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.

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

Mays Business School students are “learning business by doing business” through the integrated business experience (IBE) course, designed to teach Master of Science (MS) in Business students the ins and outs of the major business disciplines by running a startup of their own. The program aligns with the Mays Grand Challenge of Entrepreneurship.

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Flourish

Five teams of students in the MS Business program have spent the semester identifying a product or service they would like to sell, conducting market research to determine how the product would be received, developing a business plan and requesting start-up funds. In October, Aggieland Credit Union donated up to $2,000 per company. Since then, the teams have been developing their businesses and partnering with nonprofit organizations who will receive the profits of the businesses after they close at the end of the semester.

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Categories: Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MS Business, News, Students, 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

irelands-for-webDuane Ireland and his family – including his wife Mary Ann and their two adult children – have stepped up to endow a $50,000 scholarship to Mays Business School. The scholarship targets students pursuing a graduate degree in the Entrepreneurial Leadership track of the Professional Program of Accounting at Mays.

Ireland, who is executive associate dean of Mays Business School, is the second Mays top administrator to fund a scholarship for students. Dean Eli Jones and his wife Fern recently endowed a $50,000 gift to Mays for undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in marketing and the Professional Selling and Sales Management career track.

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Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Management, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

The Aggie 100 held Friday night recognized the top 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by an Aggie.

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To commemorate 12th year, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School held an awards and reunion gala Friday evening instead of the traditional luncheon. In addition, an inaugural speaker series Friday afternoon featured Aggie 100 recipients.

The 2016 Aggie 100 class was comprised of 55 new companies and represents five states. To see the 2016 list, go to Aggie100.com.

To qualify for the award, the company must have been in business for at least five years and have had verifiable revenues of $250,000 or more for the 2013 calendar year. An Aggie must hold a majority leadership position in their company.

“The 12th Annual Aggie 100 is a very impressive representation of Aggie excellence. The companies reflect 1,352 years of experience bringing the best to their respective industries and keeping the Aggie entrepreneurial standards alive and well,” said Richard H. Lester, executive director of the CNVE.

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

trifusiondevicesTriFusion Devices, the winner of the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC), the world’s richest and largest student startup competition, was invited to ring the opening bell Monday at the NASDAQ Stock Market in New York City. Cofounders Blake Teipel and Brandon Sweeney participated in the morning ceremony, along with representatives from RBPC and Texas A&M University, including Philippe Hercot, executive professor and director of Aggies on Wall Street at Mays Business School.

TriFusion Devices was the first Texas A&M team to win the Rice competition, the world’s largest student-centered business plan competition. The team received checks totalling nearly $400,000.  

The team illustrates a collaboration between several colleges at Texas A&M, and it bolsters the arena of health care – a priority at Texas A&M and at Mays. “So many faculty and staff members invested in these young people. The team’s success is a beautiful example of collaborating across the university and beyond,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones. “It aligns nicely with our primary mission of advancing the world’s prosperity by developing such areas as entrepreneurship and health care.”

Their project was based on breakthrough additive manufacturing products and services aimed at simplifying and expediting the process of manufacturing custom prosthetic devices. The team applies a revolutionary, patent-pending process that fuses together 3D printed parts to next-generation biomedical devices. The result is a durable, lightweight, custom-fit prosthetic device created within 48 hours, saving time, labor, and materials by eliminating the residual limb plaster-casting process and the current need for test-fit sockets.

TriFusion Devices got their start through Startup Aggieland, a globally recognized, award-winning business incubator and accelerator program at Texas A&M. Through the mentorship and experience provided by Startup Aggieland and other university initiatives, such as the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, TriFusion’s founders were able to incubate their ideas and prepare for the commercial world. In addition to the Rice University Business Plan Competition, TriFusion Devices has received several other top honors, including winning the 2016 Baylor New Venture Competition, the Raymond Ideas Challenge at Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, and the SEC Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition.

Don Lewis, the team’s mentor and coach at Startup Aggieland, said the team has a promising future. “Be on the lookout for this company,” he said. “They are a team to watch because of what they do. They’ve created a revolutionary way to 3D print plastics that are extremely durable and strong, and they are crafting them into very useful objects, like the prosthetics.”

The students plan to open a manufacturing production facility within the next few months in the Bryan-College Station area, Lewis said. Britton Eastburn, a Mays Business School MD/MBA student who was on the team at the time of the victory, has resumed medical school.  

TriFusion Devices competed against more than 750 applicants  on 42 teams from the world’s top universities before 300 judges over a three-day period to emerge as the top startup company at RBPC.

“We are grateful for the support, guidance, and encouragement that we’ve received from the Texas A&M University and Rice University programs,” Teipel said. “The experience and coaching we have received as we’ve launched our venture have proven immensely valuable to our success.”

 

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Health Care, I-Corps, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M