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New business school dean, top scholars usher in new era at Mays Business School

No matter where you turn—from the Harvard Business Review or the National Council of Nonprofits to the Financial Times or the United Nations Global Compact—the cry for strong ethical leaders has never been louder. Mays Business School is stepping up to meet this challenge. With the arrival of a new dean and a diverse group of accomplished scholars, Mays is ushering in a new era in its long tradition of creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

The 11 new faculty members come to Mays from top institutions, including Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, Michigan, Duke, INSEAD and University of Texas at Austin, and will pursue a diverse set of research interests—ranging from sales leadership and behavioral economics to corporate governance and information asymmetry. The influx of new insights, perspectives and experiences will build upon Mays’ foundation of excellence and enhance its globally renowned faculty as the school continues on its upward trajectory as one of the top business schools in the country.

Leading the roster is Eli Jones, who took the helm as dean, professor of marketing, and Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business on July 1. Jones is returning to Texas A&M University with a strong record of effective leadership in industry and academia. After earning his MBA, he had a successful career at three Fortune 100 corporations before pursuing his Ph.D., then taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, PhD and Executive Education levels—both in the U.S. and abroad.

Jones was a professor of marketing, associate dean and founding executive director of the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of Houston, and then served as dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. Most recently, he was dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

Joining Jones and the rest of the Mays faculty this fall is a diverse group of professors with impressive track records of scholarship.

John Robinson, professor of accounting and Patricia ’77 and Grant E. Sims ’77 Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, comes from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a Ph.D. in accounting and a J.D. at the University of Michigan. He was an academic fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission 2009-2010.

Anupam Agrawal, associate professor of information and operations management, comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are in sourcing and technology-management interface. He received a Ph.D. in process and operations from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Cynthia Devers, associate professor of management, was previously on the faculty at University of Wisconsin, Tulane University and Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the roles governance mechanisms play in perceptions, behavior and organizational outcomes. She received a Ph.D. in strategic management from Michigan State University.

Korok Ray, associate professor of accounting, was previously on the faculty at University of Chicago, Georgetown University and George Washington School of Business. His research interests include performance measurement, compensation, corporate governance, cost allocation, disclosure and financial reporting. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago.

Matt Ege, assistant professor of accounting, comes from the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida. He has also taught managerial accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Ph.D. in accounting. Before that, he received a master’s in management information systems and a bachelor’s in accounting from Texas A&M University.

Cexun “Jeffrey” Cai, assistant professor of marketing, comes from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include competitive strategy and behavioral economics. He received a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and quantitative economics from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology.

Christopher Yust, assistant professor of accounting, comes from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include financial accounting/reporting and earnings management. He received a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University.

Christina Kan, assistant professor of marketing, comes from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a bachelor’s of commerce, marketing and international business from Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

Mahdi Mohseni, assistant professor of finance, comes from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. His research interests include corporate finance, corporate governance and control rights. He received a Ph.D. in finance from Boston College, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.

Wei Wu, assistant professor of finance, comes from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he received a Ph.D. in finance. His research interests include information economics and investment management. He also earned a master’s in financial economics and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Peking University.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

The Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School will host its 30th Retailing Summit conference Oct. 8-9, featuring Bluemercury co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Barry Beck.

Barry Beck for Retailing Summit

The two-day conference at the Westin Galleria in Dallas aims to join more than 300 executives as they deep dive into macro-industry trends, disrupting retail models and discussions on future predictions about “big-picture” retailing concepts.

Bluemercury, recently acquired by Macy’s for $210 million dollars, is a high-growth luxury beauty and cosmetics chain. The partnership provides the company access to omnichannel technology, supply chain and retail operations to continue its expansion efforts next to Macy’s national operation network of over 850 department stores.

“This year’s Retailing Summit theme of ‘Redefining: Retail’ is particularly exciting to me given the recent acquisition of Bluemercury and the innovative vision we have for the future,” Beck said. “I’m looking forward to sharing key insights from this rapid growth period and learning from some of the Industry’s leading executives.”

