Dr. Rob Adams is an internationally recognized expert on innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship. He speaks frequently on his pioneering work on Market Validation and has keynoted the Inc. 500 Business Conference and numerous international venture conferences. Dr. Adams also consults for multiple global Fortune 500 companies.
Dr. Adams is the founder and director of Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs at the University of Texas at Austin, an award-winning campus-wide initiative to accelerate startups in taking their innovations to market. He runs the lauded biannual Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition, as well as teaches courses on entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization, and strategic management in the MBA and MSTC programs.
Dr. Adams is the author of multiple books on entrepreneurship, including A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity, and is co-author of New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century. His work has been covered in a range of publications, such as Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Inc, American Express OPEN Forum, Bloomberg Radio, Public Television and NPR’s nationally syndicated Marketplace program.
Dr. Adams is an active angel investor, has served on numerous corporate boards, and has founded or financed over forty companies during his career. These companies have launched more than one hundred products and raised significant amounts of capital in both the private and public markets. Dr. Adams provides expert testimony on technology-related business issues and has consulted on economic development for governments including Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. In the United States, he has advised both the White House and the Department of Commerce.
Dr. Adams is a Fellow at the IC2 Institute, a University of Texas based foundation that runs the Austin Technology Incubator, and has held visiting professor positions at the University of Auckland, Thammasat University, and the University of Manitoba. He is also an avid downhill skier, former collegiate rower, and divides his time between Austin, Texas and Taos, New Mexico.
Prior to his appointment at The University of Texas, Dr. Adams was a prominent presence in the venture capital industry, ultimately founding AV Labs, an early stage venture fund affiliated with Austin Ventures. Dr. Adams founded and was CEO of Business Matters, a venture-backed developer of financial modeling products that was later acquired. He was also an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW), a company which he helped take public. Dr. Adams started his career with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), where he was instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes.
Dr. Adams holds a Ph.D. in Management from Capella University; a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College's Olin School of Management; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, where he received their Outstanding Engineer Award. He has taught in the MBA programs of the University of Texas at Austin, Acton School of Business, Babson College, and has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards.