_Q4A0149-43The 6th annual Theory + Practice in Marketing (TPM) conference joined together more than 85 academic experts and industry practitioners from eight different countries at Mays CityCentre in Houston. It was hosted by at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School.

During the three-day event, 45 research papers were presented in rapid succession. Following only 20 minutes of content overview, scholars received feedback about their topic’s relevancy and potential for application in a business setting from academic peers and industry executives.

According to conference co-founder Don Lehmann of Columbia Business School, TPM began in 2010 to nudge marketing research to “pay more attention to what was going on in the industry.”

Additionally, the conference’s initial title included the word “method.” But by replacing it with “practice,” the founders hoped to shift traditional academic focus on methodology instead to explore how scholarly research can improve business efficiencies, understanding of consumer behavior, and much more. TPM uniquely positions the implications of research, not the analytic process or data set, as the hero of the story.

Sunil Gupta, also a TPM co-founder, encouraged the group to consider three questions – the same criteria his home institution Harvard Business School uses in tenure promotion – when delving into research:

1. What problem are you trying to solve?
2. Why should anyone care?
3. What do you have to say that no one else has said before?

First-year Mays Ph.D. candidate Unnati Narang presented, “Do Mobile Apps Influence Shopper Behavior? Evidence from Omnichannel Retailing,” built on the Center for Retailing Studies’ research partnership with GameStop.

Narang and co-author Venky Shankar, Mays Coleman Chair and Professor of Marketing, concluded that app usage does increase both the frequency and monetary value of purchases. Surprisingly, it also increases return rates, so further research may explore that discovery.

_Q4A0522-169Each of the papers submitted were split into groups based on content and themes including: marketing leadership and relevance; brand management; display advertising; mobile, shopping, and gaming; social effects and online communities; digital marketing; among others.

“The 2016 TPM conference was a huge success, raising Mays Business School’s visibility and enhancing the marketing group’s reputation,” said Shankar, who was co-chair of the conference. “It also positively showcased our first class facilities in Houston’s CityCentre.”

Participants rated the research presentations as most stimulating and the industry speakers and discussants as most insightful. “Terrific” and “fantastic” were some of the adjectives used by participants’ feedback surveys.

Throughout the remainder of the conference, industry executives – dubbed “practitioners” in academic circles – participated as:

• Business discussants, providing critiques pulled from their professional experiences
• Panelists, highlighting the need to bridge academia and practice
• Keynotes, explaining the relevance of these topics and importance for large scale partnerships

The group included Craig Ceccanti, co-founder and CEO of Pinot’s Palette; Anita Seghal, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Houston Astros; Mike Francis ’06, strategy director at Halliburton; and Bruce Pool, president and managing director of Aggreko Rental Solutions.

Many of these participants are connected to Mays as undergraduate, Executive MBA graduates or as frequent classroom guest speakers.

Also represented were Galen Walters, founder and CEO of Go Think! Retail; Michael Albrecht, CDO and senior vice president of Albrecht AdVisors (formerly CDO and senio vice president for Love Advertising); Girish Sardeshapande, principal at the Dialog Group; Pablo Azar, senior vice president of PNC Financial Services Group; Jessica Lawson ’08, marketing director for Ignite Restaurant Group; and Rajendra Srivastava, dean of the Indian Business School.

Tim Krause, principal at TDKrause Consulting (former chief marketing officer of Alcatel-Lucent, leading IP networking, ultra-broadband access, and cloud technology specialist), served as the dinner keynote on Thursday, emphasizing that “collaboration begins by creating a network of innovation.”

He also stressed the importance of building a team of individuals who are able to contribute different perspectives. They should examine different parts of the issue – what he calls an “outside in approach.” If you give marketers the tools to succeed, he said, businesses can get ahead.

Krause challenged the academic researchers and Ph.D. students to:

1. Focus on real problems.
2. Don’t get distracted with noise.
3. Break your network. The new networks you form ad hoc will be the one that is worth it in the long run.
4. Stop finding solutions to problems that don’t exist.

