$2 Million Gift to Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business Funds New Competition for Student Entrepreneurs Across the U.S.

June 15, 2011

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Baylor University announced today a $2 million gift, given anonymously to the Hankamer School of Business, to endow the Baylor Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge, a business plan competition that will provide invaluable opportunities for students from all over the nation as they seek to develop their business ideas. The gift and the development of the business plan competition will further enrich the nationally recognized Entrepreneurship program at Baylor University.

"Baylor Entrepreneurship boasts of a dynamic program with a broad curriculum that has garnered national recognition," said Baylor President Ken Starr. "The donor's generosity and foresight to endow a business plan competition will ensure that Baylor Entrepreneurship maintains prominence among national entrepreneurship programs and empowers students with a competitive advantage in our evolving global society."

In rankings conducted for Entrepreneur magazine in 2010, The Princeton Review placed Baylor's undergraduate Entrepreneurship program as No. 2 in the nation. The launch of a business plan competition will sustain and broaden the national influence of Baylor Entrepreneurship. Business plan competitions have become a significant measure of program quality and an important criterion that national publications use to assess and rank program strength. The donor's support of this emerging initiative will provide students from universities nationwide the opportunity to enhance their business skills and gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience.

"We are proud of the impact our Entrepreneurship program has had on our students and appreciate the recognition it has achieved as a nationally-ranked program," said Dr. Terry Maness, dean of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business. "This gift to fund a business plan competition will allow us to continue to broaden the scope of our program, as well as provide a meaningful learning opportunity for our students. I appreciate that the donor shares our vision of enriching the lives of students and the reputation of our program."

Through participation in a well-established business plan competition, students will benefit from a platform that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and transforms thoughts into reality, better preparing them to compete in today's global business world. Each year, highly-motivated, entrepreneurial students from universities around the nation will present their business plans at the competition. Winning teams will receive prize money to assist them in the continued development of their business ventures, as well as advice from distinguished financial investors about how to enhance and realize their ideas.

"This generous endowment will provide students the opportunity to participate in the type of competition that will support ventures they have been creating in class," said Dr. Kendall Artz, chair and director of Baylor's Entrepreneurship Studies Program. "The judges will be professionals--practicing entrepreneurs--and the students will receive invaluable mentoring through their feedback. Also, an amount of capital will be invested in, and given to, those students to help them grow their ventures."

The spring of 2012 will mark the inaugural Baylor Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge. Teams of four people are eligible to compete in this innovative contest. Each team must include two current undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates from an accredited university. The business plan competition will be an annual event each spring, in addition to Baylor's longstanding fall event, the National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership.

As new opportunities continue to emerge in the 21st century - whether from technological, economic, political or social change - Baylor Entrepreneurship is committed to pioneering innovative educational opportunities in the evolving global business environment.

ABOUT BAYLOR

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest, continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT BAYLOR 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 www.twitter.com/Baylor_Business.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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