Faculty Associate and Coordinator of Entrepreneurship Program
As a business professor Bret developed courses and launched the technology commercialization, managing growth, and entrepreneurship concentrations at the University of Maine and the University of Vermont. At Green Mountain College, Bret taught M.B.A. courses focused on sustainability in the areas of marketing, operations, and strategy. In over twenty years of teaching experience he has also taught marketing and sales, market research, consumer behavior, quality assurance, and operations management courses.
Bret is the founder and past president of the Vermont Biosciences Alliance, a non-profit technology business development organization. He was the founder of the Family Business Initiative at UVM and serves on several business and non-profit boards, including the Maine Investment Exchange and the Vermont Investor Forum, not-for profits that brought investors together with growing entrepreneurial businesses in need of investment funding. Bret is also a director on the board of Cochran’s Ski Area, the first (intentionally) non-profit ski area in the country. The goal is to provide skiing and ski racing opportunities to kids from families with modest income levels.
Bret is currently writing a book on leading and managing through the challenges of rapid growth in smaller, entrepreneurial companies, which will be published by Praeger Publishing.
The time for entrepreneurial dreaming is over! The successful launch of new ventures is now the focus. Students will develop real-world launch plans for their own new ventures to achieve market success plus develop plans for internal processes and systems to cope effectively with the challenges of rapid business growth. Examples include: Selling it: pricing strategies plus marketing approaches for consistent, creative promotional activities. Getting the right people in the right seats: finding, hiring and motivating the best people you need to support success. Getting it right the first time, every time: quality management to deliver consistent value to customers. Other topics include: Proactive risk management - how to reduce and cope with business uncertainty, risks and change? Effective supplier relations strategies for business relationships with vendors who will support your venture's success. Students are expected to begin the course with a clear idea for a new venture. Prerequisite: Prior successful completion of an entrepreneurship course plus instructor permission.
Most people think entrepreneurship means launching a new business from scratch. But there are effective alternatives to that approach for introducing innovations in both for-profit and not-for-profit ventures. Just two examples include strategic partnerships and licensing of innovations to established organizations. This course explores different strategies for introducing innovations through for-profit and not-for-profit ventures based on developing effective, real world business models. The course begins with approaches for assessing the value of new innovations from the perspectives of customers, competitive forces and the overall market environment. It covers topics including business models for sustained success, protecting intellectual property and developing effective strategies for launching and growing new ventures. The major project is to carefully analyze the real-world market potential and develop a sustainable business model for an innovative product or service idea plus to develop effective strategies for launching the venture.