“Given the long-time reputation of Mays as one of the strongest departments in the world for substantive marketing strategy research, it was a real thrill for us to get to host TPM 2016 with its focus on rigor and relevance,” said Mark Houston, head of the Department of Marketing at Mays.

“Tim [Krause] did a great job by tasking conference participants to focus their research on solving problems that matter. Overall, TPM had a big impact on the attendees. Their presentations have me excited to see the quality of research papers that will be published as a result.”

The best of the papers presented at the 2016 Theory + Practice in Marketing conference will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research, a premier marketing journal.

Also announced by TPM co-founder, Bernd Schmitt (Columbia School of Business), was the international expansion of the conference. TPM Asia is planned for June 2016 in Seoul, Korea.

For more information about the Theory + Practice in Marketing conference, visit theorypractice.org.

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

The 2016 Raymond Ideas Challenge saw an impressive array of student ideas, as usual. The winner were announced at an award reception May 4.

The annual competition challenges students of all majors and classifications to dream up and pitch their “big idea” for a great product or service. Members of the business world and academia judge the submissions and the top 40 entries are named finalists. Finalists then present their ideas to a panel of business professionals.

By participating in the challenge, students have the opportunity to network with judges, develop business concepts and improve their writing and presentation skills.

The top awards went to:

    • First place ($3,000): Commercializing Low Earth Orbit with a Turnkey CubeSat Product Trent Tate, Dakotah Karrer, Vince Rodriguez and David Smith
    • Second place ($2,000): ReGrub Ryan Woolsey and Blake Harvey
    • Third place ($1,000): Motley Tool McCalley Cunningham and Dayana Hansley

The prizes for Best Video Pitches were awarded to:

    • First place ($1,000): IceMe Shravan Shetty, Aakash Jain, Yeshwanth Ja and Rishub Mishra
    • Second place ($500): Pool Reilly Mickelson, Mauricio Degregori and Colin Brady
    • Third place ($250): GiftHer Allison Kornher

The following teams were Honorable Mentions ($500):

    • WireSpare Blake Harvey
    • BAT-MoBIKE Service Center Pradeep Subramanian Srinivasan,
    • Quick Clip Reminder Shelby Polasek and Vanessa Galindo
    • DeHydraTect – Dehydration Detection Pacifier Magy Avedissian, Nga Tang, Grace Fletcher, Scott Herting and Jose Wippold

Learn more about the results of previous Ideas Challenges competitions. 26835627415_c52b03439b_o

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


Startup Aggieland’s TriFusion Devices will compete in the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition April 14-16 at Rice University in Houston.

The team will compete with top universities for more than $1 million in prizes in four categories: Life sciences; information technology/web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability and other. The team with the best investment opportunity will win $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite.

Teams will also compete for $5,000 in the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the RBPC Awards Banquet on April 16.

TriFusion Devices, cofounded by Blake Teipel and Brandon Sweeney, Ph.D. candidates in Materials Science and Engineering, has developed customizable 3D printed prosthetic leg devices. MBA student Britton Eastburn also joined the team.

Since spring 2015, the team has taken top honors in multiple competitions, winning first place at CNVE’s Raymond Ideas Challenge, the inaugural SEC Pitch Competition in Atlanta and at the Baylor Business Plan Competition in February 2016.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open through 1 p.m. April 16 at https://apps.facebook.com/rbpc-polls/form/rbpc2016.

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

gI_67033_Shelly BrenckmanShelly Brenckman, marketing coordinator at Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland, was named the 2015 International Brand Master, announced competition sponsor, Educational Marketing Group, Inc. (EMG) http://www.emgonline.com. This international award, now in its seventh year, is presented annually to an exemplary educational brand manager. Brenckman took top honors for her ability to create a story-centered brand while utilizing creative and traditional marketing techniques with zero dollars in the marketing budget.