Beck has appeared as a speaker for the Showcase on Great Consumer Brands at NASDAQ, the Future of Bricks-and-Mortar Retail at the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Mobile Payment and Omnichannel Retailing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and has spoken on the subject of entrepreneurship and innovation at Cornell University and Columbia University’s Lang Center for Entrepreneurship’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

Making their way to Texas, the company has “plans to expand our footprint throughout [the state], including Southlake Village in September and in the near future at one of the first Macy’s stop-in-shops at Memorial City in Houston, with additional free-standing heritage stores following in 2016 and beyond.”

As well, the Retailing Summit will welcome JCPenney’s Marvin Ellison, one of the most-watched retail CEO’s across the country.

Texas A&M University former student Chris Valletta ’01, a contestant on The Apprentice, also joins the group as the co-founder of Mission Athletecare. Its distribution expanded nationwide within the first year to more than 5,000 locations, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Sports Authority, Hibett Sports, Brookstone, HSN, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Kroger.

“As a university-hosted event, the Retailing Summit is about genuine sharing knowledge, not sales pitches. The conference gathers retail leaders who are willing to discuss best practices (or lessons learned from failures) that improve business,” said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies. “Attendees will hear stories from the trenches of retail about improving the customer experience, elevating the role of the store, rewarding loyalty and leveraging technology to drive sales.”

Joining Beck, Ellison and Valletta are Gautam Gupta, CEO of NatureBox; Erik Medina, Vice President, Head of U.S. TRU Youth Monitor at The Futures Company; Sarah Quinlan, SVP and Head of Market Insights at MasterCard; Bryan McCormick, Vice President of Human Resources at PetSmart; Jeff Donaldson, SVP of GameStop Technology Institute at GameStop; Steve Brill, SVP of Corporate Communications at UPS; Scott Emmons, Enterprise Architect and Innovation Lab Manager at Neiman Marcus; Karyn Maynard, Recruiting Director at The Container Store; Michelle Bogan, Partner at Kurt Salmon; Craig Ceccanti, CEO and Co-Founder of Pinots Palette; and, Karla Waddleton, Division Vice President at ALDI.

BDO, Reflect Systems, Salesforce, Brierley + Partners, Kurt Salmon and PetSmart will serve as corporate sponsors of this year’s event.

Funds raised by the annual conference support retail curriculum and scholarships for students pursuing retail studies at Mays Business School by educating the next generation of retail leaders and providing executive education to the industry.

For more information or to register, visit retailingsummit.org or call 979.845.0325

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR RETAILING STUDIES

The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) was created in 1983 to meet the demand for highly-educated innovators in the fast-paced world of retail. Since its founding, the Center has become a renowned source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing leaders in the retail sector. We work in collaboration with the Mays Business School to provide an excellent repertoire of coursework, internship and leadership opportunities for professionals interested in all facets of the retail experience.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Mays Business School graduate Denise Byington ’86 and her husband, Bert Garcia, have committed $30,000 to establish a scholarship for her area of interest, the Denise Byington ’86 and Bert Garcia ’81 Endowed Scholarship in Finance.

Their preference is that the students who receive the scholarships have a financial need and be pursuing a degree in finance degree or supply chain management – their daughter’s major. Byington graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance, while Garcia’s degree was in engineering.

“It’s important for us to give back after a couple of successful careers,” Byington said. “And as the parent of a college-aged child, we understand how difficult it can be to pay for a college education. If we could help some future Aggies, we would love to do that – especially if it is for a deserving business student.”

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, said he appreciates it when former students provide avenues for future students to attend college. “This is an example of the Aggie spirit at work,” he said. “These two former students could have done so many things with their money, and they are choosing to help boost the future students of Mays. Such dedication is what keeps our programs alive and ensures our legacy as a top-notch business school.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Departments, Donors Corner, Former Students, Mays Business, Texas A&M

Mays Communications Specialist Courtney Bosquez has been selected to join Cinemark’s new Chairman’s Advisory Committee. The newly created committee will help provide innovative input and feedback to Cinemark’s management team.

