New Applied Ventures course lets students start, run business

By Jennifer Kang

Baylor’s Applied Ventures entrepreneurship course is offering students the chance to open, control and profit from their own businesses in a risk-free venture. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply for the course next semester.

The Applied Ventures entrepreneurship course began this fall with the goal of helping students start legally-recognized companies with the help of seed grants from Baylor.

Dr. Leslie Palich, professor of management and the W.A. Mays professor of entrepreneurship, said students are able to start their business in the first 45 days of the course and then have absolute control over the company.

“Papers are filed for each of these entities by an attorney that works with the group and handles all of that for [the students],” Palich said. “We are giving the students the freedom to do whatever they want with these companies and they don’t have any financial responsibility to repay the $4,000 they get as seed money. At the end of the semester, students can close their companies down, sell [them] to somebody else or, what we’re hoping, is continue to operate these companies.”

David Grubbs, a professional who co-teaches the course, said the course is broken down into three phases.

“The first 30 to 45 days, students will form their companies and launch them to the public. In the second phase, students learn how to advertise and market their companies. In the last phase, which is about 30 days, students scale their companies in order to make a profit,” Grubbs said.

The course gives students the opportunity to use business practice theories that can be learned in other business courses and gain hands-on experience in earning profits.

Abilene junior Patrick Crawford said this course helped him learn skills involving business relationships and the use of e-commerce. Crawford opened a business called Worldwide Dental Supplies, Inc. during the class.

“This is actual hands-on work. It’s a lot different than just hearing theories,” Crawford said. “You think it’s easy when it’s written down, but when you’re in contact with suppliers and such, it’s a lot different.”

Houston senior Kyle Mills said the real-life applications of this course have taught him how to run a successful online business. He opened LMR Marketing Consulting, LLC.

“As simple as this may sound, it is very hard to look at an insurmountable task with the personal conviction that you will succeed. But that’s what they have taught us to think and do,” Mills said.

“I recommend this course because the potential for real money, real lessons and real learning is very high,” he added.

Palich and Grubbs said the course is appropriate for students who have an entrepreneurial drive and who want to start a company.

“What we’re talking about, though we hesitate to use the term, [are] online ventures. Each one of these companies has at least one online component and starts up within the first 45 days,” Palich said. “But if the student doesn’t have a real drive to want to get a company started quickly and really see what it’s like — and not all students are ready for that — then this course would not be for them.”

Applications can be found on online at and are due today. The top 25 applicants will be called to interview. Twelve finalists to attend the class will be chosen Oct. 31.