Startup Aggieland, powered by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, keeps Brenckman busy as the only full-time staff member in the 1 1/2 employee program. She developed the name of the program and brand identity through strategic story telling techniques. In addition, she utilized guerilla marketing, event promotion, social media platforms, and media releases. Brenckman collaborated with Texas A&M’s Marketing & Communications division to get their support for distribution and to amplify Startup Aggieland’s message with their own media releases. She worked with campus publications to help spread the word about Texas A&M’s student startups and accelerator, including Aggiebound magazine for future students and their parents, and The Battalion student daily.

One of the first things that Brenckman did was to organize a stylish photo shoot to showcase Startup Aggieland students as part of its branding. These photos helped the brand have a consistent theme throughout all digital and print materials so it would be easily recognizable and stand out. The brand was also promoted using t-shirt marketing, event/mobile app marketing, and giveaways Brenckman carefully protects the Startup Aggieland brand so it is not overused and maintains its mystique. She also has utilized popup banners to promote Startup Aggieland’s academic partners and sponsors, as well as the brand itself.

“When I think of Startup Aggieland, I think of Shelly,” said Rodney Hill, presidential professor, former assistant dean, and founding board member of Startup Aggieland. “She helped raise it from an idea, nourished it to where it is a nationally-recognized business accelerator for students, and now faculty, too. During her involvement with Startup Aggieland, the three-year-old program has been showcased at the White House in Washington D.C. and students in the program have earned many awards at international pitch competitions. Shelly is the marketing soul of Startup Aggieland, having come up with the name and brand identity.”

Brenckman competed against two other strong finalists to win top honors in the International Brand Master competition. Katie Kempf, alumnae relations and special events, Ursuline Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, and Johanna Lowe, head of marketing, communications, and engagement, University of Sydney, Australia, were runners up. Brenckman competed with an initial field of seven exceptional nominees, five of whom hailed from the United States, one from Australia, and one from United Kingdom.

“We are honored to recognize Shelly Brenckman’s outstanding marketing skills. She conceived the Startup Aggieland brand and produced extraordinary results while working as the sole full-time staff member, making her a standout in the competition,” said Bob Brock, EMG president.

Colleagues in education branding will be able to hear more from Brenckman, as EMG will honor her success with a series of interviews during the coming months.

More information on the 2015 International Brand Master and Startup Aggieland, can be found at http://emgonline.com/ibm-award/past-awards/2015-master/.

# # #

Shelly Brenckman wears many hats at Startup Aggieland as the facility’s only full-time employee since May 2013. Although her title at Startup Aggieland is marketing coordinator, she also serves as a mentor, event planner and office manager with some responsibility for managing student workers and representing Startup Aggieland at outside events. She helps Assistant Director Don Lewis with strategic planning, creating new programming and developing related course curriculum. In particular, her work focuses on donor development, sponsor and speaker recruitment, and recruitment of mentors and new student entrepreneurs. As marketing coordinator, Shelly is the webmaster and social media manager, as well as the mobile app manager. She creates all branding for Startup Aggieland and communicates the facility’s story both internally and externally through print, radio, social media and gorilla marketing. As a mentor, Shelly has advised nearly every student venture launching from Startup Aggieland and some that never became official clients. She also has advised former students and remote-learning students in other states. Shelly connects student startups with funding and board members by tapping her extensive network of alumni, administrators and CEOs. Shelly manages the 44-bed Dormcubator on campus, a residential program for freshmen and sophomores that is operated by Startup Aggieland as a Startup Living Learning Community. She teaches MGMT 289: Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Mays Business School, a multi-disciplinary course for Dormcubator students.

