Letter From the Executive Director: Made in Longhorn Nation

This is often how my life goes as the guy who runs the Texas Exes …

Me: “Dang, that’s good whiskey.” Friend: “You know the owner went to UT?”

Or … Me: “I need a new hat.” Friend: “There’s a Longhorn who just started a cool new hat company.”

And even … Me: “I need a website.” Friend: “So-and-so is a Longhorn and they have a hosting service. Supposed to be awesome.”

And on and on. You get the idea. There is a certain school in California—I won’t name names; rhymes with Landford—that has a reputation for being the place where great businesses are born. But after much anecdotal research and a gut instinct that hasn’t failed me yet, I can tell you that The University of Texas at Austin is under-appreciated when it comes to our entrepreneurial impact on the world. Our alma mater has always been an incubator for innovation and a powerful economic engine. And I bet if we added up the number of Longhorn founders, we would outnumber most schools—including Landford.

However, until recently, even though I knew this to be true, there wasn’t a central place to go looking for them. That’s been the premise of much of our work at the Texas Exes over the past three years: Alumni want to patronize Longhorns’ businesses, and we need to help them do it. Enter the Longhorn Business Network, a place where alumni can list their Longhorn owned and operated companies, extend special offers and benefits to Texas Exes, and promote what they have built.

Now that so many businesses have signed up, we are ready to take it up a notch. This next year we plan to hold the very first Longhorn 100 event at the Alumni Center. At this glittering, burnt-orange gala, we’ll honor the 100 fastest growing Longhorn businesses. And we will do this annually to showcase the awesome power of Longhorn entrepreneurship. If you or someone you know is at the helm of a thriving business, please apply or submit a nomination at TexasExes.org.

And as you embark on your holiday shopping this year, please visit TexasExes.org/ShopLonghorn to see a robust listing of Longhorns who would love your support! Longhorns helping Longhorns—it’s a beautiful thing. Now, if you hear about an alumnus who has started a burnt-orange Christmas tree company, let me know. I’m in the market.

Hook ’em,

Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member

Executive Director & CEO, the Texas Exes

@chuckjharris

 
 
 

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