• Cities of Waco, Addison step forward to give young Baylor entrepreneurs a boost

    Addison-Baylor partnershipIn the last month, Baylor entrepreneurship students and alumni have received two big boosts, as the cities of Waco and Addison have each partnered with Baylor to provide the budding entrepreneurs a leg up in starting their own businesses.

    In March, the Greater Waco Chamber and Baylor will launch “Thinc Space,” a business incubator for creative start-ups that will house Baylor’s Accelerated Ventures Program. Students enrolled in the program will receive free office space downtown for up to two years as they build their businesses; they will also have access to mentoring, support and professional expertise from a network of local business owners.

    Each year, eight three-person teams within the Accelerated Ventures Program take a business from idea to reality over the course of the two-semester program. Within 45 days of the beginning of class, they are expected to have launched their company; it should be generating revenue by the end of the first semester, and profitable by the end of the second semester. Each team receives $5,000 in seed money from the Baylor Angel Network. (The program is part of Baylor’s entrepreneurship program, which was ranked No. 2 in the country last fall by The Princeton Review.)

    After graduation, Accelerated Ventures Program alums can choose to stay and further cultivate their businesses here in Waco, or take advantage of the second boost: free office space for an additional year in Addison, Texas (north of Dallas), provided by the Town of Addison. There, the new business owners can continue to benefit from the expertise and support of a community of seasoned economic developers, this time in North Texas.

    Graduates of the program have already launched companies such as Avundas Skin Solutions, a vitamin C skin care line; Whol-E Water, specially formulated bottled water; Shavespeare, a high-end shaving kit; and Vendevor, which offers a new approach to online sales.

    Sic ’em, Baylor entrepreneurs!

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