Bosquez has beeCourtney Bosquezn with the Center for Retailing Studies since May 2014. There, she promotes the center across Texas A&M University and to a national audience of retailers through visual, print, e-mail and social communications. She is also responsible for all of the design and marketing efforts for the annual Retailing Summit in Dallas along with providing communications support for the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association.

She was selected for the Chairman’s Advisory Committee through a competitive application and interview process. The committee members, who are not employed by Cinemark, will represent the 10 best and brightest young leaders in the DFW area and beyond.

Cinemark founder and chairman Lee Roy Mitchell created the committee with a vision that, “the program will be mutually beneficial to both Cinemark and our committee members.”

Committee members will serve two-year terms and meet five times a year, to work alongside Mitchell and other members of Cinemark’s management. “The committee members will have the opportunity to work with me and learn how to conduct business in today’s corporate environment in an honest and ethical manner,” Mitchell stated in a news release.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

Categories: Departments, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

David Cordani (2)

David Cordani ’88, president and CEO of Cigna Corporation, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Sept. 18. The program will be in Wehner 113 from 12:40 p.m.to 1:30 p.m.

No American university has turned out more Fortune 100 company CEOs than Texas A&M, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking. Now Mays is bringing one of those CEOs home. Cordani graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and earned an MBA from the University of Hartford. He is an accomplished athlete, having competed in more than 125 triathlons.

Cordani will share his perspective on improving health care, now and for the future. He believes that today’s health care dialogue is too narrowly focused on lowering health costs. This focus, he says, inevitably results in an emphasis on an old model based on financing “sick” care. Rather, he believes, our dialogue should place greater emphasis on building a more sustainable health care system that better engages individuals in their own care management. This can be accomplished, he says, by focusing on three foundational elements: 1) Aligning the incentives for everyone involved in the health care process; 2) Embracing value-based payments and rewards and 3) Executional excellence, aided by information and insight.

James Benjamin, head of the accounting department at Mays, remembers Cordani as a student. “David Cordani’s relatively quick rise to be one of the leaders in the health care field is particularly remarkable,” Benjamin said. “I am confident he will continue to make important contributions to this very important field.”

In 2009, Cordani became president and CEO of Cigna, a company he has worked with for more than 24 years. He has spearheaded its transformation into a leading global health service company, doubling the size of the company in five years. He is a prominent voice addressing key health challenges, such as empowering individuals to manage their own health, innovating new health delivery models focused on patients’ health improvements and partnering with physicians to focus on wellness and improving clinical quality.

Cordani leads Cigna’s more than 37,000 employees in more than 30 countries in improving the health, well-being and sense of security of the more than 88 million customer relationships.

Prior to joining Cigna, Cordani was with Coopers & Lybrand. He actively works with the March of Dimes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Achilles International Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, and is a charter board member of ChildObesity180. Cordani was named to the General Mills Board of Directors in 2014 and to the U.S.-India Business Council Board of Directors in 2015.

For information, contact Diane McDonald at dmcdonald@mays.tamu.edu or 979-845-0193.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Departments, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) welcomes Charles “Chuck” Hinton Jr. as the new director for I-Corps Programming. He will be responsible for promotion of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, a set of entrepreneurial activities that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory, and broaden the impact of select NSF-funded basic research projects.

Chuck Hinton 2015I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that solicits three-member teams – composed of an academic researcher, a student entrepreneur and an industry mentor – to participate in an intensive seven-week program to determine commercialization opportunities for their innovations. Selected I-Corps Teams are eligible for up to $50,000 in NSF grant funding to support their efforts in the combined on-site and online curriculum, which is based on the Lean Launch Methodology for business model validation.

