Baylor University

IBA Links Businesses to Baylor, Community Expertise

Jan. 25, 2013

The Innovative Business Accelerator (IBA), a joint venture of the Hankamer School of Business and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, has gained momentum this semester as BRIC prepares for its first tenants in January 2013.

IBA will play an important role in the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative's (BRIC) goal of uniting academic and commercial enterprises. IBA and BRIC will leverage the potential of university-industry partnerships to stimulate economic growth and attract technology companies to the Central Texas region.

A step toward making the goal a reality was the addition of a director for IBA.

"The IBA is built on a solid foundation of our successful collaboration with global industry," said Dr. Greg Leman, named director of IBA in September. "It will become a single point of access to University and community expertise by providing a critical link between technology companies and Baylor business, science, engineering and law faculty."

Essentially, IBA provides business assistance, including business planning, financial analysis, inventory control, marketing and customer service, aimed at fostering new venture development and business incubation.

Technology companies may take advantage of expertise existing at Baylor and infrastructure within BRIC to aid technology transfer and product discovery, to develop organizational and intellectual property strategies, staged-gate entry into commercialization programs, legal and accounting services, and to cultivate international market development through the University's international entrepreneurship programs.

"We also expect the IBA to serve as a 'collaboratory,'" said Dr. Jeff Tanner, associate dean for research and faculty development. "We define a 'collaboratory' as a field laboratory created through collaboration with business partners in order to conduct business research The IBA is unique in this regard, because the research will be focused on developing business strategies and capabilities that will then fuel the executive education programs, entrepreneurial initiatives, and other elements of the BRIC."

Beyond business consulting, IBA provides training for entrepreneurs and small businesses and offers executive education workshops, seminars and a regular speaker series. IBA facilitates access to capital for new ventures through organizations, such as the Baylor Angel Network, venture capital financing and Small Business Administration loan programs.

"The IBA will provide the catalyst necessary for new ideas and businesses to flourish," said Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research. "It will also allow leveraging of the strong economic development assets available through BRIC's funding stakeholders and our national/international business and research collaborations."

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