By Jessie Minks ’16

On the morning of Feb. 17, the Cocanougher Center was filled with an audience of business and community leaders serving as judges, anxiously waiting to learn the mission and goal of 16 start-up companies that teamed up with the first-year students from the class of 2017’s Full-Time MBA program. Held in partnership between the Mays MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2017 MBA Venture Challenge wrapped up its 15th year with three winning teams going home with a total of $10,000.

The day kicked off with the first round: the elevator pitch competition. Pitches ranged from a simplified physical fitness booking app and streamlined water purifying approaches to emerging drone security system technology. Elevator pitch winners Eric Jensen, Matt Larsen, Zain Hanif and Ellen Schott took home $500 after impressing the judge and company representative audience with their interest-sparking and comical pitch for InfinitySoft, a scalable data analytics platform provider for the oil and gas industry.

This year’s MBA Venture Challenge contained 68 first-year MBA students tasked with assisting applicant companies with business advice and financial/competitive analysis on current and future market and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between teams, for both sponsored cash awards and significant bragging rights. Additionally, the competition provides networking opportunities as well as high-value insights for participating firms.

The Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The start-up firms are invited to apply from throughout the Aggie Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, and the MBA teams selected their favorite firm, based solely on a short summary provided by the applicants. The program operates through partnerships and sponsorship from the Aggie Angel Network, JB Knowledge and the Texas A&M University Division of Research. The original 26 business applicants came from a wide variety of industries, including human tissue engineering and ecommerce, adventure media and consumer products.

While the MBA teams were allotted only two weeks of direct contact with their assigned company representatives, they were provided feedback and direction from industry and university mentors, including the MBA program faculty and volunteer entrepreneurs. Full-Time MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains “the MBA Venture Challenge encourages our students to integrate what they have learned across the business disciplines” and allows each team to “demonstrate the ability to navigate ambiguity and intellectual curiosity – two critical skills our employers seek in our students.”

The MBA Venture Challenge consisted of a full-day competition over three rounds of judging by an audience of experienced judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round required the teams to present a concise yet in-depth analysis of the start-up and provide meaningful recommendations for future company success.

“Now in its 15th year, the MBA Venture Challenge has clearly set the standard for high-intensity and high-impact interaction between student teams and startup ventures,” said Blake Petty, director of the CNVE. “The analysis provided by these outstanding MBAs has proven to be immediately invaluable to the participating companies, and there is simply no better way to expose our students to the real-life challenges of entrepreneurship than to immerse them into a startup…even if only for two weeks.”

For those companies or judges interested in participating in the 2018 MBA Venture Challenge, be on the lookout for application information to begin circulating in November 2017.

The winning MBA teams were announced Feb. 17 at a networking and awards reception immediately after the Venture Challenge:

$5,000 – First Place (sponsored by the Texas A&M Division of Research) – Brent Carter, Nick Cheng, Philip Spencer, Jana Soares; CelaCare

$3,000 – Second Place (sponsored by the Aggie Angel Network) – Mario Coll, Thomas Dowlearn, Eclair Lehmongkol, Ankur Soni; IntuiTap Medical

$2,000 – Third Place (sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Meagan Altman, James Cochran, Lia Rojas Unamo, Rahul Sharma; FireDisc

 

Learn more about the results of previous MBA Venture Challenge competitions.

 

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, MBA, News, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

In a rapidly globalizing environment and ever-changing world, business schools are providing more value than ever. Today at its 2017 Deans Conference, AACSB International (AACSB) — the world’s largest global education network — unveiled 35 innovations that represent critical work being done by business schools to better their communities and society at large.

Mays Business School was recognized for its submission on the Texas A&M University Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP), which detailed a bold new entrepreneurial training program that better prepares students to be leaders in the oil and gas industry. By connecting the curriculum with industry needs, PVP gives students a competitive advantage in an interdisciplinary way.

