Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rick Winters Talks about His Startup and Business Experience

Where are you from originally?

I was born in NE Kansas. I was a Farm boy before I moved to San Antonio when I started high school.

What university did you go to?

I went to UT where I received a BS-ASE and MBA.

What brought you to Austin?

UT and the Austin environment/lifestyle brought me here.

What is your passion and strength?

The challenge of taking a company from an idea to a viable commercial company and all of the stages, steps and resistances encountered along the way. I am a generalist by nature with a strong curiosity to learn new things and apply that broad knowledge and experience to solving the problems of growth and change. My specific skills are in finance/accounting, management information systems and manufacturing operations/ lean manufacturing.

What need does it fulfill?

I find statisfaction in achievement and the pride of being associated with an exciting product or service.

What exactly do you bring to startups?

Broad experience in multiple industries. In both high growth as well as turnaround/change environments. My total systems orientation lets me see the big picture of a company’s markets, management, operations and financial stability and put strategies and tactics in place to address the issues.

What type of startup would benefit from your strengths?

Ones that complement or relate to real estate, manufacturing (electronic and aerospace), and oil & gas.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?

Clearly and succinctly identifying the value proposition and getting a team identified and committed that has the demonstrated skills and expertise to help ensure success. With those elements in place it is easier to get and receive help and to show investors your path to success.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up, keep refining and honing your idea, build your team, get all the help you can from as many sources as you can. There are many groups in Austin and on the internet to research.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

I don’t have one best. There are many networking and entrepreneurial organizations in Austin. There is one for almost any type of company and stage of development from idea to seed round funding to B round, etc. The more networking one does the better the focus becomes on what groups or individuals can be most beneficial to their specific needs.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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