Angels invest to boost student entrepreneurs

Bob Brewton
Bob Brewton
Bob Brewton

By Kate McGuire
Staff Writer

Baylor students have guardian angels with the support of Robert L. “Bob” Brewton, founder and chairman of the Baylor Angel Network.

After only four years of operation, the Baylor Angel Network has 40 Angel investors from all over the country who work with Baylor student entrepreneurs in more than 90 investments.

Some businesses are working to create an established name for themselves.

“As there is success, there is failure. Some are home runs,” Brewton said.

Brewton relates the businesses’ success to oil drilling.

“You drill a bunch of holes and some are dry and others are full,” Brewton said.

He said it takes three to seven years to get businesses up and running, so the results of how successful the businesses are has yet to be evaluated.

A product of the network’s program is the success of Boomerang’s Handheld Aussie Pies, an idea that formed from Australian meatpies that resemble small pot pies but are handheld like Hot Pockets (which sold to Nestle for $2.6 billion), Brewton said.

“The company has done exceedingly well,” Brewton said. Boomerang’s is now distributing its product in Whole Food Markets across the nation.

Another successful start-up company from the help of Angel investors is myEdu, which helps students in college better direct their course of study so that students can graduate according to their goals and future plans.

Some other notable successful businesses are ALL In Learning, which connects students and educators through cloud-based learning, storing classroom work on a database instead of tangible documents, Salient Pharmaceuticals, a drug company, Hyper Wear, which sells products to improve or create a healthy lifestyle, as well as VolunteerSpot, Metric Medical, Zilks, Heat Genie and BlueAvocado.

Investors known as Angels have to meet specific requirements to become an investor. Investors need $200,000 in annual income or have assets of $1 million net worth to be qualified.

Entrepreneurs also have to meet strict criteria in what goals they want to accomplish, their plan of action in their business or product, already have a steady revenue and give back a percentage of profit to the network.

Brewton’s vision is to make this program the top entrepreneurial program in the country.

“Bob has become an advocate for the school, he puts his money where his mouth is,” Paul Shultz, general manager of Slalom Consulting and Brewton’s friend said.

Brewton, ’74 graduate of Baylor’s Business School, recently met with a group of Baylor alumni Tuesday in Dallas to discuss the network’s program and some of its goals.

“The goals for Baylor Angel Network are to be a consistent source of capital for our entrepreneurs and the Angels in the next couple of years,” Brewton said.

the network works alongside potential entrepreneurs in Hankamer’s School of Business.

Baylor business juniors can apply to be analysts who work alongside Brewton and the board of advisers while attending yearly meetings.

Once junior year is up, students become senior analysts who consult with businessmen and women through connections made through the board of advisers.

Anyone can apply for this program but must have a strong business plan and interview with a panel of Angels, the investors of the network.

The idea came from a similar program at Stanford University.

Brewton is not only the founder and chairman of the network, but the president of Brewton Investment Co., which deals with real estate, venture capital and asset-based loans.

He has been a partner and investor of the Residential Company of America and was a founding director of Fidelity National Bank. Both he and his wife hold Baylor degrees and reside in Houston.