By Brooke Bailey
The application process has begun for Accelerated Ventures. Through this program, students from any major can get six hours of class credit and $5,000 to start a business.
Accelerated Ventures gives juniors and seniors of any major the opportunity to start a business in two consecutive semesters. The deadline to apply for fall 2013 is March 19.
Interviews with the top 24 applicants will be held March 25-26, and final selections will be made March 27.
Dr. Leslie Palich, assistant director of the entrepreneurial studies program, said it’s a selective process.
The program is designed for students who are driven to create and start a business of their own.
“We recognize that it’s not for everyone,” Palich said. “We’re looking for students who can make the most out of this particular opportunity.” The primary criteria for applicants is the initiative to start their own business venture.
“It’s about passion, desire and willingness to work hard,” said Dr. Kendall Artz, director of the Baylor entrepreneurship program and chairman of the management and entrepreneurship department.
Palich said students should not wait until it’s too late in their academic career to apply or participate in the program.
“Our concern is always that there’s going to be some student that’s just ideally suited for this program, and they’ll find out about it maybe by the time they graduate or a couple of years down the road or something and really wish they were in it,” Palich said.
Palich and Artz both encourage students interested in building their own businesses to apply.
The resources available to students in this program are one of the biggest benefits, Artz said. In addition to $5,000 in start-up capital, students are provided with legal and accounting assistance donated by local law and accounting firms, as well as access to advisers that will help them grow their businesses. Another available resource is free office space.
Accelerated Ventures and the city of Addison partnered to provide office space for students involved in the program. The deal between the program and Addison was announced Feb. 5.
After completing the program, students have the option of using the office space in a northern suburb of Dallas, Addison, for up to a year after the program.
To learn more about the program, students can attend a general information meeting 5 p.m. Thursday in 303 Cashion Academic Center.
The program consists of two three-hour classes that help students launch and grow their own profitable businesses. Students sign on for two consecutive semesters, receiving six hours of class credit.
Students are divided into teams of three and start working the first day of class.
“On the first day, they take their final exam,” Palich said. “That means we’re expecting students to take the training materials that we give them and read them between the time they’re selected and the first day of class.”
In the first semester, students launch their business within 30-45 days. By the second stage of the program, students are expected to start making a profit.
The Baylor Angel Network hands each student team a $5,000 check for start-up capital.
The network is a group of investors that financially support entrepreneurs in the beginning stages of their businesses.
“This is all application, so a student doesn’t get in here and find that there are a lot of academic projects and so forth. This is all about starting a business,” Palich said.
Students are encouraged to continue running their businesses after completing the program. Companies such as Whol-E Water, a specially formulated bottled water, and Shavespeare, a high-end shaving kit, are still in operation.
The program was launched in 2011 by Palich, Artz and part-time lecturer in management David Grubbs.