Student Is a Tailor-Made Entrepreneur

Published: Dec 1, 2009
Joe Murphy’s mind is constantly spinning.

The UT senior has a sketchbook full of ideas, inventions and innovations that he wants to bring to fruition. And Murphy, an entrepreneurship major, has the desire and skill to make it happen, say his professors.

“Joe Murphy exhibits the character of an entrepreneur especially well,” said Dr. Charles Skipton, assistant professor of economics. “I have known a handful of such persons in my professional life and, though it cannot be taught and certainly cannot be learned, it can be honed.”

Murphy’s most recent invention is Tuckz Pocket Technology, a sweat-resistant pocket on the inside of socks used for carrying items like money. The idea was born out of Murphy’s own need for a dry way to carry items. On a number of occasions he’d be playing basketball, stop by the convenience store on the way home and pull out a soggy bill from his gym shorts.

“It was nasty,” he said.

Murphy worked with his grandmother, Fannie Watson, who taught him to sew. The two created the first 10 prototypes by hand and have secured a patent. In July 2008, he placed an order through a company in China. He was briefly mentioned on the Discovery Channel show Pitchmen, has a Web site, www.tuckz.com, and is hoping to grow his business in the coming months.

“I feel like everyone should put energy toward something they love,” Murphy said. “A big part of being human is being creative.”

Skipton said that "entrepreneurial spirit describes the particular vision of some to see how to get things done more efficiently than has been done in the past, or the remarkable ability of a few to listen carefully to the needs of folks and find ways to satisfy them particularly well, or even a particular tenacity of some to push and push (regardless of the countless failed attempt that they realize) to serve others."

Skipton said Murphy has that entrepreneurial spirit. As his professor and advisor, Skipton keeps Murphy’s business card under the glass of his desk, front and center.

“I am able to point to him as an example of that immeasurable element that is entrepreneurial spirit,” Skipton said. “I am certain we will hear of Murphy’s accomplishments for quite some time to come.”

Murphy said the networking with students and support from UT professors has made a difference in his success.

“I’ve met a lot of good people here at UT, and it has made me well-rounded,” Murphy said. “I sincerely hope to be an influence and motivator for my peers and also to everyone who has a goal that seems larger than life.”

Murphy has always wanted to be his own employer. He said he wants that ownership and responsibility, and the ability to work with his own ethics and values.

“I’m searching for something that I can stand on,” Murphy said. “I believe that you shouldn’t suffer all your life waiting for something big to happen. You have to start out believing that it will."


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
Sign up for UT Web Alerts