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The second annual “Innovations That Inspire” initiative showcases unique ways business schools are changing the status quo to address societal needs, while empowering the business leaders of tomorrow.

The AACSB’s second annual “Innovations That Inspire” initiative recognizes institutions that have championed change in the business education landscape. A total of 315 submissions were received across 33 countries, mirroring society’s growing global demands, as well as the critical need for strong, connected and forward-thinking business schools. The initiative—and the impressive work it showcases—underscores the important role that innovation plays in achieving the industry-wide vision for business education, which AACSB unveiled in 2016.

“With great pleasure, I am thrilled to recognize Mays Business School for its role in driving innovation in business education and fostering positive change in the areas of diversity and global economic prosperity,” said Tom R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB international. “Through meaningful ideas and increasing opportunities for engagement, Mays Business School has created a remarkable impact, to ensure a better and more connected world for many years to come.”

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, said the Texas A&M Petroleum Ventures Program “an example of connecting innovation with our school’s vision to advance the world’s prosperity.” He added, “We are honored to receive this recognition for stepping up to serve our state and nation in this important area.” As part of the school’s new strategic plan, Mays aims to build the school’s research presence in the Mays Grand Challenge area of Energy.

The academic collaboration between Mays Business School and the College of Engineering fosters teamwork among petroleum engineering students and students in the Department of Finance at Mays. The first classes for the PVP Certificate Program were offered in Fall 2016. PVP is funded by a $12 million gift by Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, business partners in Houston-based WildHorse Resources Management Company in Houston.

About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance, and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations across 97 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB accredits 780 business schools worldwide. Its global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its EMEA headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.aacsb.edu.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,200 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 vision of Mays Business School is to advance the world’s prosperity.

 

 

 

Categories: Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Departments, Energy, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Research, Texas A&M

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Happy New Year! Texas A&M’s Mays Business School recently marked or will celebrate several milestones of many of its signature programs in 2017. Here are just a few:

In 1966, over 50 years ago,  the Full-Time MBA program was initiated at Texas A&M University. It is now an 18-month program for young professionals. The Mays MBA programs were expanded in 2012, five years ago, when the Professional MBA program was added to the school’s offerings. The program moved with the Executive MBA program to CityCentre Houston, a mixed-use urban development off Interstate 10 and Beltway 8 in West Houston.

In 1972, 45 years ago, the business school awarded its first Ph.D. The Mays Ph.D. program is currently ranked 8th U.S. public and 13th overall in the U.S. by Financial Times 2015.

In 1992, 25 years ago, the school began recognizing the best of the best of Mays with an annual Outstanding Alumni Award. To date, 79 former students have been recognized with this honor.

In 2008, 10 years ago, Mays joined seven other universities in the EBV Consortium, dedicated to developing veterans in entrepreneurship through the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans. Now part of a consortium that includes 10 additional universities across the nation, Texas A&M University continues to offer free training and one-on-one mentoring.

One year ago, in 2016, Mays launched its MS Business program for students who have received non-business bachelor’s degrees and have little or no professional work experience.   The inaugural class class of 41 students represents a wide range of disciplines.

These milestones are just a few examples of Mays Business School’s vision and mission to advance the world’s prosperity by creating impactful knowledge and developing transformational leaders. Share your favorite 2017 milestone with us by tweeting @MaysBusiness.

 

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

Eight Mays Business School students have been named 2017 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund recipients, winning $40,000 in scholarships.

Established in 1937, the Young Menswear Association (YMA) Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) is the premier educational fashion non-profit in the United States. FSF offers scholarships to the best and brightest students seeking business, technology and design careers in the fashion industry.

Cheryl Bridges, adjunct professor of marketing at Mays,  teaches the Advanced Retail Case Study course (MKTG 426). She said the advanced retail case study course is designed to challenge each student to “use critical thinking to develop a business plan that is both viable and creative providing financial and marketing solutions.” The class is part of the certificate in retailing curriculum through the Center for Retailing Studies.