The International Brand Master award was established in 2009 to bring recognition to the outstanding work of extraordinary educational brand marketing professionals from around the world. Since then, EMG received nominations from countries including Portugal, Belgium, Scotland, Netherlands, Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. This year, a blue-ribbon panel of volunteer international judges from the United States, Ireland, and England reviewed supporting materials provided by the nominees. Nominees were asked to provide responses to a number of questions related to their brand’s strategy, tactics, and provide results as well as provide several letters of support from colleagues. The judges narrowed the pool of seven nominees to three distinguished finalists. Two from the United States, Shelly Brenckman, Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland, and Katie Kempf, Ursuline Academy, and one from Australia, Johanna Lowe, University of Sydney. Votes to determine the winner among the three finalists were cast by brand stakeholders and fellow branding professionals from around the world. Over 120 individuals voted from around the world. The winner was chosen by a combination of public votes and the judges’ scores. For more information see: http://emgonline.com/ibm-award/.

This year’s judging panel included:

  •     Elizabeth Allen: Director of Online Communications at the American School in London in London, United Kingdom
  •     Jennifer Collins: Grants Administrator at SEAL Legacy Foundation in Virginia, United States
  •     Eilis O’Brien: Director of Communication and Marketing at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland
  •     Seth Odell: 2013 International Brand Master Winner and Vice President of Creative and Marketing Strategy at Helix Education in Utah, United States
  •     Dr. David Peck: 2014 International Brand Master Winner and Vice President of University Relations at Azusa Pacific University in California, United States
  •     Kay Zimmerman: Associate Vice Provost Marketing & Partnership Development and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Academic Outreach & Entrepreneurship at North Carolina State University DELTA in North Carolina, United States
  •     Travis Brock: Chair of the 2015 International Brand Master Award committee, and Director of Business Development and Social Media for Educational Marketing Group, Inc. in Colorado, United States (replacement judge)

EMG is a full-service, integrated brand development and marketing agency that provides custom-tailored research, brand development, creative, development, new media services, and media services for universities throughout North America. Headquartered in Parker, Colorado, the company was established in 1997 and has operated in the higher education arena exclusively for 19 years. Clients have included Colorado Community College System, North Carolina State University, Washington State University, Virginia Tech, Cal Poly, Dalhousie University, University of Victoria, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Wyoming, and many others. More information can be found at http://www.emgonline.com.

  • written by Educational Marketing Group

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

Bahr and Graham photo

Anthony Bahr (left) and Jay Graham funded the Petroleum Ventures Program.

The business and engineering colleges at Texas A&M University are partnering in a new entrepreneurial training program to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students interested in the oil and gas industry.

The Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP) is a certificate program funded by a $12 million gift by Anthony Bahr and Jay Graham, business partners in Houston-based WildHorse Resources Management Company. Both Bahr and Graham graduated from Texas A&M with petroleum engineering degrees: Bahr in 1991 and Graham in 1992. The partners’ gift stemmed from Bahr and Graham’s personal experience in identifying the industry importance and student benefit of providing business experience to engineering students, as well as the market value of graduating finance students with a specialization in the oil and gas industry.

“Thanks to the generosity and foresight of Mr. Bahr and Mr. Graham, Texas A&M has a magnificent opportunity to have an even more prominent role in providing intellectually transformative learning experiences that are so vital to our state and nation,” said Texas A&M University President Michael Young. “The entrepreneurial emphasis for the program reflects their expectation of excellence and their success – success to which they attribute in part to what they learned here at Texas A&M. It is very fitting that this bold new venture takes advantage of the strengths of both our engineering and business programs, offering an interdisciplinary experience that will well serve our students, presenting them with a competitive advantage among their peers as they enter the workforce.”

This academic collaboration between Mays Business School and the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering will foster teamwork among petroleum engineering students and students in the Department of Finance at Mays. Students will take courses and work together on projects, and a Petroleum Business Impact Lab will be established.

The first classes for the PVP Certificate Program will be offered in Fall 2016. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

First-year MBA student Alycia Crandall stood outside the back doors of the Cocanougher Center with her unofficial fifth teammate in the MBA Venture Challenge: a full-grown horse. Her mission: to deliver a compelling elevator pitch convincing each of the 75 judges in attendance to come listen to her team’s analysis of RevaTis, a new veterinary medicine research company commercializing stem cell services for thoroughbred horses.

