By Dorian Martin ’06, The Texas A&M Foundation

The entrepreneurial spirit of longtime Texas A&M University benefactor Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. will continue to inspire future generations of Aggies through the renaming of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in his honor.

McFerrin, who passed away Aug. 8 after a long battle with leukemia, consistently supported Texas A&M’s academic and athletic programs with major gifts. The 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University is the namesake of the McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, the McFerrin Athletic Center (the indoor football complex and track stadium) and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center.

“Widely known as one of the most generous, humble and understated leaders in business, Artie gave more in his life than he ever took,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “He set a standard few others will ever achieve as a man of character and conviction focused on the future. It is fitting that the newly renamed McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship will bear the name of someone so focused on giving others opportunities.”

The CNVE’s renaming was made possible through a $10 million gift from McFerrin and his wife, Dorothy. These funds will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education. “We are truly grateful to the McFerrin family,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “Artie’s spirit lives on through the thousands of lives he has influenced and will continue to influence. His heart for Texas A&M and entrepreneurship beats in the hearts of those Aggies who choose to be courageous enough to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems—those who are indeed fearless.”

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65

Funds will further help the center more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a turbulent global economy. “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that equips young people for starting and growing their ventures,” said Richard Lester, the center’s executive director. “With this support, we can expand our reach and impact while linking existing programs for a cohesive experience. More than grooming specific skills, we hope to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: to believe they can achieve and not give up when the going gets tough.”

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Donors Corner, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Dayana Hansley ’18 had an eventful freshman year. She struggled in her engineering classes during the first semester. At the same time, the Abilene native and her team took first place in the 2014 Aggies Invent competition, a 48-hour engineering innovation competition.

The combination of these two occurrences altered Hansley’s trajectory in both college and in life. She changed her major in order to earn a university studies business degree with minors in leadership studies and communications. The winner of Aggies Invent also transferred to Mays Business School’s Startup Aggieland, where she gained guidance in entrepreneurism and the resources to figure out how to bring her team’s invention, the Motley Tool, to the marketplace.

Coming back to a childhood dream

Hansley’s interest in entrepreneurship started at an early age. “I’ve always dreamed of owning my own company,” she said. “Even as a child, I would make handmade cards to give to my parents and family members for holidays. I would always write ‘Dayana Inc.’ on the back, hoping that one day I would have my own company.”

That dream eventually faded away. “As I grew up, I didn’t think it was realistic and I put the idea of entrepreneurship to the side,” she said.

However, winning Aggies Invent put her back on the path that she dreamed about in her youth. “Startup Aggieland opened my eyes to entrepreneurism,” she said. “I learned that owning my own business is possible and it is not as crazy as people make it seem.”

Hansley quickly tapped into the business incubator’s mentoring and resources, including free legal assistance. In addition, she worked with Startup Aggieland’s staff to patent the Motley Tool.

She also found that Startup Aggieland offered a nurturing environment that helped her juggle the opportunities she was being offered while remaining focused on her classes and own self-care. “When they pull you in, they make sure you are taken care of,” said Hansley, who is president of Texas A&M’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. “They also make sure you are doing well in school because Startup Aggieland does realize that you’re here for school.” …Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Startup Aggieland, Students, Texas A&M

The 24 veterans who completed a week of small business management training with Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School left Saturday armed with information, enthusiasm and commitment.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) July 15-22 provided valued skills to leverage post-9/11 military service in pursuit of business ownership.

This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of EBV at Texas A&M. The new name – Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program – recognizes a $2 million dollar endowment provided by the Reynolds and Reynolds company to support EBV at Texas A&M. The gift is part of Texas A&M’s “Lead by Example” campaign that launched in 2016.