Hinton will lead the CNVE’s efforts as part of the Southwest I-Corps Node (http://swicorps.org), one of seven national partnerships of universities funded by NSF to support I-Corps expansion. Texas A&M University, along with UT-Austin, Rice University and Texas Tech University, share responsibilities for promotion of this high-impact program and recruitment of I-Corps Team applicants. To date, I-Corps has trained more than 500 teams nationwide, many of which have efficiently determined a pathway through which to commercialize their NSF-funded innovations.

“Chuck’s efforts for the CNVE will focus first on recruitment and preparation of Texas A&M teams for enrollment in this elite program,” said Blake Petty, CNVE director and a National I-Corps faculty member. “He’ll then be responsible for expanding I-Corps participation throughout the Texas A&M System, around the state, and ultimately, across the southwestern U.S.”

Hinton received two degrees from Texas A&M: a bachelor’s degree in business in 1976 and an MBA in 1978. After a successful career in natural gas exploration/drilling/production, Hinton more recently became familiar to CNVE as a volunteer mentor working with entrepreneurial students at Startup Aggieland, the Texas A&M campus’ student business accelerator. While leading efforts to recruit and train mentors for their student programs, Hinton developed a deep understanding and appreciation for Startup Aggieland’s Lean Launch Methodology – which shares the same principals applied in I-Corps training.

“We’re very fortunate to add someone of Chuck’s caliber to the CNVE team,” Petty said. “His expertise and enthusiasm for I-Corps will be infectious to everyone he engages.”

Academic researchers and students interested in learning more about I-Corps and non-academic leaders wanting to serve as industry mentors to an I-Corps Team are encouraged to contact Hinton at chinton@mays.tamu.edu.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

After spending most of an eight-day residency at Mays Business School immersed in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), 19 veterans returned home ready to roll out their business endeavors. They took with them the encouraging words and training from their mentors, guest speakers and Mays faculty members.

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The July 11-18 event was the eighth at Texas A&M University for post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities. It is hosted in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), which holds similar programs at seven other universities nationwide. They developed skills needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. The participants received training and mentoring. They also got a taste of life as an Aggie.

Some of the business proposals included bounce house rentals, business coaching, a trucking company and a network to help female veterans find relevant products, apparel and social media sites.

“This is such a great environment for those of us in business,” said Chris Thompson, a former Green Beret who manufactures firearms and conducts firearms training in Bryan. “They understand the challenges veterans face, and they know what new business owners need.”

This year’s event started with an opening ceremony featuring April Ames-Chase, a member of the EBV Class of 2014 and recipient of the 2015 Robin ’76 and Robert Starnes ’72 EBV Outstanding Alumni Award. She urged the participants to never let anyone dissuade them from pursuing their dreams. “If someone says it’s not possible, just tell them thank you and move on,” she said. “Pray, pivot and move forward.” She also advised the participants to utilize all the resources around them and “network, network, network.”

Dick Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, who spearheads the EBV each year, told the participants: “You’ll never have another time in your life when you’ll do nothing but focus on your business. Soak it up. Use it. Benefit from it.”

On the final day of this year’s program, the EBV participants presented their final business plan pitches and presentations. After a tour and reception at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, they were joined by program mentors, sponsors and guests at closing ceremonies at the Annenberg Conference Center.

The keynote speaker, Retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Todd Nelson, told stories that captivated his audience. While serving in Afghanistan, Nelson was 10 feet from a suicide bomber. After three years and 40 surgeries — 20 life-saving, 20 reconstructive (while finishing his degree) — he was hired by USAA in San Antonio to help recruit other veterans.

19757139248_7a691c8b81_oHe said he was asked to be an example/inspiration for a consortium of doctors developing and researching new ways to grow skin and extremities. He said he went forward with his recovery rather than live off his pension and disability for three reasons:

  • Make a promise and follow a dream
  • Set an example for his daughters
  • Be a deserving husband

Nelson’s message to EBV participants emphasized the importance of finding the inspiration behind their entrepreneurial ventures. He closed by saying, “You know the how and the what. You need to find the why.”

