University startups can work from unique resources

In MGMT431 Business Strategy, we learned that Enterprise, the car rental company, hires "from the half of the college class that makes the upper half possible". Continues Donald L. Ross, the company's chief operating office, "We want athletes, fraternity types--especially fraternity presidents and social directors. People people." From these hiring practices Enterprise has developed a resource that gives them competitive advantage. While other firms employ unionized workers, Enterprise has cultivated workers willing to work long hours for appropriate incentives and even take less pay for the work input they put in.

As I have previously noted, starting a company out while at University produces has the potential to help a business develop unique approaches that are not as easily accessible to other firms. In the case of PreScouter, I see this starting to materialize. We are looking at Phd students as a potential source of specialist expertise that can contribute to the work that we do for our clients. Since we are based at a university, coming up with this solution was relatively straightforward. If we were based elsewhere, this would perhaps not have been as obvious a solution, and we may have taken a different route.

The questions that usually follow from the resources you start with are of the capabilities and competitive advantages these resources give you. We still have to determine what Phd students mean from these perspectives, but we may find out over the coming months.