal Arts Entrepreneurs: Students learn how to launch new ventures.” College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin. April 12, 2012.

Supiano, Beckie. “To Develop Student Entrepreneurs, Colleges Incubate Their Ideas.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 13, 2012.

Rastello, Sandrine. “Major Matters For U.S. College Graduates Seeking Jobs.”, May 14, 2012.

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