I have gotten so busy with my startups that I have cut back on my popular class in entrepreneurial thinking and entrepreneurship, described below (also see testimonials at the bottom of this note). I offered it once in 2014 and once in 2015. There is an early-bird discount if you sign up by Monday, April 25. Read all about it here! Please forward this to your friends and anyone you think might benefit. I hope to see you in class.
The entire course is $599 for 8 weeks, but discounted to $499 for early enrollment by April 25!
Individual classes can also be purchased for $149, $99 if you enroll by April 25, except for the last class which is only open to those enrolled in the full course.
In the large meeting room at the beautiful and excellent Cafe Blue on the west side of the Bee Cave town plaza/amphitheater in the Hill Country Galleria Shopping Center, where Highway 71 and Bee Caves Road meet. This location is handy to Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Westlake Hills, Dripping Springs, and Oak Hill!
The class will be every Monday night from 6 to 9 PM, from May 2 through June 27, skipping Memorial Day (May 30). Classes are audio recorded and available online in case you miss any.
Who the Course is For:
Hundreds have taken and raved about serial entrepreneur and global teacher Gary Hoover’s Art of Enterprise course, which has been called “the liberal arts approach to business.” In this special 8-week edition, Gary will cover the most important aspects of thinking like an entrepreneur and understanding business and the economy. Be prepared to gain significant insights from Gary’s 53 years of studying big business and 34 years of starting new ventures (he recently founded his 6th startup, The Spark).
His many satisfied customers include successful entrepreneurs and MBAs seeking a broader understanding of the world around them, dreamers thinking about starting a new venture, non-profit and religious leaders, investors, inventors, and technologists and engineers desiring a short, intense introduction to business and entrepreneurship. The principles taught in the course apply to any size enterprise in any industry, including not-for-profit and social entrepreneurship. (See the testimonials at the end of this note.)
Everyone who takes this class will receive a PDF of Gary’s 300-page book, The Art of Enterprise, as well as other handouts and documents. All the classes are audio recorded, so if you have to miss class, you can download them off Dropbox. Free lifetime 24/7 email support.
All students are urged to read Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Course Schedule and Class Details
Monday, May 2, 6 to 9 PM
Introduction to Entrepreneurial Thinking.
What is entrepreneurship?
The role of entrepreneurship in the business, nonprofit, government, and other worlds.
What do entrepreneurs and those who think like them value most?
What is wisdom?
How do entrepreneurial thinkers learn?
What are the key characteristics of entrepreneurial thinkers?
Skepticism, risk, nonlinear thinking, the dualities, humanization, and other big ideas.
Monday May 9, 6 to 9 PM
The eight keys to building and leading successful enterprises. Curiosity, history, geography, clarity, consistency, service, uniqueness, passion.
How to come up with ideas. How to deal with too many or too few. How to choose the best ones. Seeing what others do not.
(Chapters 1 through 8 and Chapter 29 of Gary’s book The Art of Enterprise; you will be given a free PDF upon enrollment).
Monday, May 16, 6 to 9 PM
My life as an entrepreneur. Details on BOOKSTOP, Hoover’s, TravelFest, RoadStoryUSA, Bigwig Games, and The Spark. A frank look at teams, investors, growth, financing methods for the $30 million Gary has raised, getting fired, VCs, failure, coping or not, dilution, business structure, and all that….
Monday, May 23, 6 to 9 PM
The Big Picture. Gary created the company that became Hoover’s, Inc. because he discovered most business people know very little about business, about their economic context, about how big companies think and work, and about how to evaluate companies as partners, suppliers, or customers. This session will move you way ahead of your peers and competitors in all these regards. As students have said, “It is like someone pulled open the curtain.” (PDF provided at the time you enroll.)
(Skip Monday, May 30, Memorial Day)
Monday, June 6, 6 to 9 PM
The Numbers Made Simple. Many business people do not really understand the most important principles of financial statements. Come out of this class with a core understanding – from a leader’s viewpoint – of the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet, how they interact, and what they mean to running the business and making decisions. (PDF provided at enrollment.)
Monday, June 13, 6 to 9 PM
Learning Through Observation. One of the most important ways entrepreneurs come up with breakthrough innovations is through intense, quantitative, feedback-loop observation. This critical skill is rarely taught in the classroom – in fact, you can’t observe too much in the classroom. This is the only session which will be done in the field, not at Café Blue. Many students tell us that they never see the world the same after this very popular session.
Monday, June 20, 6 to 9 PM
How to Become an Expert in any Company or Industry. Most business people do not know where to begin on “business intelligence.” Gary began subscribing to Fortune Magazine 53 years ago, at the age of 12, and has devoted his life to understanding a wide array of industries. In this session, which has also been given at the University of Texas School of Information, learn how to become an industry expert yourself!
Monday, June 27, 6 to 9 PM
Your Ideas. You are invited to bring one or more business ideas to class, give a short presentation on your ideas, and gather feedback from Gary and your fellow classmates. (Free consulting!)