Some of the ventures were:

  • Keys to your City, a social media application developed by Jesse Simpson to connect veterans and help them adjust after reintegration
  • Coventry Medical Recruiting, a staffing company to Kevin Cross created to connect nurses, nurse practitioners with family practice healthcare providers
  • Titan Environmental Solutions, a company Maggie Peterson created to sell muscle walls, a low-density poly-ethylene structure
  • Corporate Hires Solutions, a staffing company created by Jason Hendricks
    Urgent Air Designs, an e-commerce site created by Todd Taylor that gives back 20 percent to the teams
  • 1st Quality Property Management, a property management company created by Charlie Moehlenbrock
  • Elemental Fitness and Wellness Clinic, a health and wellness clinic created by Megan Williams

Robert Burnett ’87, senior vice president of Reynolds & Reynolds, described the week’s long hours and hard work. “The quality of teaching and mentorship was incredible,” he said.

Burnett said he observed “extreme discipline” and “a commitment to task” in the participants, as well as the ability to adapt to a situation, or pivot. “They now have the opportunity to impact their community, state, nation,” he said before declaring them “fit for the job.”

The EBV was founded in 2007 at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, and has expanded to include 10 universities, including Mays Business School at Texas A&M. These 10 institutes of higher education deliver EBV to veterans who desire to develop the skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners, foundations and private donors allow participants to attend the program cost-free.

EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course where participants shape business plans and learn business language. During the second phase, participants complete an intensive eight-day residency at a university, 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 EBV Technical Assistance, managed by the IVMF.

The week in numbers:

  • 144 hours
  • 50 speakers/panelists
  • 39 hours in class
  • 12 hours with mentors
  • 59 pots of coffee
  • 87 Snickers
  • 432 bottles of water
  • 600+ slides

 

 

 

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Aspiring veteran entrepreneurs will receive small business management training at Texas A&M University during the annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) July 15-22. This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of EBV at Texas A&M and comes with a new title and partner. Veterans will come to the College Station campus to leverage valued skills from military service in pursuit of business ownership.

Founded in 2007 at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, EBV has now expanded to include ten world-class universities, including Mays Business School at Texas A&M. These 10 institutes of higher education deliver EBV to post-9/11 veterans who desire to develop the skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners, foundations and private donors allow participants to attend the program cost-free.

This year’s program at Texas A&M is renamed Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program to recognize a $2 million dollar endowment provided by the Reynolds and Reynolds company to support EBV at Texas A&M. The gift is part of Texas A&M’s “Lead by Example” campaign that launched in 2016, and celebrates the tenth anniversary of EBV’s success at Texas A&M.

Reynolds and Reynolds has always been a strong partner of Mays Business School, consistently recruiting talent from Texas A&M and as a founding partner of the Mays Professional Selling Initiative. As a company, Reynolds and Reynolds provide automotive retailing solutions for car dealers and automakers in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe. It is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio with more than 4,300 associates worldwide.

EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course where participants shape business plans and learn business language. During the second phase, participants will complete an intensive eight-day residency at a university, 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 EBV Technical Assistance — managed by the IVMF.

Visit ebv.vets.syr.edu for more information on EBV.

Media contacts:

Shanna Spencer, Program Manager, CNVE

(979) 845-0619, sspencer@mays.tamu.edu

or

Kelli Levey Reynolds, Mays Business School

(979) 845-3167, klevey@mays.tamu.edu

About the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that transforms veterans into entrepreneurs. Delivered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the EBV leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-related disabilities. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to nine additional universities across the U.S., including Cornell University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Connecticut and University of Missouri.  Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners and donors allows participants to attend the program at no cost. For more information, visit ebv.vets.syr.edu and follow the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

About the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Through a combination of entrepreneurial-focused curricular and experiential opportunities, The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) seeks to enhance the livelihood of Texas A&M University and the greater community. Since its inception in 1999, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) has served as the hub of entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University.

Our goal is to enhance student education by providing training, networking, and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and alumni. With the support of our volunteer network, corporate supporters, faculty, and staff, CNVE has been able to provide business start up acceleration, competitive opportunities, work experiences, and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community and across the world. For more information about the EBV Program at Texas A&M, visit ebv.tamu.edu.