After the residency phase of the program, the EBV participants have access to numerous resources, coordinated by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families: mentoring, technical assistance, financing services, legal services and website design. “We want to make sure they keep their momentum after getting this far,” said A.J. Florkowski, EBV national program director for the Institute for Veterans. “We also want to help them raise awareness in their own communities of what they are doing. That will help them build their network once they get back home.”

– Julia Mora ’17 contributed to this story.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, Texas A&M

Acoustic Shield, Startup Aggieland’s first E-Team, is one of 50 E-Teams chosen to receive a $5,000 grant from VentureWell.  VentureWell defines an E-Team – the “E” stands for entrepreneurship –as a multidisciplinary group of students, faculty and industry mentors collaborating to bring a technology to market.

Luke Neese

Luke Neese, a philosophy major with a pre-law focus, and his wife Virginia, a nutrition major at Texas A&M University, co-founded Acoustic Shield with Liang Ge, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering. They met at 3-Day Startup, a program hosted at Startup Aggieland by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School. Their venture is an indoor gunshot detection system.

VentureWell’s E-Team Program helps college students commercialize technology ideas. Startup Aggieland prepares students to enter programs such as VentureWell and the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps.

“Startup Aggieland – and Texas A&M University, for that matter – provides an experiential educational environment where you are responsible for what you get out of it,” Neese explained. “Your future is truly in your hands.”

Virginia Neese

Virginia Neese said being accepted for the VentureWell E-Team is an honor. “We have the opportunity to meet 49 other student startups from all over the country and learn something from each of them,” she noted. “I am excited to represent Texas A&M and to pursue this leadership opportunity. At Acoustic Shield, we are passionate about saving lives. The Stage 1 Grant and VentureWell Workshop will undoubtedly help us do that in the right way.”

Liang Ge

Don Lewis, assistant director of Startup Aggieland, called it a unique resource for students of all majors and at all levels of study. “Startup Aggieland helps students stand out by making it possible for them to show that they have the skills to create their own jobs and to create value for investors, while also showing they can take a product to market,” he said. “How many students can say they have secured a patent before they graduate from college? Or created a business that employs 24 people and generates six figures in revenue? We have students who are doing that now as undergraduates. People will notice that.”

The grant’s rules require that two student co-founders of Acoustic Shield use some of the grant funding to attend a Stage 1 workshop in Cambridge, Mass., July 30 through Aug. 1. The focus of the workshop is to learn how to validate the market opportunity for the team’s innovation. The team will be expected to develop near-term milestones during the workshop. Any remaining funds can be used for further development of Acoustic Shield. Designated as Stage 1, the students’ E-Team has until Oct. 7 to apply for Stage 2 of the E-Team program.

“Acoustic Shield represents a high-quality student team pursuing a high-impact solution for the world around them,” said  Blake Petty, director of the CNVE and one of several mentors to the Acoustic Shield team. “It only makes sense for them to be recognized by a first-class organization like VentureWell, whose dedication to the support of innovation and commercialization by student entrepreneurs is unparalleled.”

The team’s lead mentor is Rodney Boehm from the Dwight look College of Engineering.

VentureWell is a higher education network that has been on a 20-year mission to launch new ventures from young inventors to improve lives and help the planet. That goal aligns with those of the Acoustic Shield team, Ge said. “It’s our dream to save lives with technology,” Ge explained. “Startup Aggieland helps make the dream come true. We are very excited to participate in VentureWell’s E-Team program. I am sure we will learn a lot from peers and mentors. I’m glad to see Acoustic Shield accelerate in the near future.”