MBA Venture horse

The elevator pitch competition was the first round of the MBA Venture Challenge, a seven-day experiential competition held annually in collaboration between the MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), both at Mays Business School.

In this year’s challenge, 63 first-year MBA students formed into 15 teams and selected from a pool of 25 early-stage companies seeking advice and analysis on their market opportunity and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between the teams, for both sponsored cash awards and course credit, as well as high-value effort and insights for the participating firms.

The MBA 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 CNVE sources these early-stage firms from its position in the Aggie and local entrepreneurial ecosystem, utilizing partners such as the Aggie Angel Network, A&M System Technology Commercialization, the Research Valley Innovation Center, Seed Sumo, Innovation Underground and the TEEX Product Development Center. These businesses come from a wide variety of industries, from internet media to medical devices; consumer technology to animal health.

The MBA teams are allowed only one week of direct contact with company representatives, but are provided feedback and guidance from industry and university mentors, including the MBA Program Faculty. MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains: “Venture Challenge is so beneficial to both our students and to the companies participating. The MBA Program has completely integrated the Challenge into our students’ course work, evaluating their analysis and recommendations for course credit.”

After seven days (and long nights) of preparation, evaluation and analysis, the MBA Venture Challenge culminates in a full-day competition that starts with an elevator pitch round, two full rounds of preliminary presentations, then a finals round of presentations from the top six teams. Throughout the presentation rounds, teams are scored by an audience of invited judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round requires the teams to present a concise but in-depth analysis of the venture and provide meaningful recommendations to the venture’s leadership on how to best address their shortcomings.

CNVE Director Blake Petty describes the MBA Venture Challenge as a unique and valuable experience for all participants – students, ventures and judges. “It has always been aimed at offering the MBA students an impactful experience introducing many of them to the unique aspects of leading and launching a new business,” he said. “As a meaningful – and powerful – side effect, the participating companies and judges receive valuable insights, critique, analysis and recommendations toward pivots and improvements their new ventures can make to enhance their likelihood of success.”

The winning MBA teams were announced at a networking and awards reception immediately following the Challenge on Feb. 19:

  • First Place ($5,000, sponsored by Aggie Angel Network) – James Hammond, Tien Le, Brian Newbury and Jordan Nielson (Block Party Suites)
  • Second Place ($3,000, sponsored by Research Valley Innovation Center) – Jonathan Macrae, Eva Martinez-Salinas, John Dexter and Saurabh Kulkarni (ADVENTURE GURU)
  • Third Place ($2,000, sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Jason Morgan, Lillian Niakan, Raj Sridharan and Sneha Das (Scepter Medical Devices)

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

Drone project

 (Note: This is the first in a series of stories about research projects that have received I-Corps funding.)
A team of Texas A&M University engineers has been accepted into the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which is managed by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) of Mays Business School.

I-Corps™ is a set of activities and programs that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select, NSF-funded, basic-research projects.

The latest Texas A&M team to receive the funding is from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. The team is made up of Andrea Strzelec, Ph.D. (principal investigator), Brian Musslewhite (entrepreneurial lead) and Dale Cope, Ph.D. (industry mentor). This team’s innovation to be tested is a miniaturized emissions sensor that is mounted on a drone that can be deployed to difficult and/or dangerous locations to analyze the existing environment. Strzelec has served as PI on a previous I-Corps team and recognizes the high value of this training and how it impacts her research.

The CNVE has played a key role in team formation, guidance and mentoring of the team.

I-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 receive $50,000 in NSF grant funding to support their efforts in the combined on-site and online curriculum, which is based on the Lean LaunchPad Methodology for business model validation.

CNVE maintains a dedicated I-Corps program that is focused on discovering, recruiting and encouraging scientists and engineers to participate in this program which is designed to discover the true commercial capabilities of research innovations. Charles (Chuck) Hinton leads 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, UT-Austin, Rice University and Texas Tech University share responsibilities for promotion of this high-impact program and recruitment of I-Corps Team applicants.

