Carnegie Mellon University
October 16, 2020

Entrepreneurship is a Great Destination

Pittsburgh native and 'Shark Tank' investor Mark Cuban shares advice in webinar

By Gera Jochum

Jason Maderer
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-1151

Carnegie Mellon University’s Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship welcomed Mark Cuban as one of its James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series speakers. He is a Pittsburgh native and joined the webcast proudly wearing a shirt displaying the city's beloved “412” area code. Cuban is an entrepreneur, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of the main “Shark Tank” investors on the ABC reality television series, which will air its new season premiere today at 8 p.m. ET.

Two CMU students led the webinar with Cuban. Innovation Scholar Oscar Kavanaugh introduced Cuban, and Rob Miller, a James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow, orchestrated a captivating discussion of Cuban’s journey from growing up in Pittsburgh to successful billionaire in Texas.

Watch the full recording of Mark Cuban's webinar.

Cuban provided several important pieces of advice for new entrepreneurs to guide their futures. He mentioned the importance of authenticity to potential investors. He hinted that those who watched the season premiere of “Shark Tank” would see him vehemently make the point that being honest is an imperative for the success of an entrepreneur. He also advised new entrepreneurs to be fearless, prepared to succeed, find individuals with complementary skillsets and be aware of their own shortcomings. Most importantly, he mentioned that being an entrepreneur was not just about raising money. According to Cuban, “[raising money] is not just an accomplishment; it’s an obligation.” He added, “sweat equity is the best equity.”

In addition to that valuable advice, the conversation touched on everything from how disruptive technologies will impact business sectors to revisiting a theoretical decision from Freakonomics Radio from January 2019 in which Cuban decided if he would buy, sell or keep the National Football League, Ultimate Fighting Championship or Overwatch, a popular e-sports game. His answer today might surprise you.

Following the webinar, Cuban spent over an hour with CMU’s cohort of Innovation Scholars and Swartz Fellows.

“Giving students the opportunity to talk with prominent entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban is an important part of the Swartz Center experience to help these really smart and talented individuals to build confidence to succeed as  entrepreneurs,” said David Mawhinney, executive director and associate teaching professor of entrepreneurship for the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. 

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship serves the entire CMU community to accelerate bringing research innovations and promising ideas to the global marketplace and helping all entrepreneurial students, faculty, staff and alumni tap into the innovation ecosystem.