About Texas A&M University and 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 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is home to seven centers that advance innovative theory and best practices in a broad range of business functional areas including new ventures and entrepreneurship. These centers offer a direct connect for faculty and professionals to collaborate on research, and for students to be exposed to ideas advancing business today.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

By Sophia Mora

On Friday, April 28, Texas A&M University held a grand opening event for a new entrepreneurship program – Blackstone LaunchPad – with tours of their studio space and the unveiling of their mobile office space.

During the event, remarks were made by Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones, Blackstone LaunchPad at Texas A&M Director Don Lewis, Blackstone LaunchPad Global Director Alisha Slye, and Blake Teipel of Essentium Materials.

Student entrepreneurs spoke about their journeys through entrepreneurship thus far and their excitement to have Blackstone LaunchPad as another entrepreneurial touchpoint on campus. The program showcased the Blackstone LaunchPad studio space in the Koldus building (Suite 105), a permanent location to conduct meetings and mentorship sessions, and a mobile kiosk, which is a traveling office used to increase the accessibility of entrepreneurship on campus.

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Departments, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

The Raymond Ideas Challenge is a full-day business concept competition for all undergraduate and graduate students to help turn their idea, technology or prototype dream into the next product or service that will change the world. The Texas A&M University-wide Challenge invites all majors, ideas, and interests to apply.

For the second consecutive year, the Raymond Ideas Challenge also invited the winner of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus’ BUC Days Ideas Challenge to compete alongside their Aggie peers. Students were encouraged throughout March and April to attend several workshops that would assist in perfecting their big idea submissions through mentoring and guidance. Students were able to begin executing the initial steps involved in developing an idea and seeing it through to fruition.

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Departments, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

A Texas A&M University program that provides training for entrepreneurial veterans will be renamed the Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program to recognize the company’s $2 million endowment made in 2016.

The funds will be used to provide support to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) Program, which is administered by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School. Mays is a founding member of the EBV Consortium of eight universities dedicated to developing veterans in entrepreneurship through on-site training and ongoing mentorships.

The new name was approved April 27 by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

The renaming coincides with the 10th anniversary of the EBV at Texas A&M.

It bolsters the Mays grand challenge of entrepreneurship – which emerged after a school-wide strategic planning initiative that spanned most of 2016 and set the course for the school’s future.

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation hosted an open house April 28 of the Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) studio in the Koldus building.

After remarks by Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones, Blackstone Director Don Lewis, and Blake Teipel of Essentium Materials, tours of the studio in the Koldus Building were offered.

BLP is a campus-based program designed to assist and mentor students, faculty, staff, and alumni who want to learn about entrepreneurship opportunities at Texas A&M.

Blackstone expanded its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, in 2016 to three Texas universities: Texas A&M, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant will establish a partnership between the three institutions to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and offer opportunities to the universities’ 130,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.

Blackstone photo2“Texas has a strong business environment and is a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder. “As universities look to the private sector to expand their capabilities and provide experiential opportunities to their students, we are pleased to help meet that need and deliver the tools and resources to build strong enterprises rooted in the state and connected to a global network of entrepreneurs.”

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

3 Day Startup event is a 72-hour, hands-on workshop experience for Texas A&M University students of all majors. Within this three-day period, students are coached, mentored and begin executing on the critical first steps necessary to make any business idea grow successfully. Beginning on Friday afternoon, students pitch their own business idea, and teams are formed around the ideas most highly-supported by the other student participants. Then these student teams will work day and night to prepare for their final pitches on Sunday in front of a “Pro Panel” of entrepreneurial experts who have launched successful businesses across a wide array of industries. The constructive criticism and advice provided by volunteer mentors and entrepreneurs throughout the weekend provide the students with a framework and path to work toward launching a new business.

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M