Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Entrepreneurship

Working in startups is the best way to play a special role in building the future. Liberal Arts majors are particularly suited for entrepreneurship because of their broad knowledge base, critical thinking and communication skills. Entrepreneurs and their teams drive innovation by developing and launching new products and services. Startups play a key role in the economy by creating value for customers, jobs for employees and wealth for investors. Most large cities have close-knit startup communities that collaborate with and support each other. In Austin, that community is alive and well thanks to the work of many organizations, including The University of Texas at Austin.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UT

For a comprehensive list of campus resources, start by exploring UT Austin’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation site. This site includes links to programs for undergraduate students (such as Freshman Founders, GAMMA and Bridging Disciplines), organizations and groups (such as Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency), and programs for graduate students (such as Texas Venture Labs). It also links to Longhorn Startup, Austin Technology Incubator, IC2 Institute, the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Are you a startup founder or startup employee?

While the media focuses on the efforts of individual entrepreneurs and innovators, innovation is a product of collaboration between teams and organizations. Those who work for startups are just as important as those who create them. Considering the questions of how you will enter the world of startups should be a priority.

Startup Founders

  • Assume the risk of undertaking a new startup.
  • Develop and communicate the startup’s vision.
  • Role within company may vary constantly, depending on the company's current needs.
  • Play a large role in recruiting and team building as the startup grows.

Startup Employees

  • Believe in and work towards implementing the founder’s vision.
  • Often receive small piece of ownership in the startup to offset less or no immediate financial compensation.
  • Are recruited to play a specific role in the startup such as engineering, business development, sales & marketing, design or a combination of these.
  • Typically have a relatively large impact on the startup and determine to a large extent whether or not the startup succeeds.

How do you start with a startup?

Startups and startup communities are very relationship driven. You need a solid foundation of people who will help you over the course of your career in startups. If you don’t have many startup friends, spend a few months attending startup networking events and having informal conversations with people you meet.

Working in startups is the best way to play a special role in building the future. Liberal Arts majors are particularly suited for entrepreneurship because of their broad knowledge base, critical thinking and communication skills. Entrepreneurs and their teams drive innovation by developing and launching new products and services. Startups play a key role in the economy by creating value for customers, jobs for employees and wealth for investors. Most large cities have close-knit startup communities that collaborate with and support each other.

The Austin Startup Community

You have probably heard of Silicon Valley, the startup community that has produced many great startups like Facebook, Twitter, Apple and other household brands. However, you don’t have to move to Silicon Valley to start a company. While much younger, most cities and states have their own community of entrepreneurial people that help each other build businesses. Austin’s startup community is consistently recognized as one of the best places in the U.S. to start a company.

Community Characteristics

  • Traditionally focuses on business-to-business (B2B) software as a service (SAAS) companies.
  • Currently diversifying into other fields such as hardware, life sciences, creative arts and entertainment.
  • Inclusive and collaborative in contrast to Silicon Valley which is exclusive and competitive.
  • Organized around incubators and accelerators such as Austin Technology Incubator, Capital Factory and Techstars.
  • Influenced heavily by UT Austin since the 1980s.


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  • Liberal Arts Career Services

    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900