MiniTends 2013 Conference Keynote Speaker – Gary Hoover


Gary Hoover

Founder, CEO, Chief Game Designer at Bigwig Games, Inc., Entrepreneurship Teacher, Hoover Institute



Gary is the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit, forecasting and optimizing marketplace trends with successful, revolutionary businesses both for himself and for budding entrepreneurs to follow in his footsteps. His formal and on-the-job education includes studying economics under the tutelage of three Nobel Prize winners, serving as a securities analyst for Citibank on Wall Street, being a buyer for Federated Department Stores and leading acquisitions and strategic planning for the May Department Stores Company.

He created BOOKSTOP, the leading-edge book superstore that helped revolutionize the nature of book shopping in America. After just 7 years, Gary and his partners sold it to Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million cash when it became a cornerstone for their industry-dominating superstore chain.

Subsequently, Gary created what is now known as Hoover’s, the world’s largest Internet-based provider of information about enterprises. In 1999, Hoover’s went public and, in 2003, the company was purchased by Dun & Bradstreet for $117 million.

In 2009 he launched, a blog which includes reviews of books, ideas, and places from Gary’s iconoclastic angle. He is a published author and renowned lecturer on various industries.

He continues to add new ideas to his list of business ideas, now numbering over 230.

During the 2009 academic year, Gary served as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2010, Gary began teaching students of all ages Entrepreneurial Thinking through his own Hoover Academy; more than 300 people have since graduated from his programs and benefitted from his online video courses.  And in 2012, Gary was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.

In 2012, he incorporated his fifth startup, Bigwig Games, to produce business and social science strategic simulation games for the iPad and other tablet devices.

Gary lives in Austin, Texas, with his 55,000-book library.  He speaks to conferences and corporate groups and works to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking on every continent and in every industry (for profit and not for profit).  He has also supported the University of Chicago, where Hoover House dormitory opened early this century

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