McDonough School of Business
Venture Meets Mission Book
News Story

Office Hours: Venture Meets Mission on Pursuing Entrepreneurship with Purpose

To help pave a path forward for mission-driven entrepreneurs, three academic leaders at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business recently published their book, Venture Meets Mission, to explore the transformative potential of entrepreneurship in tackling society’s greatest challenges. 

The book is co-authored by Arun Gupta, adjunct faculty member and Georgetown Entrepreneurship Advisory Board Member, Gerry George, group managing director at International Medical University and academic advisor to Georgetown Entrepreneurship, and Thomas Fewer, former postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown McDonough.

Venture Meets Mission was recently recognized on the USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. It was also selected as a Next Big Idea Club must-read title for January 2024, which is curated by notable authors Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink.

Here, learn about the authors’ framework for the book and how they hope to encourage those entering the entrepreneurial landscape to pursue ventures with purpose.

Venture Meets Mission is a National Bestseller

How did the idea of Venture Meets Mission first originate?

Gupta: It all started with teaching a class at Stanford called “Value Meets Mission,” where I guided students on blending entrepreneurship with solving societal problems. The idea began to evolve through conversations with my now co-authors about translating this course into a book, bridging the gap between venture capital and government collaboration.

Fewer: Gerry George and I noticed a gap in the literature between venture capital and government collaboration. We wanted to explore a new model that could foster this intersection. Our academic approach meets practical relevance, which makes our book insightful yet very relevant. 

What are the key issues covered in the book?

Gupta: First, we delve into the biases hindering collaboration between government and entrepreneurship, challenging perceptions and highlighting the potential of mission-driven entrepreneurship. The book navigates through nuances and addresses challenges and opportunities at this intersection.

Fewer: Furthermore, we emphasize the urgency of addressing societal and technological changes, advocating for partnerships between governments and entrepreneurs to tackle important issues. Our advocacy for partnerships between governments and entrepreneurs aims to harness collective expertise and resources to tackle pressing global challenges effectively.

Why is storytelling empowering for early career entrepreneurs? 

Gupta: Storytelling is crucial to inspiring others and showcasing practical examples of success and challenges in entrepreneurship. We aim to provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn and be inspired by real-life stories.

Fewer: In leveraging storytelling, we aim to equip early career students with the insights and inspiration needed to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. By sharing narratives that inform and inspire, I hope to instill in them a sense of optimism and determination, empowering them to embark on their ventures with confidence and resilience.

For someone looking to start a venture with a mission, where do they start?

Gupta: When starting a venture with a mission, people can begin by seeking opportunities to join organizations already committed to mission-driven work. This allows them to gain valuable experience and build networks within their chosen field. By immersing themselves in the industry, they can lay a solid foundation and acquire essential insights before launching their venture.

Fewer: College students often face the dilemma of balancing personal and societal goals. Our book guides them through navigating these decisions and encourages them to pursue something that they are passionate about. 

Were there any pivotal moments while writing Venture Meets Mission? 

Gupta: We were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and openness of government officials towards innovation. It shattered the stereotype of government as purely political and revealed a willingness to collaborate for the greater good.

Fewer: Witnessing the concept resonate with diverse groups and sensing their energy and optimism was truly inspiring. It’s a strong reminder of the transformative impact of our book’s messaging.

What are your final takeaways for the readers? 

Gupta: We’re proud of our Georgetown roots and grateful for the support received throughout the journey. Our book emphasizes optimism and positive stories, reflecting our belief in solving problems through collaboration and innovation.

Fewer: We’re deeply appreciative of the support we’ve received throughout the journey, particularly from our Georgetown community. Our book highlights the power of optimism and positive narratives therefore, I encourage readers to pursue endeavors they’re passionate about, as this is where true impact and fulfillment can be found.

Georgetown Entrepreneurship