ABOUT STARTUP AGGIELAND
Startup Aggieland is an award-winning business accelerator for student startups launching from Texas A&M University.  Startup Aggieland is sponsored by the Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship; Dwight Look College of Engineering; College of Architecture, the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Research Valley Partnership.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Media contact: Shelly Brenckman, Startup Aggieland, 936-537-6011

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, Students, Texas A&M

 Knocki - Ohad

 

A Mays Business School MBA graduate, mentored six years ago as a student, is working this summer on an invention called Knocki. The portable device had not yet been “born” when Ohad Nezer ’08 was featured in a prophetic blog post, titled “Opportunity Knocks,” published in 2009 on the Mays website. (http://maysbusiness.tamu.edu/index.php/opportunity-knocks-during-economic-crisis/)

Knocki can be attached or embedded into any hard surface, making the surface interactive. The battery-operated device can also be hard-wired to an electrical system and embedded behind a wall, eliminating unattractive light switches. The interactive area is large, so when the device is placed on the underside of a table, the entire table becomes interactive regardless of size. Possible uses for Knocki include turning off all the lights in a home by knocking on a night stand and sending a text message to a user at work if someone knocks on his home’s front door.

Nezer and cofounder Jake Boshernitzan are building a prototype of their startup’s product at Seed Sumo in Texas A&M’s BioCorridor. Seed Sumo is a for-profit business accelerator that helps launch investable early-stage ventures in 90 days. It opened last summer, and this summer is hosting seven companies.

Nezer, a former public relations officer in the Israeli Army and co-owner of Swan Solutions, founded his first startup as a student in an entrepreneurship course taught by Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays. Lester is also a clinical professor in the Department of Management at Mays and one of several cofounders of Startup Aggieland at Research Park.

“I do not always remember past students, particularly from years back, but I specifically remember Ohad and his teammate from SeatKarma as they worked on that project during my class six years ago,” Lester said. “It was evident that Ohad had a great career as an entrepreneur, and I am extremely pleased to see his venture is going well.”

Knocki was one of 1,200-plus ventures that applied for seven spots at Seed Sumo, guaranteeing a $50,000 minimum investment.

Knocki – Make Any Surface Smart from Model2Web, LLC on Vimeo.

The company’s other invention is Sleepra, a patent-pending device that enables users to control smart homes from their mobile device while in bed. The project was temporarily shelved after Seed Sumo accepted the innovative duo, which opted to launch the more portable version Knocki.

Boshernitzan, co-owner of Swan Solutions and co-inventor of Knocki, is a serial entrepreneur who founded Ridester, the first online ridesharing marketplace, in 2006. Ridester foreshadowed the more popular Uber, but still received accolades in Time Magazine, Austin Business Journal and other media outlets. It was one of the first five startups flown to San Francisco for Facebook’s first app pitches.

“Working with Ohad is exciting,” Boshernitzan said. “He definitely sees things on a unique wavelength that brings creativity, innovation and fun to our venture.”

Nezer’s history with Lester dates back to when Nezer was an MBA student. He helped found SeatKarma with fellow MBA student Chris Nicolaysen for $30,000 in seed capital. The two developed SeatKarma during study breaks at Ag Cafe on West Campus and in Lester’s class.

“Dr. Lester was very influential in helping us sort through the early struggles with SeatKarma,” Nezer recalled. “We welcome his experience and advice working on Knocki.”

SeatKarma was an event search engine that scoured ticket resellers to find the best second-hand market prices for athletic, theater and music events at more than 1,600 venues nationwide. Though it was founded during a shaky economy, SeatKarma received a boost from positive reviews by TechCrunch and LifeHacker and a 2009 feature in TechCrunch.

Nezer said he and Ohad enjoyed returning to College Station to work on their current venture. “It feels like going full circle,” he said. “Getting reconnected with Mays professors has been very useful. We are fortunate to be so close to such a great pool of business minds.”

 This summer, the cofounders meet at least once weekly with their mentor, Startup Aggieland Marketing Coordinator Shelly Brenckman, during the team’s “Deep Dive” roundtables at Seed Sumo. Those meetings are also attended by Seed Sumo Managing Director Bryan Bulte, Seed Sumo associate Steve Tinkle and other Seed Sumo personnel.

