Robert J. Adams Jr.

Robert J. Adams Jr., Ph.D.

Rob Adams is an active investor, author, consultant, and on the faculty of the Management Department at the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, where he teaches in the MBA program and is the Director of the Global Moot Corp Program.

Dr. Adams is an active angel investor and board member for several start-ups, and is affiliated with numerous venture funds, several of which he started. Prior to the venture business, he was a software operating executive for two decades. Throughout his venture and operating careers he has been a founder, founding investor or involved with the public offering, merger or acquisition of more than 40 companies, representing the launching of more than 100 products, and transactions totaling more than one billion dollars of capital.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas, Adams founded Tejas Venture Partners, the second venture fund he has started. Previously he was the founder of AV Labs, a successful early stage venture fund allied with Austin Ventures, starting it after being a partner with TL Ventures. Before entering the venture business, he was a technology executive. He started his career with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), joining the company shortly after its public offering. Adams was instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes. He went on to be founder and CEO of Business Matters, a venture backed developer of financial modeling products and was an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW), a company he helped take public.

Adams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus, a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College's Olin School of Management, and a Ph.D. in Management from Capella University. He has taught at the MBA programs of The Acton School of Business, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin, and St. Edwards University.

He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, company and product strategy, marketing and technology issues. He recently keynoted the Inc. 500 business conference and consults for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He provides expert testimony on technology related business issues, and has consulted on economic development and early stage company development for numerous governments including Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand. He blogs for and has been covered in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, on Bloomberg Radio, Public Television, and public radio's nationally syndicated "Marketplace" program.

He is the author of A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (Random House/Crown, 2002), and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (Wiley, April 2010).

Adams is a Fellow at the IC2 Institute; a University of Texas based foundation that runs the Austin Technology Incubator, on the board of Purdue Research Park, and a volunteer with Austin's Habitat for Humanity. He is an avid downhill skier and marathoner. He was a collegiate rower and graduated from the Marine Corps' Officer Candidate School.

Mike Hofman

Mike Hofman, Executive Editor, Inc. Magazine

Mike Hoffman joined Inc. Magazine, in 1996. At Inc., he edits articles on a variety of topics, from the economics of immigration to religion in the workplace. He has written more than 20 feature stories and frequently represents Inc. in the media, commenting on published articles and business news. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for the prestigious Webby Award for best business blog. From 2002 through 2004, Hofman was named one of the 30 most influential financial journalists under the age of 30 by TJFR, an industry trade publication. In 2004, he was also awarded the first-ever Publisher's Award for outstanding contribution to Inc. magazine.

Bob LaPointe

Bob LaPointe, President, Inc.

Bob LaPointe has been associated with Inc. Magazine for almost 20 years. He recently returned to the company as President, guiding strategy and growth. He spent the previous seven years at his own custom media company, Trendline Communications. Previous to Trendline, he served as President of and managed the Inc Business Resource Division for 10 years.