Rob Adams - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin , TX, US

Rob Adams Rob Adams

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)

Entrepreneurship Public Offerings Mergers & Acquisitions Early Stage Management Business Innovation Startup Fundraising and Growth New Venture Competition Student Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Sales and Marketing


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 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).



Rob Adams Publication Rob Adams Publication Rob Adams Publication


Education (3)

Capella University : PhD, Management

Babson College - Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business: MBA, Business and Entrepreneurship

Purdue University: BS, Industrial Engineering

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Seller Beware

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Articles (1)

Reducing Product Failure Rates: A New Perspective UMI Publications


Publication number 3284101.

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