Hopeful entrepreneurs learn from pros in UNT boot camp

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 18:41

DENTON (UNT), Texas – In a competitive job market, entrepreneurial skills can give people an edge – whether they want to start a new business or stand out in a job search.

UNT students will get that edge in an intense five-week Entrepreneurs Boot Camp offered this summer by the UNT Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship. Budding entrepreneurs will get the fundamental skills they need to grow and start a new business. 

“Many people are considering self-employment and creating their own jobs,” said Tony Mendes, director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship. “Being an entrepreneur carries a certain amount of mystique. It conveys creativity, innovation and forward thinking, and employers are interested in that.”

Media: Get interviews, photos and video at the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp from 6 to 10 p.m. every Thursday from June 6 through June 27 and on July 2 (Tuesday). Students will present their final business plans to advisors and potential investors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 13 (Saturday).

This marks the fourth year of the camp, which has been open to the community in the past. For the first time this year, due to high demand and limited space, the camp is offered only to UNT students.

“The last two years we have had to turn people away because so many people sign up for it,” Mendes said. “We certainly don’t want to turn UNT students away from an opportunity to start a business. We hope to be able to offer more boot camps to the community as we get more resources at the Murphy Center.”

About 10 UNT students of varying majors are expected to participate in the camp, where they will hear from investors, bankers, accountants and lawyers. Graduate students in an entrepreneurship course will team up with boot camp participants to create business plans — a bonus that makes this boot camp unusual from others, Mendes said.

The knowledge they gained in the boot camp can be valuable – even if they decide not to pursue a company, Mendes said. 

“The boot camp is a very intense five-week focus on the feasibility of starting a particular business, and in some situations, the numbers just don’t work,” Mendes said. “We believe it’s better to pull the plug rather than investing family, friends, money and other resources into something that doesn’t have a good chance of making it.”

Other boot camp graduates have created businesses or won awards in UNT’s New Venture Creation Contest, he said.

“We are really very fortunate to have outstanding members of our community who are professionals that volunteer to lecture in the boot camp,” Mendes said. “It’s a tremendous resource for our students here.”

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