Accelerating innovation

December 18, 2012
Partnership between business school, provost's office will help BRIC discoveries reach market faster

One could develop the greatest product in the world -- a better mousetrap, a cure for cancer, etc. -- but if it never gets to market, it will never do any good.

Companies utilizing the university's upcoming discovery park, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), won't have to worry about that. That's because when BRIC opens in January, one of its tenants will be the Innovative Business Accelerator (IBA), to be led by Dr. Gregory Leman.

The IBA is a joint venture of the Hankamer School of Business and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. It exists to help new technology companies grow their business more rapidly by taking advantage of Baylor's research and intellectual resources and will provide a broad range of business, science, legal and technical services, some of which will come from Baylor students.

"The IBA is built on a solid foundation of our successful collaboration with global industry," said Leman. "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."

Leman, a clinical professor at the Hankamer School of Business and director of university entrepreneurial initiatives, had a very successful career as a chemical engineer before coming to Baylor in 2005. He is also the founding director of Baylor's Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative, which offers courses in technology entrepreneurship and is followed by a real-world consulting engagement called i5 in either the U.S. or China.

Leman was appointed by Dr. Terry Maness, BA '71, MS '72, dean of Hankamer, and Dr. Truell Hyde, MS '80, PhD '88, vice provost for research.

"Greg's successful business background, coupled with his entrepreneurial expertise and global vision, makes him the ideal person to lead the IBA," Maness said. "Through its work, the IBA will help to stimulate regional economic development."

For start-up tech companies and existing tech businesses in residence at BRIC, the IBA will provide a broad range of business, science, legal and technical services to help accelerate their growth. The IBA will also launch an executive education program for executives of new technology companies.

"The IBA will provide the catalyst necessary for new ideas and businesses to flourish," Hyde said. "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."

Tech companies can take advantage of Baylor University expertise and BRIC infrastructure which will include technology transfer and product discovery assistance, organizational and intellectual property strategies, staged-gate entry into commercialization programs, legal and accounting services, and international market development support through Baylor's International Entrepreneurship programs.

The IBA also facilitates access to capital for new ventures through organizations such as the Baylor Angel Network, venture capital financing and SBA loan programs.

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