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Seed money:    
Value that grows
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Seed money: Value that grows

Charles Goetz 78C knows the value of seed money. A serial entrepreneur, he has seen how it can help someone with know-how and passion to create a flourishing business. As a senior lecturer in organization and management and a distinguished lecturer in entrepreneurship, Goetz also understands the importance of a different kind of seed money. He’s seen how an investment in Goizueta’s students helps build their futures.

That’s why he has endowed the Goetz MBA Scholarship Fund. It will provide a partial scholarship every year to a student interested in entrepreneurship. “Sometimes people just need a little extra help,” he says.

He also wants to promote entrepreneurship, which can be an attractive option for some MBAs. During a bad economy, he observes, starting your own business can be a smart career move. Jobs in large, high-profile organizations can be scarce. Instead of waiting for them to materialize, Goetz says that MBAs with the necessary drive and knowledge should consider creating their own companies and hiring themselves.

Starting a business is not just a savvy professional decision, however. It benefits everyone. New companies hire people, purchase goods and services, and stimulate economic activity. “I believe that the future of the American economy and of most of the world depends on entrepreneurs,” says Goetz. “We all need new ideas that can change the world for the better, and we need them now,” he adds. “Entrepreneurs take good ideas and turn them into successful products and services.”

Goetz should know. He has started nine companies and has employed more than 1,500 people in fields as diverse as healthcare products, radio broadcasting, and the financial industry. He has also co-authored two books on entrepreneurship: The Great Entrepreneurial Divide: The Winning Tactics of Successful Entrepreneurs and Why Everyone Else Fails! and So, You Want to Start a Business? 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap.

Eight years ago, Goetz decided to try a different kind of venture, one in which he could give back. And what better place than where he received his own undergraduate degree, Emory University? He started by teaching one class on entrepreneurship at Goizueta. As an entrepreneur, Goetz had accumulated a great deal of experience, and he wanted to share that knowledge. “I absolutely love teaching; it’s great working with such bright students,” he says.

Since then Goetz has expanded his teaching load. Today, though he is starting yet another company and serves on numerous public and private boards, Goetz teaches full time—as many as seven classes a year—at Goizueta. “I do it because I love it,” he says. “Teaching makes me happy. It’s very fulfilling.”

“I’ve received a lot in life and have been very blessed,” he explains. “It’s important to me to give back and help students achieve their dreams.” And his investment in Goizueta’s students couldn’t be better timed. “With budgets being cut, and loan money drying up, it’s time for those who can to step up and help. If not now, when?”

Christian Kirkpatrick

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Professor Charlie Goetz 78C, left, is always eager to help current and former students pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Above, Goetz reviews strategic options with Justin Koushyar 08MBA, left, Natalie Lowe Raab 09MBA, who now works for one of Goetz's new startups called PINKelephant.org, and right, Sean Mahoney 06MBA.

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