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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


Entrepreneurship, venture capital, product strategy, and early stage management


Areas of Expertise (10)


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 senior lecturer of management at the McCombs School of Business. He 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 founded Texas Venture Labs, Tejas Venture Partners, and 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).





Rob Adams - New Venture Creation


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)

Whole Foods Suppliers' Speculation on Possible Amazon Deal Runs Wild

Inc.  online


Rob Adams, who teaches entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin, is sanguine that suppliers won't feel much pain. "A lot can come off of Whole Foods' profit margin, or it can come out of Amazon's operational efficiency before they start reducing prices to the vendor," he says. "Amazon's costs of delivery are the lowest in the industry. If they apply that to Whole Foods, they can bring down prices without necessarily lowering what the vendors get."

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Experts: Whole Foods-Amazon Deal Has Positive, Negatives for Austin

Statesman  online


The deal “will give Amazon an even bigger presence here and push Whole Foods to be more of a technology company,” said Rob Adams, director of University of Texas’ Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs and a UT senior lecturer.

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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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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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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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The city Amazon picks for its second headquarters will change forever

CNN  online


"The smaller the town, the bigger the impact. In a city like New York with over 8 million people, the impact won't be as dramatic as a Danbury, Connecticut, as an example," said Rob Adams, director of Texas Venture Labs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Articles (1)

Reducing Product Failure Rates: A New Perspective UMI Publications


Publication number 3284101.

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