Testimonials: What People Say about Gary Hoover and this Course
It was my honor to having you as my teacher and mentor. You won’t believe how much your class changed my thinking process as a business owner. It was almost 15 years since I have taken any classes after my masters. I have always hesitated to take any class because of my busy life. I had no idea that your class would inspire me so much. – Ashif Mahmud, President/CEO ict Consultants Software Solutions
I have known Gary Hoover for over 20 years. With that background, I can tell you that Gary Hoover is one of the most amazing entrepreneurs and teachers I have ever encountered. He is literally a walking encyclopedia of business history and his story telling is incredible. He is the most prolific reader I have ever met and his ability to not only speed read but retain information is incredible. I consider Gary Hoover one of Austin’s most valuable assets and recommend him without reservation. Whether you are a lifetime learner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or an academic, you will find Gary Hoover as one of your truly great resources and your time spent with him among your most memorable. – Jim Nolen, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Finance, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
Gary is a truly inspiring speaker and teacher and I highly recommend any of his courses or talks (or even just chatting with him at lunch!) His unique experiences and his genuine, open nature create an ideal atmosphere for the flow of ideas and introspection. Taking his course on Entrepreneurship last fall was the penultimate push towards me finally starting my own business. – Elayne Crain, Entrepreneur
I have recently been going over your class and all the material you have provided and I have to say it is exceptional. Aside from your videos, your book “The Art of Enterprise” is by far one of the most thought provoking books I have read. It has taken me way longer to read than I had anticipated due to me stopping and thinking about every single page. It is great, easy to read, and contains useful information that you cannot find in other books. Thanks for including it along with your awesome class. – Mario Robles
Gary Hoover is a man of many, many talents, and I respect him dearly. He is really a genius level business thinker. You guys are super-lucky to have him as a teacher. I had a lot of great professors at Wharton and when I attended Wharton it was rated the #1 MBA program 6 years in a row. And none of them approached Gary’s level of knowledge about business history or entrepreneurship. – Brett A. Hurt, founder, Bazaarvoice, Inc. (founded in 2005, IPO in 2012), Hurt Family Investments.
I would highly recommend this entrepreneurship course for anyone toying with the idea of starting a business. Our class met once a week, and I would find myself so inspired and full of ideas during class that my energy would spill over well into the night. – Taylor Journey, University of Texas undergraduate
If you’re thinking about starting a business, I highly recommend taking Gary’s class. You will analyze business models and your business curiosity will be heightened. This will help you better interact with vendors and other stakeholders. Most importantly it’ll help you understand that although your idea may be unique, similar things have been done and you’ll find the places to go to learn why or why not they have succeeded. – Erine Gray, award-winning Social Entrepreneur, founder/CEO Aunt Bertha
I would like to thank you for inspiring me to look at life through the eyes of an entrepreneur. Your class was the most valuable and most enjoyable class I have ever taken. It truly changed my life. – Tyler Kling, University of Texas at Austin undergraduate student
I walked away from Gary’s classes each week feeling that I had been shown the other side of the curtain. Gary’s passion for both his subject, and for communicating it in a clear and engaging manor has led me to suggest that each student be given an AHA degree. Alumnus of the Hoover Academy is one obvious meaning. But in my, and many other cases from my class, we had an ‘Aha!’ moment. Something that either had not occurred to us, or that we had previously wrestled with needlessly, once Gary described it differently. I believe anyone thinking of starting a business would be well advised to add one of Gary’s classes to their curriculum. – Allan Clark, entrepreneur
As a businessman and a thinker, Gary Hoover is a true visionary. – Laurence J. Kirshbaum, former CEO, Time Warner Trade Publishing
I’ve been teaching at the McCombs School of Business since 1989. I have won every teaching award given by the students. Gary is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever known. He knows his subject cold and has a God given gift of being about to reach students in a way that is just awe inspiring. When you add his passion for teaching and helping people, he is priceless. – John Doggett, Harvard MBA, Yale JD, Senior Lecturer in Management, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
Gary Hoover is one of the smartest and most creative people I know. – Leonard L. Berry, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Texas A&M University
This is one of the finest teachers and courses I have taken – and I have taken a lot (BA, MPH, PhD, MBA) and I have taught at several universities. Gary Hoover is a fantastic person, instructor, and mentor. – Blair Carter, Educator and Entrepreneur
Gary brings to the table both an understanding of the applied aspects on entrepreneurship as well as the ability to teach and engage in intellectual activity around entrepreneurship. Because he has started companies, he has an understanding of the entrepreneurial process, from idea to market. Because of his love for scholarship and teaching, he understands how to integrate the practical and the intellectual. – John Sibley Butler, Professor of Sociology and Business, Director Emeritus of the IC2 Institute and the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Texas at Austin
If you have a corporate background you probably already know the value of a top analyst, especially one with personal original research with special knowledge in retail, and perhaps especially with the strength of history, looking toward the future. If you are a small business person then you know the value of hearing from a serial entrepreneur with enough moxie to be a professor. But what if you are from the the nonprofit or educational world? Will this course be useful to you? Yes. Innovation, serving people, finding data and using it usefully, understanding the future as well as the past, and charting a course for a mission with passion — all of this is your need that will be met in this course. This course can provide your jolt to next level thinking. – Sharon Sarles, Minister of the Gospel, bootstrap broadcaster, college instructor