“Don’t succumb or be deluded by the myth that entrepreneurship is about working for yourself, it’s not. It starts first with the needs of others. If you answer a need of others, are sincere on that and put that first, you will be served well.” This is advice David Brain, inaugural member of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. gave in a video that is featured in the hall.
Brain, founder of EPR Properties , will share more of his entrepreneurial experiences at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall, Room 218. The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation presents the First Wednesdays series for students and community members. Each presentation focuses on the journey of successful entrepreneurs who capture the innovative mindset of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
A Kansas City native, Brain has been a strong advocate for the Bloch School’s entrepreneurship programs, having served as a mentor in the E-Scholars program and a judge in the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge. Additionally, Brain serves on the advisory board for the Lewis White Real Estate Center and has been a guest lecturer in several Bloch classes. He was recognized in 2013 as the Regional Entrepreneur of the Year by the Regnier Institute.
Brain co-founded EPR Properties in Kansas City in 1997 with little more than a computer and two telephones in a few sublet cubicles. The company is a specialty real estate investment fund that builds and leases entertainment, recreation and education properties that traditionally were thought to be too volatile for institutional investment. By 2015, the company had built an investment portfolio of $4.5 billion with more than 240 properties across 39 states, investing in theatres, retail centers, water parks, ski parks, public charter schools and more.
The seeds for EPR were planted while Brain attended Tulane University in New Orleans, earning a B.A. in Economics and an MBA. In fact, Brain attributes the success of the company to the ability to identify a market need paired with simple problem-solving. This semester’s First Wednesdays speakers will continue to tie in with the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, following three fellow inductee presentations held during the fall term. . Bob Regnier, Bank of Blue Valley and Regnier Family Foundation, will present March 2 and Lamar Hunt, Jr., on behalf of the Hunt family, will present April 6. The final First Wednesday event will be the Regnier Institute’s Roo Idea Jump. The competition awards prizes to new, independent UMKC student ventures in the concept stage.