In This Issue

Featured Article

2011 Leadership Luncheon in Review

Business Leadership Buliding recevies LEED Gold Certification

Interview with Robert Dobrient

UNT Wins USASBE Best Doctoral Paper Award

Denton Ventures

Federal Government gets involved with Entrepreneurship

Developing the Mindset

Dorm life to
High Life

Interview with Robert Dobrient 

UNT Alumnus and successful entrepreneur

Upcoming Events



6 - College Entrepreneurs and Money Workshop 


12 - Traits of amazing entrepreneurs workshop  


15-  IDEA Competition


2- Networking Event



7- 2012 Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 


For more information about each event, visit the Murphy Center Website..

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Help Build the Murphy Center

Spring 2012 Edition

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive on campus at the University of North Texas. In this inaugural issue of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) newsletter, "Mindset", we are proud to highlight several events, initiatives and programs that make UNT a dynamic and fertile environment for entrepreneurial pursuits.  


It is my privilege to introduce you to some of the people who contribute to MCE activities, and make it possible for us to assist students in pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary of the MCE luncheon and were proud to have Jeb Bush as our keynote speaker. A first this year was awarding our lifetime achievement in Entrepreneurship winner, Craig Hall, the "Mean Green Jacket", a designation that we plan to continue in coming years.  


As in past years, the winners of the New Venture Creation Contest were announced as well as 11 MCE scholarships. These scholarships are made possible by sponsors of the MCE luncheon. The MCE luncheon is one of the largest events UNT puts on each year with over 600 of North Texas business leaders and entrepreneurs in attendance. The MCE also offers programs to the Denton Community (North Texas) including our Entrepreneurs Boot Camp. Now preparing for our third summer session we have helped 20 students and community members develop their business plans resulting in a wide range of successful businesses in the North Texas area. 


As we expand our programs and support for entrepreneurs throughout North Texas, we encourage all of our readers to engage with us in our effort to establish UNT as the "Go To" university for entrepreneurship in Texas.




Tony Mendes, Ph.D. MBA  

Director, The Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship
University of North Texas 

2011 Leadership Luncheon in Review

Building upon a decade of success and excellence, the MCE celebrated its 10-year anniversary on November 18, 2011 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Over 600 North Texas business leaders and entrepreneurs were in attendance as they honored Craig Hall, author, civic leader, and philanthropist. The luncheon was further enriched as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush expounded upon the importance of entrepreneurial capitalism, and the right for businesses "to rise". The luncheon provided the opportunity "to rise" as three student ventures received significant start-up capital towards their business plans. With increasing talent, the MCE amplifies dedication and resources towards new ventures, and would not be able to do so without the continued support of generous donors and alumni. The luncheon was a great success and an example of the foundation the MCE has laid for the years to come.  


For the full story please visit our website

New Building, New Abilities


The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Business Leadership Building at the University of North Texas Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.


"Gold LEED certification represents a crowning achievement for a truly cutting-edge business building design.  I am particularly pleased that the new building furthers UNT's commitment to sustainability," said College of Business Dean Finley Graves.


The Business Leadership Building has become the third LEED certified building on the UNT campus. In 2011, the UNT Life Sciences Complex received Gold-level certification and UNT's Apogee Stadium became the first Platinum-level certified new construction collegiate stadium in the U.S.


"The University of North Texas System, in a collaborative effort with UNT, continues to construct high-quality, sustainable buildings that provide an excellent learning environment for our students. Receiving this award validates our accomplishments," said Raynard O. Kearbey, associate vice chancellor for UNT System Facilities.


The 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in Fall 2011, features numerous environmentally friendly components including:

  • Recycling stations
  • Water-efficient plumbing features
  • Electricity generated in part by wind power provided by the city of Denton
  • A sustainable water management and irrigation system
  • Landscaping featuring native plants requiring less water and maintenance

Read more about the Gold LEED Certification here.


Interview with Robert Dobrient 85'


Robert Dobrient is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Savoya, an industry-leading provider of ground transportation serving 60 countries.  Savoya Holdings, the parent company of Savoya, also includes Clearlight Funding, a small business lending concern, and Savoya Local, a destination management company serving 24 cities in the US, UK, and Mexico. He brings 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and manager, including an extensive merger and acquisition history.   

Dobrient was a four-year letterman in soccer at NTSU (now UNT) from 1979-1982, and captained the 1982 team to its first ever NCAA championships. Dobrient received a BBA from NTSU in 1985.  

1. When and why did you get started? What was your first business?

 To read more click here.


UNT Wins Best Doctoral Paper Award of 2012



Ph.D. student, Phil Davis, along with co-author Dr. Whitney Peake were awarded the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Best Doctoral Paper Award. The paper explored whether emotional intelligence and political skill impact students' entrepreneurial intentions, and found results indicating that political skill does have an influence, especially for those students who exhibit neutral to high levels of political skill. This is one of the first papers in entrepreneurship to explore political skill as an antecedent to students' intent to start a business venture.


To read the research click here. 


Denton Ventures


The MCE has partnered with the Mayborne School of Journalism to bring Denton Ventures to the public. Denton Ventures is a show dedicated to highlighting local entrepreneurs through comprehensive interviews by Tony Mendes, Director of the MCE, and Nann Goplerud Interim Chair of the eight time Pulitzer prize winning Maybourne School of Journalism. Denton Ventures provides sound examples of individuals that have found their niche and created a market for their product or service. The beauty of the program is how open and honest the individuals are in expressing their successes and their pit-falls as they have grown their businesses. With in-depth questioning, Mendes and Goplerud bridge the gap between concepts and realities and bring to life the myriad of ways entrepreneurship occurs. Denton Ventures is a show that highlights real people, doing extraordinary things; living their dream and doing it as their own boss. See Denton Ventures at 9:30 am and pm on the local access channel. Look to our website as new episodes appear.  


The Startup Act


On the morning of December 9, 2011 U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at jumpstarting the economy. The focus is on the creation and growth of new businesses. Read here to see the five point approach that will be implemented.  


The Mindset Editor's Corner

by Brian Stewart

Entrepreneurship is about resilience. So many times ideas are pushed aside, strategic players are lost, or opportunities are missed. Regardless of the current state, the true entrepreneur knows that they can innovate and adapt to their new surroundings.

As the late Steve Jobs said, "you can't ask customers what they want and then give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." Entrepreneurs understand that innovation requires a mindset that is not adverse to risk. With a design to champion their field, they seek those that have experience beyond their own; wisdom and direction as they push forward with resilience and enthusiasm. They rely upon others to see their blind spots and point out areas where their strengths can be most effective.

To be an entrepreneur is to be process oriented. Peter Drucker stated that "entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice." It is the process by which sustainable change and innovation occurs. Sustainable change and innovation occur as the entrepreneur is not only flexible with the ebb and flow of business, political systems and societal needs, but able to predict the direction and capitalize on the opportunity. Entrepreneurs comprehend that there is no perfect answer but many correct methods that will create the desired result. The entrepreneur learns the greatest mentor is the action of doing and learning from your mistakes. Are you adaptable, flexible, and resilient? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Let us know at