Baylor's Hankamer School of Business Launches First Stage of the Innovative Business Accelerator

Jan. 11, 2011

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Media Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (January 11, 2011) - Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business is launching a new collaborative program for professors and businesses within the Innovative Business Accelerator (IBA), a broad-based spectrum of business, science and technical services designed to lend value to both new start-ups and existing businesses. The first stage in the IBA - the Business Research Program - will link companies and Baylor business researchers in order to develop applicable industry business research goals.

The partnership gives Baylor faculty greater opportunities for research, while providing companies with needed information. Companies that join the IBA Business Research Program make a three-year commitment to support a faculty member's research in exchange for access to the results of the research.

Viverae, a company specializing in organizational health management program design and execution, is one of the first participant companies. Baylor marketing professors Morris George and Brennan Davis will evaluate Viverae's client data pertaining to health risks, activity involvement and health claims to draw correlations between incentives, program participation, health score improvements and risk factor reduction. The models will be used to further reduce client costs for employee health care.

"Without partnerships with companies like Viverae, academic research can be too esoteric," George said. "This project will be meaningful to a much larger audience than the typical academic study."

A study by Dr. Randal Vaughn, professor of information systems at Baylor, examines protection against e-crime, as part of Industrial University Cooperative research.

"Researchers benefit by having access to current research problems that meet needs of industry and also having the ability to gain access to vast quantities of real-world data," Vaughn said.

Other studies completed through the IBA Business Research Program include the 20/20 sales study, which looks at developing better salesperson selection and management practices. Baylor marketing professors Andrea Dixon, Kirk Wakefield and Jeff Tanner led the study.

"This study is exactly the type of work the IBA will do, because the results will help member companies immediately reduce salesperson turnover, reduce costs and improve performance," said Tanner, who also serves as associate dean for research and faculty development at Baylor's business school.

When completed, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) will house many of the planned IBA programs.

The BRIC is a 300,000-square-foot discovery center with dedicated space for university research, advanced manufacturing and technology training, and collaborative industry projects. The IBA will support emerging businesses through a variety of planned services, including:

    • technology transfer and product discovery assistance,
    • staged-gate entry into commercialization programs,
    • legal and accounting services, and
    • a host of financial support mechanisms, from early stage federal grant funding to post-launch capitalization opportunities.

For more information about the Innovative Business Accelerator and Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, visit www.baylor.edu/business.

For more information about the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative, visit www.baylor.edu/bric.

About Hankamer School of Business

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit www.baylor.edu/business and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/Baylor_Business.

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