Senior Lecturer, Department of Management | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business
Austin , TX, US
Entrepreneurship, venture capital, product strategy, and early stage management
Areas of Expertise (10)
Industry Expertise (3)
- VC and Private Equity
- Capital Markets
- Management Consulting
Rob Adams is a leading educator in entrepreneurship, an active angel investor, and board member for several startups, and is affiliated with numerous venture funds, several of which he started. He is a respected advocate for entrepreneurial education on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a mentor for student-founded startup ventures. He leads executive workshops on strategic management, market validation, and innovation.
Adams is a senior lecturer at the McCombs School of Business, and is the director of the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL), which gives graduate students direct experience in new business startup. TVL also sponsors the Super Bowl of college investment competitions, the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition.
He has taught at the MBA programs of The Acton School of Business, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin, and St. Edwards University.
Adams founded Tejas Venture Partners, and previously he was a founder of AV Labs, a successful early stage venture fund allied with Austin Ventures. He started his career with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), joining the company shortly after its public offering. Adams was instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes. He went on to be founder and CEO of Business Matters, a venture backed developer of financial modeing products and was an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW).
Adams is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, company and product strategy, marketing and technology issues. He recently keynoted the Inc. 500 business conference and consults for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He provides expert testimony on technology related business issues, and has consulted on economic development and early stage company development for numerous governments including Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand.
He blogs for Inc.com and has been covered in BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, on Bloomberg Radio, Public Television, and public radio’s nationally syndicated “Marketplace” program.
He is the author of A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (Random House/Crown, 2002), and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (Wiley, April 2010).
David Wenger, Director of Communications | McCombs School of Business
Rob Adams is a go-to source for creative energy and early stage management expertise within the Austin entrepreneurship community, and he delivers that front-line savvy to executives and graduate students in a practical, hard-hitting manner. He is quotable, knowledgeable, and always current on the issues that matter most in the startup and venture funding worlds.
Capella University : PhD, Management 2007
Thesis on market validation, which lead to the publishing of "If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity" (Wiley, 2010).
Babson College - Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business: MBA, Business and Entrepreneurship 1989
Earned an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
Purdue University: BS, Industrial Engineering 1981
Received Purdue's Outstanding Engineer Award, their highest alumnae award for engineers.
Media Appearances (10)
Why is Uber So Much More Valuable Than Lyft?
Choose What online
Both Uber and Lyft offer nearly identical services and operate in similar markets – so why is Uber valued at $62.5 billion, while Lyft is valued at $2.5 billion? Rob Adams, director of Texas Venture Labs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, says part of the reason Uber has raised so much money is because investors are eager to put private capital toward a company that’s dominating in one space.
Texas Venture Labs hosts entrepreneurship seminar
The Daily Texan online
The new venture creation course, taught by Rob Adams, director of Texas Venture Labs, and business lecturer Stephen Courter, focuses on students starting their own enterprise.
Texas Venture Labs Fall Expo Showcases New Startups
Silicon Hills online
“With the expo today, we’re helping companies raise money,” said Rob Adams, director of TVL.
One Frequent Flyer's Minimalist Travel Secrets
Entrepreneur Magazine online
The serial entrepreneur and investor...spent several years as a kid living in Tokyo and fueled a lifelong zest for travel, which his international consulting practice provides plenty of today.
The 9 Buzzwords That Can Kill Any Business Plan
American Express OPEN Forum online
Rob Adams has poured through tens of thousands of business plans over the years—and has seen the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly.
OPEN Magazine print
Their company, Phurnace Software—founded in 2006 while Nelson was wrapping up his time in the Texas Evening MBA Program—had gotten off to a strong start under the guidance of Rob Adams.
What Did You Learn From Steve Jobs?
Huffington Post Small Business online
We asked some of his (Steve Jobs) fellow entrepreneurs -- our Board of Directors -- to share what they learned from this true icon.
What Is the Biggest Challenge Facing Small Businesses Right Now?
Huffington Post Small Business online
So who better to ask about the state of small business today? It ain't pretty, but as usual, entrepreneurs always see some opportunity amid the chaos.
Rob Adams Wants You to Make 100 Phone Calls Before Launching Your New Business
ID University: Brands, Markets & Innovation online
In his latest article, Adams talks about 100 Phone Calls, a principle I’ve heard him address multiple times in conference sessions and private discussions.
Market Research on the Cheap
Bloomberg Businessweek online
Your first step before introducing a new product or launching a business should be to interview your potential customers the same way you plan to sell to them, according to Rob Adams.
Event Appearances (4)
Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
Global Venture Labs Investment Competition AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
Running a Successful Business Plan Competition
AACSB Annual Conference Conference
Thriving in These Times - News From the Front Lines
Keynote - Inc. 500 Business Conference Palm Springs, California
Publication number 3284101.