Mentor of the Week: Jeremy Vickers
Dean of the College of Professional Studies | Dallas Baptist University Executive Director | The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UTDallas (previously)
His students are now raising money on SPURstartup to bring their dreams to life, here.
Prior to UTD, Jeremy was at the Dallas Regional Chamber from 2011 to 2015 as the Vice President of Innovation where he led strategy and program implementation to support building the North Texas innovation ecosystem.His efforts were to support university research growth, technology commercialization, startup resource support, and startup capital access. Specifically, he was involved in the launch of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center as a Co-Founder, the Texas Research Alliance, and InnovateDFW, which is now a part of LaunchDFW.com.
Advice for 1st time entrepreneurs:
"Execute! Don’t get caught up in the minutia and don’t day dream about what kind of CEO you’ll be once you’ve hit the $100M mark in revenue. Build something, get it in front of customers, and then make it better. Entrepreneurship is 90% figuring it out and 10% knowledge/experience."
Advice for bring a great mentee:
"Be prepared when you meet with a mentor. Remember that your objective is to leverage the mentors knowledge, skills, and network. A good mentor should be able save you 40 hours of work with 1 hour of robust dialogue. Research the mentor, understand their skills, and ask for specific advice or introductions. Don’t forget to follow up with mentors afterwards and let them know that you’ve done what they’ve asked. It will motivate them to stay engaged."
Why do you like being involved with student entrepreneurship:
"I am passionate about the stage of entrepreneurship between idea and launch. There are so many opportunities to screw up. Students often don’t know what they don’t know and I love coming to support them in this phase. I believe there is no better time than to try to start a company than when you are a student. It is the perfect environment to try and fail. I firmly believe that failing as a student is far better than failing when you are in your forties and are risking a mortgage and a marriage."
How has working with SPUR helped your teams:
"It is been exciting for our entrepreneurship program to pilot campaigns with SPUR. We have seven teams that are all trying to launch businesses this semester. The SPUR program enables them to engage prospective customers, users, and partners while generating small sums of capital that they can use to build prototypes and begin marketing."