“We didn’t accept Ohad and Jake into Seed Sumo because of their idea,” explained Bulte. “We accepted them because they are extremely talented entrepreneurs. They understand ‘lean’ and can maneuver a business model.”

Mays professor Don Lewis, a Startup Aggieland cofounder and its manager, works with Brenckman to recruit mentors and help about 120 student startups annually. They have facilitated nearly $3 million in equity funding for students.

Brenckman said the Seed Sumo alliance contributes to the area’s reputation as a fertile climate for investors. She said the startup culture embraces entrepreneurs as “family.”

“Ohad and Jake are great to work with and exemplify all that is fun and rewarding about mentoring startups,” Brenckman said.

ABOUT STARTUP AGGIELAND

Startup Aggieland is an award-winning business accelerator for student startups launching from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Opened January 2013 with one full-time employee and one part-time manager, Startup Aggieland was named among the top three U.S. programs for student entrepreneurs by C-E-O in 2014.

Startup Aggieland is sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School; Dwight Look College of Engineering; College of Architecture, Office of the Vice President of Research; and the RVP.

 ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

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Participants to converge on campus for intensive eight-day residency to learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business ownership

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – On Saturday (July 11), 21 disabled veterans will converge on the Texas A&M University campus to expand on the traits (resilience, focus and leadership) they developed in the military, and learn the basics of business ownership during the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV).

Hosted in partnership between the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and Mays Business School at Texas A&M, the EBV helps post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities develop skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses.

The results are in for graduates of the national EBV program:

  • 1,130 EBV graduates have become entrepreneurs;
  • $196 million (and growing) in revenue has been generated by EBV graduate businesses;
  • 68% of EBV graduates have started their own businesses; 92% of those are still in business today;
  • 1 out of every 4 EBV graduate businesses grosses over $100,000/year;
  • 72 – The average number of people employed by an EBV graduate;
  • EBV graduate businesses currently employ 1,886 people

The EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course. Participants have already begun to shape business plans and learn business language during the online phase. During the second phase, participants will complete an intensive nine-day residency at Texas A&M, learning the “nuts and bolts” of business ownership from established entrepreneurs and educators. Following the residency, EBV graduates will receive access to a year-long support and mentorship program through the EBV Technical Assistance Program.

The eighth annual Texas A&M program takes place July 11-18. The speaker at the July 11 opening ceremony will be April Ames-Chase, a member of the EBV Class of 2014. Mentoring sessions will be held early in the week, then the veterans will present their business plan pitches on July 18. Closing ceremonies will be that evening, with guest speaker retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Todd Nelson.

Richard Lester, director of the Texas A&M EBV, says it offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines disabled as a result of their service supporting operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. “This program fits exceptionally well at Texas A&M, where we have a rich military history and have been recognized for being one of the top military friendly schools,” he said. “It is a great way to give back to our veterans by utilizing our network of experts.”

The program was launched at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2007. Since the original class, the IVMF has expanded EBV to nine additional universities throughout the U.S., including Texas A&M. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, corporate partners and donors allows post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-connected disabilities to attend the program cost-free.

“EBV has produced more than 1,100 graduates since 2007, with 68 percent having launched a new venture after completing the EBV program,” said Tina Kapral, director of residency programs at IVMF. “The IVMF at Syracuse University is excited to work with Texas A&M again to support our nation’s veterans and help them create and maintain their own small businesses.”

Elements of the Texas A&M program will be open to the media upon request, and program leaders and attendees will be available for interviews.

Details specific to the EBV at Texas A&M program can be found at http://mays.tamu.edu/center-for-new-ventures-and-entrepreneurship/about-ebv-at-texas-am/. More information on the nationwide EBV program can be found at http://vets.syr.edu/education/ebv/.

