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John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship

John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

10.04.19 Baylor Baugh Center Entrepreneurship Updates

Oct. 4, 2019

Dear Friends and Partners,

I am writing this letter to update you on recent developments from the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise and alert you to upcoming events and opportunities.

The mission of the Baugh Center is to encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship outside the walls of the Baylor Business classrooms. God has blessed our team with generous friends and partners like you with a common heart to help foster and equip likeminded business leaders for worldwide service from within and outside the Baylor community according to the Christian tenets outlined in the Baylor University mission.

The entrepreneurial life, particularly among Baylor alumni, is generally dynamic, adventurous, and fulfilling. Dr. Mitch Neubert, professor of management in the Hankamer School of Business, co-authored a paper this year regarding the relationships among entrepreneurs between belief in God, beliefs about God's blessings, and success in business. Baylor startups, such as Flourish Change, co-founded by Zach Morrow (BBA 2018), are learning first-hand about these relationships. In general, roughly two-thirds of Baylor Entrepreneurship alumni will start a business, and about half of Baylor Entrepreneurship majors will start a business within ten years of graduating.

Stories like these have continued to raise Baylor's prominence on the global stage. Last month, US News & World Report released its 2020 rankings of undergraduate programs, and Baylor Entrepreneurship was ranked No. 8 on the list of Best Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Programs. We appreciate all of you who are making this happen by generously giving your time, money, and wisdom to provide a hand up to younger entrepreneurs, investors, and alumni.

This fall, 3,307 remarkable freshmen joined the Baylor family; of those, 190 were selected as participants in our Business & Innovation Living & Learning Center (B&I LLC) and 37 are already taking their first entrepreneurship class with Dr. Boris Nikolaev. Sixteen remarkable freshmen took advantage of a new opportunity to develop their businesses through Oso Launch, which engages an exclusive group of first-year students who already own, operate, or are launching their own ventures. One of these young entrepreneurs, Layne McCalmont, a Round Rock Freshman, founded Thrifted by Layne, an online shopping store that sells her curated selection of fast fashion secondhand clothes.

While entrepreneurship is one of the most popular fields of study on campus, the unique group of new Baylor students actually running a company presents special opportunities. Oso Launch is a full-year, non-credit experiential venture creation cohort where participants gather and build their businesses together through mentorship, networking, business planning, and practical entrepreneurship exercises. Upperclassmen, alumni, and executives volunteer their time and expertise to shepherd the young entrepreneurs to help strengthen and grow their companies. The program is open to student entrepreneurs from across all majors at Baylor with a focus on students in the B&I LLC.

Last week, the Baugh Center launched its third course of local business owners sharpening their skills through the Community Entrepreneurship Program. The team of 30 participants includes local entrepreneurs, successful executive mentors and facilitators, Baylor student volunteers, and entrepreneurship faculty and staff. We appreciate the staff and members of Highland Baptist Church in Waco hosting and facilitating the terrific group this fall.

On November 8, the Institute for Family Business will honor outstanding family businesses within the state of Texas. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the awards program. Baylor University's Institute for Family Business has hosted the Texas Family Business of the Year awards program every year since 1989. The Awards events will be held in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation in the Meyer Conference Center.

The Baugh Center is thrilled to host its ninth annual Baylor New Venture Competition on March 20-21, 2020 at Baylor University's Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. This two-day business plan and elevator pitch competition showcases collegiate entrepreneurs from across the globe. A bonus day is offered for teams to receive additional feedback.

This journey of personal and professional development includes industry-specific mentorship and coaching towards sustainable business plans. In addition, student entrepreneurs gain exclusive access to accomplished experts and fellow innovators. Teams have the chance to win more than $250,000 in cash prizes and vital resources to catalyze and grow their business.

The program, underwritten by an anonymous gift to Baylor University and the Hankamer School of Business, provides students with an immersive and transformative adventure.

Since 2012, over 600 student entrepreneurs have applied and nearly $1 million in cash and prizes has been awarded. The 2019 winner, Vita Inclinata Technologies, went on to raise approximately $7 million in private equity capital after competing at Baylor.

This month, Free Enterprise at the Baugh Center wrapped up its highly successful fall Confessions of an Entrepreneur speaker series. Hundreds of students, community members, and faculty and staff gathered to hear 1) Denitia Blount of Oh My Juice emphasize the important role perseverance has in entrepreneurship and in her journey and 2) Catherine Ballas and Angela Beeler of REFIT Revolution emphatically stress that REFIT a) offers a fitness experience for everyone and b) places people before profit. An equally exciting lineup in the spring showcases Austin Meek of Pokey O's (February 4) and Lisa Monroe of Triliji Group (March 3.).

The Free Enterprise Forum will kick off for the semester on October 17 with Catherine Semcer of PERC taking the stage, speaking on "Saving Africa’s Wildlife: The Failure of Hunting Bans & Success of Entrepreneurial Solutions." Video of all Free Enterprise event talks can be found on the Baylor Baugh Center YouTube page.

Student participants in the McLane Scholar Reading Group just returned from a weekend summit in Dallas with collaborating reading groups at Southern Methodist University, Texas Tech University, and University of Central Arkansas. Grady Rosier of the McLane Companies graciously provides the funding for all four universities to have a unified reading group each semester. The theme for the semester is “The Past, Present, and Future of Work.” Required readings are from Harper's Why Wages Rise, Cowen's The Great Stagnation, Newmark and Wascher's Minimum Wages, Powell's The Economics of Immigration and Harris' Kids These Days. The universities are currently planning the theme for spring 2020 with the applications opening in the coming weeks.

We also deeply appreciate Grady establishing this fall the W. Grady Rosier Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise, which will provide a new faculty position to help the department of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation grow its influence and scholarship.

I appreciate you and would love to hear from you!

Very sincerely,

Dr. Kendall Artz
Director, Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise
Curtis Hankamer Chair in Entrepreneurship

Please email Roxie Collier at if you would like to be included on an email list to receive these updates via email.

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