At Texas A&M, 11 teams with grants totaling $550,000 have been assembled from the colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Engineering and Science, as well as Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M Health Science Center specializing in biochemistry, computer science, material science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, physics, biomedical engineering, electrical & computer engineering, biological and agricultural engineering, entomology, and environmental and occupational health.

About CNVE:  Through a combination of entrepreneurial-focused curricular and experiential opportunities, the CNVE seeks to enhance the livelihood of Texas A&M University and the greater community. Since its inception in 1999, the CNVE has served as the hub of entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University.3logos

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, Research Notes, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

By Claire Clayton ’17, Business Honors and finance

Claire 01

It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad in Europe. Before I even knew I would be an Aggie, I had the summer of 2015 flagged as my “summer abroad.” The anticipation of five weeks spent halfway around the world in a foreign country, learning a new culture and looking at life from a fresh perspective made my decision to apply for a study abroad program a simple one. In exploring the various programs available through the Mays Center for International Business Studies office, I saw that my options were unlimited. After hearing the incredible stories of a student who had previously been on the trip, I eventually decided that Strasbourg, France, was my dream study abroad destination.

Looking back on my five weeks in France and the experiences I was fortunate to have there, I can truly say that my perspective and values were changed by my time spent abroad. This trip gave me my own little Aggie family to make memories with, the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to five countries in five weeks and to see the world from someone else’s perspective. Memories of canyoning in Switzerland, watching the Eiffel Tower light up at night, riding a gondola in Italy and visiting Neuschwanstein castle in Germany will remain treasured moments that I know years from now I will share with my children with the same excitement I felt the day those memories were made. In five weeks, I checked off countless “bucket list” items and was able to finally see the places that I had dreamed of seeing since I was a kid.

My time in Strasbourg did more than just provide me with a photo book stuffed full of precious memories, it changed me as a person. Initially, the idea of traveling throughout Europe on my own intimidated me. All of that changed when I landed in France and saw my home for the next five weeks. Living life alongside the French, I gained a confidence I had never known in who I am and in what I value. I adopted the French mindset of slowing down and taking the time to savor each moment of the day rather than rush through life from one thing to the next. I sought out local residents in France and other travelers we encountered on our weekend trips to hear their life stories and was surprised to find that, while our upbringings were very different, our outlooks and values were very much the same. Through the classes I took while studying at the École de Management Strasbourg, I came to understand the magnitude of significance each event taking place within the European Union has on the United States. I gained insight on various countries’ perspectives on current issues like Greece’s financial standing and the migration crisis, and what I learned ultimately enabled me to better understand the attitudes and personalities of people living within those respective countries.

Moving forward and applying what I have learned from my time abroad, I have come to realize the full value of my international experience. In recruiting for an internship this past semester, I was surprised by how inquisitive my interviewers were about my time in Strasbourg and about what I learned while I was there. One of my interviewers had even studied abroad himself in Strasbourg, France, and together, we reminisced on our favorite foods and landmarks in the city. I found that people, in general, appreciate and value someone who has proven themselves to be open to the culture and ideas of people from another country. It demonstrates that you, as a person and an employee, can look beyond your own set ways to consider how another person may choose to live their lives though it may be very different from how you live yours.

Claire 02



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


Sarah Stratta, Janet Parish and Ron Lamb

The Professional Selling Initiative (PSI) at Mays was launched mid-October, when PSI partners got to meet with faculty, staff, students and industry guests at a celebratory dinner at the Diamond Club at Bluebell Park. Mays Dean Eli Jones spoke, as well as Ron Lamb, president of Reynolds and Reynolds, Founding Partner of PSI. Representatives from the other partner companies – Altria, Pepsi, Phillips 66, AT&T and PepsiCo – also attended.

