We are all stronger when we’re all stronger. That’s the motto of Trinity’s latest Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Matt Glazer ’04. As the EIR, Glazer serves the students in Trinity’s entrepreneurship program by coaching student ventures, instructing entrepreneurship courses, and advising Stumberg Venture Competition participants.
The Entrepreneur in Residence position is one of many ways that the entrepreneurship program offers real-world experiences to its students. Every year, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship brings in an alum who has succeeded in the entrepreneurial world and can offer students applicable, first-hand experiences and help students shape their ideas as they construct their ventures.
Glazer is a Texas native who has successfully launched four companies, but while he has been known for his work as an operations and community engagement expert, he has also been working to pursue opportunities and open doors as a mentor and educator.
For Glazer, giving back and mentoring younger entrepreneurs has been a passion project close to his heart. As the former executive director for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce and founding executive director of Progress Texas, Glazer brings to his courses a fresh perspective in consulting and a wide variety of guest speakers to help students get a feel for different facets of entrepreneurship.
“At business school, I got my MSTC degree, which is a Masters of Science Technology Commercialization, in 2019. And it was entirely so I could teach. I don't have a desire to do entrepreneurial work or commercialization at this point. I wanted to get the degree to level my skills just to make it easier for me to have this current career,” Glazer says.
Glazer’s impressive resume also includes being the senior consultant at a nonprofit called Mission Capital, a capacity builder in Central Texas that focuses on supporting the nonprofit and social impact community. He is also a co-founder and owner of a boutique operations consulting firm called Blue Sky partners, which he co-founded around five years ago and now serves as its managing director. In January, he launched a civic tech piece called Capital Intelligence, which serves to bring transparency and information to people who are advocating legislation.
No matter what exciting new venture he takes on, the common themes in Glazer’s work are his passion and dedication for whatever he’s doing. According to him, the rewards of his work as a professional consultant and student mentor are well worth the effort it takes to balance building a syllabus and grading papers with managing Capital Intelligence and his growing consulting practice. For Glazer, being able to be part of the process as students create and prepare to pitch their ventures has been more than enough to make him fall in love with the entrepreneurship program, its team, and the work it's producing.
In helping guide the entrepreneurship students at Trinity, Glazer tries to emphasize the importance of networking and building social capital. “Building those connections and building that network, especially at a younger age, pays dividends later on,” Glazer says. “And so, if I can introduce people to funders, whether or potential partners or specialists in their field, now, even if a student doesn't ever formally start a company or business, maybe I can make their life just a little bit easier as they start their career and their journey. And hopefully, they'll pay that forward a little bit.”
To anyone interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, his two universal pieces of advice are to make sure you don’t go it alone and to do whatever is most exciting to you. “Everything has value,” Glazer says. “Don't fall into what you think other people want you to do. Don't fall into the trap of watching social networks and thinking you'd have to do the next big app. If you're excited by developing the next awesome home and gardening shop, do that. If you want to open a coffee shop, do that. If you want to have the next big book delivery or audio subscription of some sort, cool, do it. Don't worry about trying to fit into some entrepreneurial mold. Everything is exactly what you should do if it’s what you're passionate about.”