In order to succeed, student entrepreneurs should take chances on certain investments even when money is lost, venture capitalist Scott Kupor said Tuesday morning during an on-campus Fireside Chat.
Kupor spoke to dozens of people about what he thinks leads to a successful business and a good investment in the Robert B. Rowling Hall on Tuesday. Genesis, UT’s fund for student entrepreneurs, and the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the talk.
“The basic way to think about the venture business is that we are wrong more often than we are right,” Kupor said. “The difference between success and failure in this business is not based upon your actual raw score, but it is based upon the magnitude of your winners.”
After pursuing law and entering a business, Kupor said he ended up at a venture capital firm, which has investments in companies such as Buzzfeed and Airbnb. He also said his book, “Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It,” investigates the close relationship between entrepenuers andventure capitalists.
“At the end of the day, we both share the same kind of objective,” Kupor said. “There is an opportunity to build really interesting, long-lasting companies.”
Computer science freshman Aidan Dunlap said he read Kupor’s book and came to hear Kupor speak after he heard he was visiting campus.
“I am really interested in entrepreneurship,” Dunlap said. “(Kupor) is someone who is really on the frontier of technology … so it is interesting to hear him speak.”
Nick Spiller, Genesis’s director of marketing and events, also spoke at the event about the organization’s work. Genesis is a joint interest between students and alumni where student investors receive guidance and financial assistance with their business ventures.
“The purpose of Genesis … is to unlock the full potential of UT students,” Spiller said. “We believe it has been proven as a very efficient way for us to experiment and test our ideas.”
Kupor said there is a lack of diversity in the field of entrepreneurship. He said venture capitalism’s role in society is to increase inclusion and invest in
companies that are beneficial to societies.
“Diversity in the industry is (poor) no matter what number you look at, and that’s true of female representation (and) of African Americans and Latinas,”