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.
Entrepreneurial dreams to action! Launching and leading new ventures is the focus now. Students develop real-world launch plans for their own new ventures to achieve market success plus the internal leadership and processes to cope effectively with the challenges of rapid new venture growth. Examples include: Developing marketing messages and effective pricing strategies. Leadership and learning how to "conduct the orchestra" - instead of trying to play every instrument yourself. Getting the right people in the right seats: finding, hiring and motivating the best people you need to support success. Other topics include: Managing and motivating new employees. Where to find the funding you need to grow your venture. How to reduce and cope with the uncertainty, risks and change of leading new ventures. Students are expected to begin the course with a clear idea for a new venture. (keywords: entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing)
Entrepreneurial Market Strategies explores different strategic models for introducing innovations through for-profit and not-for-profit ventures based on developing effective, real world marketing models. Important real-world techniques used by entrepreneurs for evaluating and introducing new product and service ideas are covered. Topics include: Market research techniques to investigate the value of new innovations from the perspectives of customers, competitive forces and the overall market environment. Pricing strategies for sustained growth and success. Business models for launching and growing new ventures. Market strategies for entering new markets with innovative products or services. The major course project is to carefully analyze the market potential of a new venture. This market analysis is based on significant external market research with potential customers and outside experts. The goal is to develop a sustainable marketing model for an innovative product or service idea. Students will then develop effective strategies for launching the venture. Prerequisite: At least one prior course in entrepreneurship or significant entrepreneurial experience. This course is for Div. II/III students.