The next morning, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a donor recognition wall in the Wehner building, followed by a networking breakfast. Then, some of the PSI partners and industry guests spoke to students in classes, while others took the opportunity to tour the renovated Kyle Field.

Afterward, the PSI partners and industry guests participated in a discussion with Mark Houston, head of the Department of Marketing, about the needs of recruiters that could be met by students coming through the PSI programs. That meeting helped fulfill some of the goals of the PSI – to provide enhanced educational offerings for students, increase research opportunities for faculty and give the PSI’s corporate partners greater access to the top sales students.

Students in the program will learn more about the sales career path and its job and salary growth potential. Job placement of students will improve through enhanced sales training, including expanded course offerings and high-impact learning experiences outside the classroom.

Employers will have access to a growing pool of top sales talent as the number of students who complete the Professional Selling and Sales Management career tracks increases.

PSI facilities will be enhanced with the addition of more role-play rooms, which are supported by state-of-the-art technology. And the PSI lays the foundation for a self-sustaining funding model in which corporate partners help support a long-term PSI facility, faculty and programming costs.




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

Startup Aggieland, the business incubator launched as an initiative of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University student entrepreneurs, has added a new partner to its roster: The College of Liberal Arts.

Startup Aggieland partnersStartup Aggieland is a cross-college collaboration with Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE); Texas A&M University’s Office of the Vice President in the Division of Research; the Dwight Look College of Engineering and Computer Science; and the College of Architecture. It started in January 2013 to provide qualified students of all majors with a peer-led startup community that helps students leverage public and private resources while launching early-stage ventures.

Startup Aggieland is administered by an advisory board that includes representatives from the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Mays. Now a Liberal Arts representative will be added. The partner entities also fund the program financially.

Pamela R. Matthews, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said she is looking forward to her college having closer ties to Mays. “We are excited about the potential for new collaborations that will benefit our students and faculty,” she said. “We’re also excited about helping liberal arts students benefit from the CNVE/entrepreneurship initiatives that Startup Aggieland offers.”

The liberal arts contribution to the program extends into the classroom, as well, Matthews explained. A new faculty member – Patricia Thornton – will teach sociology and have an adjunct appointment in management. “She is a leader in entrepreneurship, and she will collaborate with others to develop curricular and co-curricular opportunities,” Matthews said. “This is an exciting time for our young entrepreneurs.”

Thornton previously was an adjunct professor and an affiliate of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, where she taught entrepreneurship and new venture management. She is also visiting associate professor and affiliated faculty to the Program on Organizations, Business, and the Economy in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University, where she taught the social science of entrepreneurship.

Richard Lester, executive director of the CNVE, said he is pleased to increase the reach of the program. “Our goal from the beginning has been to engage as many current students as we can, regardless of their majors,” he said. “A good business is a good business, no matter what discipline the student originates from. We’re just here to help them get it to the next level.”

Startup Aggieland is a student-designed business incubator and accelerator. Mentors and coaches help qualified student-owned startups leverage Texas A&M University resources and private support without relinquishing equity ownership in their companies.

CNVE also offers a student-managed seed fund that can be used to cover certain business startup costs with no obligation for students to repay the money.

Startup Aggieland is open to students pursuing any major at any level of study at Texas A&M University. Six entrepreneurship courses for university credit meet each week at the Startup Aggieland facility.

Students retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop at Startup Aggieland, and are provided access to legal assistance to help protect student IPs or register their trademarks.

Startup Aggieland provides students with free or at-cost services such as accounting assistance, graphic design services, marketing support, $24,000 in free Rackspace webhosting, furnished student office space and free parking, and access to snacks and refreshments on site. Students also have opportunities to attend free out-of-town trips to companies, entrepreneurship events and pitch competitions.

Startup Aggieland has headquarters in Research Park on the western edge of campus. It is supported by several corporate and institutional sponsors. Some students qualify for residence in a Startup Living Learning Community, which is co-sponsored by Mays and Texas A&M Department of Residence Life.







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