MEDIA CONTACT

Shanna Spencer
Program Manager
Texas A&M University
979.845.0619

sspencer@mays.tamu.edu

Wayne Westervelt
Director of Communications
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
Re. EBV – national program
315.443.5690

wwesterv@syr.edu

 

ABOUT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY and the MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University, currently enrolling more than 45,000 students, is the oldest public university in the state. One of its most cherished traditions and legacies is the Corp of Cadets. With the exception of the service academies, A&M’s Corps makes up the nation’s largest uniformed student body, with approximately 1,800 students participating, and annually commissions more officers than any other institution. To date, more than 220 former cadets have achieved the rank of general or admiral. Since 1968, Mays Business School has been training ethical business leaders to impact the global society. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its academic programs and faculty scholarship and currently enrolls more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES (IVMF)

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. For more information, visit http://vets.syr.edu/.

 

Categories: Mays Business

No matter where you turn—from the Harvard Business Review or the National Council of Nonprofits to the Financial Times or the United Nations Global Compact—the cry for strong ethical leaders has never been louder. Mays Business School is stepping up to meet this challenge. With the arrival of a new dean and a diverse group of accomplished scholars, Mays is ushering in a new era in its long tradition of creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

The 11 new faculty members come to Mays from top institutions, including Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, Michigan, Duke, INSEAD and University of Texas at Austin, and will pursue a diverse set of research interests—ranging from sales leadership and behavioral economics to corporate governance and information asymmetry. The influx of new insights, perspectives and experiences will build upon Mays’ foundation of excellence and enhance its globally renowned faculty as the school continues on its upward trajectory as one of the top business schools in the country.

Leading the roster is Eli Jones, who took the helm as dean, professor of marketing, and Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business on July 1. Jones is returning to Texas A&M University with a strong record of effective leadership in industry and academia. After earning his MBA, he had a successful career at three Fortune 100 corporations before pursuing his Ph.D., then taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, PhD and Executive Education levels—both in the U.S. and abroad.

Jones was a professor of marketing, associate dean and founding executive director of the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of Houston, and then served as dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. Most recently, he was dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

Joining Jones and the rest of the Mays faculty this fall is a diverse group of professors with impressive track records of scholarship.

John Robinson, professor of accounting and Patricia ’77 and Grant E. Sims ’77 Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, comes from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a Ph.D. in accounting and a J.D. at the University of Michigan. He was an academic fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission 2009-2010.

Anupam Agrawal, associate professor of information and operations management, comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are in sourcing and technology-management interface. He received a Ph.D. in process and operations from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Cynthia Devers, associate professor of management, was previously on the faculty at University of Wisconsin, Tulane University and Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the roles governance mechanisms play in perceptions, behavior and organizational outcomes. She received a Ph.D. in strategic management from Michigan State University.

Korok Ray, associate professor of accounting, was previously on the faculty at University of Chicago, Georgetown University and George Washington School of Business. His research interests include performance measurement, compensation, corporate governance, cost allocation, disclosure and financial reporting. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago.

Matt Ege, assistant professor of accounting, comes from the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida. He has also taught managerial accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his Ph.D. in accounting. Before that, he received a master’s in management information systems and a bachelor’s in accounting from Texas A&M University.

Cexun “Jeffrey” Cai, assistant professor of marketing, comes from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include competitive strategy and behavioral economics. He received a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and quantitative economics from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology.

Christopher Yust, assistant professor of accounting, comes from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include financial accounting/reporting and earnings management. He received a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University.

Christina Kan, assistant professor of marketing, comes from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a bachelor’s of commerce, marketing and international business from Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

Mahdi Mohseni, assistant professor of finance, comes from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. His research interests include corporate finance, corporate governance and control rights. He received a Ph.D. in finance from Boston College, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.

Wei Wu, assistant professor of finance, comes from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he received a Ph.D. in finance. His research interests include information economics and investment management. He also earned a master’s in financial economics and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Peking University.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Mays Business