A seasoned industry leader, Dennis has been an entrepreneur and venture capitalist his entire career, starting with his first venture capital deal in 1975. Dennis has founded six companies, including a commercial real estate development firm in 1972 that grew to be the 11th-largest developer in the United States by 1986. As a venture capitalist, he has backed nearly 100 companies in diverse industries. Dennis created Murphree Venture Partners in 1987 and has guided the firm’s continued growth as its managing general partner.
Dennis received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from SMU and a master of business administration degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the boards of MedServe, Dowley Security and Unico. For 25 years, Dennis has also been an educator.
He is currently a faculty member at the Jones Graduate School at Rice University, where he teaches two second-year courses, “Creative Entrepreneurship” and “Venture Capital.” He also founded, in 2000, the Rice University Business Plan Competition, now the largest and most prestigious MBA business plan competition in the world. In 2009, the competition awarded $800,000 in investment prize money.
Very active in community affairs, Dennis is the president of the board for The Association for Community Broadcasting, which oversees Houston’s public television and radio stations. He serves on two SMU boards currently and is Houston co-chair of the $750 million Second-Century capital campaign for SMU. He is also on the board of Space Center Houston at NASA, as well as the Rice Alliance at Rice University.
Association for Community Broadcasting, President 2008 – Present
Southern Methodist University Second-Century Campaign Co-Chair, Houston Region 2008 – Present
Southern Methodist University, Taos, New Mexico, Campus Board Member 2008 – Present
Southern Methodist University, Alumni Board Member 2007 – Present
Space Center Houston at NASA, Board Member 2006 – Present
Dowley Security, Board Member 2006 – Present
MedServe, Board Member 2004 – Present
Unico, Board Member 2003 – Present
Rice Alliance Roundtable, Advisory Board Member 1999 – Present
Rice University, Jones School of Management, Lecturer of Management
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