Students evaluated the recent partnership between Etsy, an online marketplace for selling and buying unique goods, and Macy’s – the 159 year-old chain. To combat the trend of successful sellers leaving the site, Etsy Manufacturing, it opened The Etsy Shop at Macy’s Herald Square. This gave Etsy sellers physical store space at one of America’s busiest and famous department stores. The partnership also allowed Macy’s an assortment of artisanal products that many millennials desire.

Students were asked to (1) identify the end-use customer the collaboration should target and (2) identify Etsy sellers who would create the most demand. By envisioning their role as the Director of Special Merchandising Projects at Macy’s, they also developed a marketing campaign and six-month financial plan for The Etsy Shop.

In total, 229 students were selected out of 569 applications from 58 schools, including Cornell, University of California-Berkeley, FIT-Fashion Institute of Technology and the Wharton School of Business.

Each winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will travel to New York City in January to be recognized at a formal awards gala. The scholarship also guarantees a fashion internship in New York City during the summer 2017.

Bridges and the eight scholarship recipients network with over 1,500 executives, including influential fashion designers, retail CEOs and top manufacturer brands.

 Texas A&M University has been recognized in the top 10 percent of universities across the country for having the most winners. Since 2012, FSF has awarded 35 scholarships to Mays Business School students, totaling $175,000.

2017 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Leslie Bonorden, Marketing ’18
  • Loryn Setterquist, Business Honors ’18
  • Alex Marks, Marketing ’18
  • Tori Kloeppel, Supply Chain Management ’17
  • Sarah Stroup, Business Honors/Marketing ’17
  • Frances Uzoukwu, Marketing ’17
  • Riden Reiter, Marketing ’17
  • Tess Williamson, Marketing ’17

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

andrew-jarrettA startup that competed in the annual MBA Venture Challenge at Mays Business School in February was recently admitted to Startup Aggieland as a client company. It joined the campus-based accelerator program’s Lifestyle group, exclusive for early-stage ventures that generate revenue.

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ResponderX is a team of technical, non-technical and emergency service providers who are dedicated to engineering safety solutions for firefighters across the nation. Volunteer firefighter Andrew Jarrett formed the company team to promote the use of TaskForceTracker, his patent-pending technology consisting of small device attaches to the top of firefighter helmets and is able to provide critical information such as location and condition of the personnel on the scene.

He said he was inspired to create TaskForce technology to save lives after two local firemen lost their lives during a Feb. 2013 rescue at the Knights of Colombus hall. “Someone got lost in the fire and we had to go search for him,” Jarrett recalled. “When the dust settled, we realized that the guy they came to rescue was very close to an external door to the back building. That’s when it came to me that there is a better way to do this.”

ResponderX founders Jarrett and Jerry Lozano participated in the annual MBA Venture Challenge through Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in February 2016. Over an intensive two-week period, they worked with two Texas A&M MBA students whose task was to complete an in-depth analysis of the business and market segment of Jarrett’s startup company, ResponderX.

“Armed with the research provided to ResponderX by the MBA team, we were able to approach serious investors for the first time with a truly accurate depiction of our business valuation and well-documented market research,” said Jarrett.

The information helped Jarrett raise almost $200,000 in funding.

“The MBA Venture Challenge may have been one of the single most important things to happen to our startup in the past year,” Jarrett explained. “The research, projections, and recommendations provided to me by the student team we were partnered with were priceless, and we continue to use the materials they created to help us in our projections to this day.”

As a client company of Startup Aggieland, ResponderX has been assigned three mentors:

  • Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Nathan Day, a retired founding CTO of SoftLayer and Texas A&M former student who lives near Austin;
  • Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Kralyevich, a VP UX for Amazon in Seattle and a Texas A&M former student;
  • Dave Manzer, an Aggie mentor for Startup Aggieland who owns Manzer Communications in Austin;
  • Shelly Brenckman, a student co-founder and marketing coordinator as well as manager of the CNVE Mentor Network and Startup Aggieland’s Dormcubator.
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Burnt gear from the firefighters who died in February 2013 is used to demonstrate how important safety is on the fireground.

