Since 2002, the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship has been helping budding capitalists pursue their entrepreneurial dreams through its New Venture Creation Contest, which rewards students and alumni who create innovative business plans with seed money for their startups.
Among the standout winners are Yianni Arestis (’08, ’11 M.B.A.) and Bobby Mullins (’07), who have come a long way from brewing beer in their kitchens as college students, thanks to the competition. In 2010, the two won third place and $10,000 to put toward opening Denton’s first brewery, Armadillo Ale Works.
“My classes at UNT prepared me, and I learned a lot from my professors who own businesses,” says Arestis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and a master’s degree in management. “Being at UNT was a good, healthy environment.”
The business, which will start off offering unique ales and soda pop, is expected to open later this year, says Mullins, a radio/television/film major.
The two UNT alumni join other students who have used the center’s business plan competition to jumpstart their business ideas. The center also offers academic programs and annually brings high-profile entrepreneurs to speak at a leadership luncheon, where outstanding entrepreneurs are recognized with the Murphy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship. Past award recipients include H. Ross Perot and Herb Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines.