Mays Business School
Venture Voices

Calling Student Business Owners and Entrepreneurs!

Posted on January 15, 2013
Beau Barnette
Operations Manager at Startup Aggieland
Beau Barnette '15 is a Landscape Architecture serving as Operations Manager at Startup Aggieland. He currently serves as Head Wrangler for Startup Aggielands Student Leadership Council. Beau is interested in collaborative efforts relating to sustainable agriculture, sustainable development, and social businesses. Beau is team building for a social business project called EcoParks. More information available on their Facebook page, Team Giving Tree.

Aggie students who own businesses often feel they are too busy to participate in extracurricular activities like student organizations. Entrepreneur Society (eSociety) is just the organization for such students. Aggie students business owners can benefit greatly by attending eSociety meetings to participate in workshops, attend Q&A sessions with successful entrepreneurs, and network at entrepreneurial social functions. The way we learn how various skill-sets and professions fit with one another in real-world business situations gives a strong advantage to entrepreneurs and prospective employees alike.

Startup Aggieland is a cross-college collaborative effort. We host eSociety functions as a part of the A&M student entrepreneur community. Our community interaction offers a valuable experiential education opportunity that a student’s academic degree plan alone may not provide. Our community of students and business professionals is growing all the time as the word of our activities spreads.

Students with ideas for startup businesses or with professional skills can meet to form business project teams at eSociety meetings. These meetings are not just for business owners and those with business ideas though. Anyone is welcome to join and participate without a specific skill set or business idea. We all have a role to play in the process of innovating, strategizing, and executing business ideas as a team.

eSociety acts as a sort of business incubator, whereas Startup Aggieland acts as a business accelerator. Business journalist Fernando Sepulveda defines the two: “Business incubators mentor companies through childhood while business accelerators guide them through adolescence into adulthood.”

Current student business owners are encouraged to apply for Startup Aggielands business accelerator services where their project team can be linked with a Wrangler. The Wrangler is a student business consultant and sort of success coach that links a client team with business resources from Startup Aggieland. The Wrangler meets with their student client team regularly to discuss strategic growth, set goals for the business, and review progress. The client team is introduced to standard business entrepreneur vocabulary and informed of opportunities to attend lectures or workshops to improve various aspects of their business acumen.

Special topics MGMT 489 Incubator Development, taught by Professor Don Lewis, will in part focus on further developing the Wrangler program, as well as expanding its pool of students to train as wranglers. Students who serve as Wranglers gain valuable business consultation and evaluation skills. They have opportunities to meet Aggie former students and business professionals who have a desire to educate and assist current students with an entrepreneurial spirit. Wranglers grow alongside their clients teams. The client teams’ experiential opportunities are often the wranglers as well. They get the satisfaction of working alongside some of the university’s most respected faculty in their efforts to build and enfranchise the aggie entrepreneurial community. Students interested in becoming Wranglers at Startup Aggieland should contact operations@startupaggieland.tamu.edu.

We invite you to join us in further culturing our community and empowering the Aggie entrepreneurial spirit. The community consists of Entrepreneurs in Residence, Wranglers , Entrepreneur Society (eSociety), Incubator class MGMT 489, Aggies in Business, Leaders in Creativity, Center for New Ventures in Entrepreneurship, Institute for Applied Creativity, Aggie Former Students, Mentor Network, and Startup Aggieland directors board. Enquire with talent@startupggieland.tamu.edu for more information on any of these groups.

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