UNT entrepreneurship and venture specialists offer mentoring sessions every Wednesday in Frisco for entrepreneurs and startup companies in the North Texas region. Mentoring is available from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. every Wednesday at Inspire Park.
For more information about mentoring and to schedule an appointment, contact Kaytie Logan at UNT’s Inspire Park, 972-668-7101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspire Frisco’s Mentoring services (IF Mentor), are designed to help entrepreneurs grow their ideas into companies and companies into successful industrial leaders. Critical to success for scalable technology-based startup success is access to mentors and others who can help guide entrepreneurs to find the right way to solve all of the problems associated with delivering their company idea to market. IF Mentor pairs successful local business people with entrepreneurs to help them succeed at all levels for ideation through funding. We start the mentoring by having our UNT team meet the entrepreneur and go over their idea, business canvas, pitch and other data. Then we work with him/her to develop the types of help he/she needs for this stage of the company and that meets his/her needs to grow and succeed for the next stage of the company life cycle.
This stage of mentoring looks at the very idea that the company is built around. What problem exists that this is targeting to fix? Why fix it? How is that being served now? How does the single idea blossom into a business or is it just a one-solution offering that might be better served to license to another company or companies for them to sell? This high level questioning deals with the fundamental ideas and values; not the features.
Building a scalable company requires funding. Being ready for funding requires hard work. We help companies understand the funding processes and stages they have to go through along with how to be ready to raise capital.
Accounting, marketing, human resources, logistics, etc. are critical functions for a company to sell, get paid and stay in business. However, they are not the fun functions one thinks of when starting a business. They are the hard jobs we all cut our teeth on or do today. It takes all skills and business functions to succeed. Even if the company is all tech or all focused on one type of tech, all businesses need the entire suite of skillsets within the company. We help the entrepreneur learn how to address these needs as the company grows.
Ideas are great, but companies are not just ideas. Companies need to sell services and products. We help the team understand how to focus on developing a minimum viable product (MVP) and how to differentiate between all of the features someone wants to add, versus what is actually needed to launch and get the first customers.
The most common weakness in entrepreneurs with an idea is pitching. Everyone needs help in being better, at closing deals, at understanding how to read an audience and deliver the pitch that allows for action. Our team works with the entrepreneurs on the pitch deck and the presentation skills to practice, practice and practice.
Meet the Mentors
Jon McCarry worked in private equity for more than 15 years. Currently, he is senior director of UNT’s Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to his current role, McCarry advised a number of institutional investors and funds throughout the Asia Pacific region. He worked as a senior group internal auditor at Nestlé, previously managed a venture capital portfolio in a Hong Kong UHNW family office and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has held board memberships and served in various committees, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute. McCarry earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at UNT and an M.B.A. from Vlerick Management School in Belgium, and he completed the Oxford University – Peking University joint Private Equity Programme in China.
Michael Rondelli is UNT associate vice president for innovation and commercialization, having previously directed licensing and commercialization at the University of Southern California’s Stevens Center for Innovation and led technology transfer and commercialization efforts at San Diego State University. Prior to his work for universities, Rondelli worked as a venture capitalist and banking analyst. He earned a law degree from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Washington University in St. Louis.
Steven Tudor handles the lifecycle of UNT-owned intellectual property. This includes IP disclosures, patent filings, contracts and licensing. He also enjoys talking with students and faculty about IP and collaborating with industry partners on research projects. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in biomedical science, Tudor worked for eight years at the Noble Research Institute. He then went to the Texas A&M School of Law, where he studied advanced topics in intellectual property and contract law, including as a member of the Patent Clinic. Prior to joining UNT’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization, he spent over three years within the UT System (including UT Southwestern and UT Arlington) working on research agreements and IP matters in their respective tech transfer offices.