As one of the NFL’s all-time great competitors, Fran Tarkenton knows better than most what it takes to succeed in a competitive arena.
During his 18-year NFL career, Fran played for the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings, whom he led to three Super Bowl appearances in the 1970s. He is widely regarded as the first “scrambling” quarterback and set NFL passing records for touchdowns, passing yards, and completions that stood for 17 years after he retired. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Fran is also a hands-on entrepreneur who has been building businesses all his life, even starting before he ever played in the NFL. Over the last 40+ years, Fran has founded and built more than 20 successful companies, the largest reaching revenues of $142 million. A few of his successful ventures include GoSmallBiz.com, Upnetic, Tarkenton Financial, KnowledgeWare, Teleconferencing Services, and SmallBizClub.
Fran is a passionate advocate for small business and entrepreneurship. He founded the Tarkenton Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, which works closely with the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to offer the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and he has also worked with DECA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the NFL, ADP, and other organizations to educate and coach entrepreneurs and business owners.
Fran is a well-known media personality who served as a commentator for Monday Night Football and as the co-host of That’s Incredible! Fran has been published in the Wall Street Journal and many other publications, and he is the author of a number of books on business and leadership, including his latest, The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation.
Fran continues to follow his passion on a daily basis, advising and counseling businesses, identifying new opportunities, and developing innovative channels of distribution. Above all, his work embodies his philosophy that there is only one reason for a business to exist: to help others.