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, MBA, News, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) celebrated its 12th Annual Aggie 100 Program on Nov. 11, honoring the top 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned and -led businesses. The 12th Man stands as an important symbol for Texas A&M University, and the 12th anniversary Aggie 100 honored all past and present honorees.

31054582776_095930f21e_zThe Class of 2016 honorees were recognized before more than 850 attendees at a first-of-its-kind Aggie 100 Reunion Gala event on Friday night in the Hall of Champions at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. The 2016 honorees were highlighted by 13 companies in the business and financial services industry, along with more than 40 companies within the construction, real estate and architectural industries. These Aggie entrepreneurs have shown that combining their passions with an unwavering drive to succeed, a healthy dose of patience and integrity to maintaining Aggie Core Values can help make Aggie companies an “overnight success.”

This year’s Summit Award was presented to the Aggie company with the highest average revenue from 2013 to 2015. James Goodman ’95, founder of Genesis Networks Enterprises in San Antonio, was honored as the 2016 Aggie 100 Summit Award recipient, with an average revenue of $868,651,989.

…Read more

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

By Venky Shankar

Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing at Mays Business School;facstaff_shankarv
Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only days away. So how does this year’s retail shopping season look? All estimates point to a bullish holiday season.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts retail holiday sales to be $656 billion, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) projects them to be $684 billion; and Deloitte Consulting is even more optimistic, pegging sales at $1 trillion. Depending on the estimate, the expected growth rate over last year ranges from 3 to 4.4 percent. Retail holiday e-commerce is anticipated to range from $91.6 billion (Adobe Digital Insights [ADI]) to $98 billion (Deloitte Consulting). Much of the holiday shopping will come from a large number of shoppers making small purchases. An overwhelming majority of shoppers (78 percent) will be spending less than $1,000 during the holidays (Qualtrics).

…Read more

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

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Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development (CED) is partnering with Texas A&M University Athletics to provide a rare executive development opportunity. The Leading Champions Executive Program is an all-access pass into Texas A&M Athletics designed to help executives rise to the challenges of today’s business world.

In the three-day program that will launch in April, the world-class faculty of Mays along with the nationally renowned coaching staff of Texas A&M Athletics will facilitate focused sessions, experiential learning activities, self-assessments and simulations with the objective of strengthening business and leadership acumen. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to engage with the coaching staff, exclusively tour popular Texas A&M sports facilities and participate in highly experiential activities related to Texas A&M Athletics.  

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Dean Eli Jones

This program is designed for executive-level leaders and decision makers from a wide range of organizations. “This program is a great example of our mission to develop the Mays Transformational Leader: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones.

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

entrepTexas A&M University is on The Princeton Review’s 11th annual survey naming the 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate schools best for entrepreneurship studies for 2017, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine announced Wednesday. Texas A&M was 20th on the undergraduate list and 21st on the graduate list.

About 250 startups were launched by Texas A&M graduates in the last five years. Mays Business School is a leader in entrepreneurship on the Texas A&M campus, and has 900 students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes.

Entrepreneurial thinking aligns with Mays Business School’s vision to develop transformational leaders who possess the qualities of an entrepreneur: responsible leaders with vision and strong business competencies, exemplify selfless service and value diversity and inclusion.

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Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, MS Business, News, Startup Aggieland, Students, Texas A&M

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The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) hosted its first Independent Retail Business Breakfast for Bryan-College Station store managers and owners Nov. 2 at Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland.

As the “voice of retail in Texas,” the organization is led by George Kelemen, president and CEO, who spent 11 years in Washington, D.C., and most recently served as the senior vice president of government and political affairs at Airports Council International.

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