Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MSB Event: Investment Manager Talks Entrepreneurship, Passion

Caleigh Keating/The Hoya

Brian Higgins, the co-founder of King Street Capital, a global investment management company, discussed the intersection of entrepreneurship and finance and shared lessons learned throughout his career at a Jan. 17 event hosted by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (MSB). 

The discussion was a part of the Stanton Distinguished Leadership Series, which aims to connect Georgetown students with business executives and leaders such as Higgins, who also serves as a managing partner and co-portfolio manager at King Street. 

Jeff Reid, professor of the practice of entrepreneurship and founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, moderated the conversation. Reid spoke to the importance of entrepreneurship in the world today and the mission of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative. 

“We believe entrepreneurship is one of the world’s most powerful forces for positive change. We are working to help all Georgetown students develop an entrepreneurial mindset and leverage the power of entrepreneurship to make the world better,” Reid wrote to The Hoya. 

During the event, Higgins traced his career in entrepreneurship and his longtime interest in starting businesses back to his high school and college years, when he started businesses mowing lawns and selling beer. 

Higgins said his past experiences starting businesses shaped his approach to starting and growing a business, particularly relating to his philosophy about the value of hard work.

“As we go through life, all these different experiences shape us, and so, what are we getting at? Are we looking at the long game; what is a means to an end?” Higgins said at the event. “Work at a legacy and finish what you’re doing. Because if you look around, people can sniff it. If I see someone, they’re working and they’re going through the paces, it’s like, go big or go home and put 100 percent, or move on.”

“What’s the point of going around if you’re not going to give it your all?” Higgins added.

Caleigh Keating/The Hoya | King Street Capital’s Brian Higgins discussed the intersection of entrepreneurship and finance and lessons learned throughout his career in a moderated discussion Jan. 17, as part of the Stanton Distinguished Leadership Series.

Higgins also emphasized the importance of passion for those seeking careers in the field of entrepreneurship, as success can be elusive and discouragement can come easily. 

“In order to be an entrepreneur, you have to be passionate. Because this stuff is hard. It’s really hard. But it doesn’t feel like work to me. I mean, I am working on the start-up 30 years later. And I don’t get tired — I’m absolutely passionate. You can’t fake passion,” Higgins said.

Lakshay Narang (GRD ’23), assistant director of alumni relations at the MSB, also emphasized the importance of staying passionate, determined and committed to a career as well as the opportunities events like Higgins’ conversation can provide for students.

“Identifying one’s interests is crucial, as these events serve as a window into industry dynamics, facilitate networking with industry executives, and provide a broader perspective on management and business,” Narang wrote to The Hoya.

“While the array of campus activities can be overwhelming, finding something personally meaningful and sticking to it can lead to profound experiences and long-term fulfillment. Active engagement and perseverance in areas of genuine interest can make a significant impact on both academic and personal growth.”

In line with Reid’s mission of teaching entrepreneurship for the common good in his classes, Higgins addressed how he incorporates his ethics and values in his entrepreneurship and finance work.

“In distressed situations, many times you’re saving the company. Because when you’re investing in a distressed company, no one else will invest in them, and without that thousands of people lose their jobs,” Higgins said. “Because those factors can influence dramatically what the value of your company is. Because if big institutional investors want to invest then, and we’re early days, there’s got to be a bridge from where we invest to big institutional investors.”

Towards the end of the event, Higgins said, despite the inevitability of mistakes in both the past and future, he tries not to dwell on what he could have done differently, choosing instead to move forward. 

“I don’t know what I could have done differently. All I know is I’ve far exceeded what I imagined I could’ve done. So, I just take that part and parcel,” Higgins said. “You’re going to make mistakes. The important thing is just how do we come to deal with the fact that those mistakes can be learning experiences, and mistakes can become learning opportunities.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *