Jacob Kehoe, Baylor Angel Network

It’s rewarding to be back on campus
in a position where I can assist and support
entrepreneurially-minded Baylor students.

-Jacob Kehoe

Think about a time when a mistake actually turned out to be a good thing. The time you made a wrong turn, and as GPS recalculated, you stumbled upon the best hidden-jewel, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Or the time you missed your shuttle and ended up in a ride-share with your future soulmate. Or that time you unintentionally enrolled in an entrepreneurship class that actually changed your entire career path.

Jacob Kehoe was the high school student who landed in an entrepreneurship class by mistake. Growing up, he wasn’t the kid who came up with the money-making gigs. You didn’t see him around the neighborhood washing cars, mowing lawns or selling lemonade. He was the kid in his parents’ garage trying to build things with scrap metal and his grandpa’s old tools. Entrepreneurship wasn’t even really a blip on his radar. But Jacob stuck it out in the entrepreneurship class he wasn’t supposed to be in. Then something happened. During the class there was clarity. Jacob found inspiration in Steve Jobs and Sam Walton as his career aspirations started to completely change course. Jacob had the spark, that entrepreneurial spark that ultimately turns into a fiery passion. Could this class mistake actually turn out to be a good thing?

No mistakes were made when it was time to decide on higher ed. Baylor University was always the top choice for Jacob. The class sizes were a plus, but what ultimately swayed the pendulum is Baylor’s unabashedly Christian foundation.

While at Baylor, Jacob had no intention to let this new-found entrepreneurial spark fade. He teamed up with management professor Wayne Hampton and co-founded Aerial Intelligence and Reports (AIR). What initially began as a school project, evolved into a real business venture. AIR utilized drones to capture roof images, which were processed through a machine learning program to identify damage, generate cost estimates, construct 3D models of buildings and even produce bills of materials.

Jacob firmly believes that Baylor’s small class sizes and the countless campus opportunities are some of the University’s biggest assets for students. He feels students absolutely need to soak up all the expertise and knowledge from their professors. For Jacob, Professor Hampton and Entrepreneurship Professor Shaun Limbers had impactful influences on his journey. He explains, “I think all students should dig deep into all the resources that Baylor has to offer, both in programming and personnel.” He continues, “I spent countless hours in professors’ office hours picking their brains and absorbing their knowledge.” 

Jacob graduated Baylor with a BBA in Marketing and soon after landed a full-time entrepreneurial gig at Startup Waco. Startup Waco is a hub for the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the Greater Waco community. By creating a culture of entrepreneurship, Startup Waco is a conduit of support for local businesses. 

At Startup Waco, Jacob was responsible for programming initiatives that provide crucial resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to early-stage startups in the Waco community. He also worked to create opportunities for economic growth and creation through  strategic partnerships and initiatives that strategically positioned Waco as a premier destination for businesses seeking to establish or expand operations.

In 2023, Jacob had the opportunity to come back to Baylor as staff with the Baylor Angel Network (BAN). BAN is a unique opportunity that provides students with outside-the-classroom experiences that allow them to engage with businesses, people and capital. With BAN, student analysts are immersed in a deep understanding of startup funding and private company investing. 

As the BAN Associate Director, Jacob is typically the first point of contact for most of the involved entrepreneurs. He oversees BAN operations by encompassing deal sourcing and assessment, investment and communications strategies. In this role he is also actively engaged with the student analysts. He says, “Returning to Baylor and interacting with both entrepreneurs and students has been an incredible experience.” He continues, “It’s rewarding to be back on campus in a position where I can assist and support entrepreneurially-minded Baylor students.”

What started out as a perceived mistake certainly turned out to be a good thing for Jacob. This entrepreneurial gig is a very, very good thing indeed. Sic ‘em, Jacob!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

I’ll trade ya…

You have to be able to tell the story of your own passion
so others can buy into that passion.

-Gabriella Cacciotti, Assistant Professor

Very few things are more impressive than a savvy eight year old who recognizes the value of a pudding cup. The kid who boldly walks into the cafeteria with a smooth-talking, I’ll trade ya… and then bargains with all the diplomacy an eight year old can muster and walks away with a packet of Oreos, a bag of Cheetos and a troll head eraser. With nothing more than a pudding cup in hand, an unsuspecting classmate is left confident that said pudding cup is the most valuable thing… ever.

Students enrolled in ENT 3320 Entrepreneurship New Ventures sessions taught by Lee Grumbles and Gabriella Cacciotti were asked to hone in on their inner eight year old self for an experiential learning exercise commonly referred to as The Marble Game. The Marble Game was developed by Professor James D. Hart from Southern Methodist University as a learning exercise that helps students recognize sales strategy, self-branding, the relativity of value and asset acquisition.

Professor Cacciotti explains, “When you start with nothing (or something very small like a marble), it forces you to create value and to leverage your own story.” She continues, “You have to be able to tell the story of your own passion so others can buy into that passion.”

For the assignment, students were given a marble. Admittedly, there was nothing extraordinarily breathtaking about the marble. It was just a basic, run-of-the-mill marble. But that’s the whole point of the activity. The students had one month to master a convincing I’ll trade ya… as they bargained with all the suaveness of an eight year old to trade up from the original marble.

Professor Grumbles shares, “The notion of value is such a subjective thing.” He continues, “In my opinion, there were times students actually traded down, but in their minds they were increasing in value.”

Some of the students showed the cunning prowess of a modern day pudding swapper. There were quite a few notable trades.

  • A trade from marble, can of spray paint, hammer, walking stick, book, computer mouse to the final trade for a slightly used fire extinguisher
  • A trade from marble, bald picture of Joey King, candy, seasonal Waterloo drink, troll doll to the final trade for a live goldfish in a Ziplock baggie filled with water (which Professor Grumbles strongly encouraged be returned to its original owner)
  • A trade from marble, mechanical pencil, pack of gum, party size bag of Doritos, big bag of raisins, an HEB hat to the final trade for a green adirondack chair with a broken arm that the students repaired

Students in each of Grumbles’ classes voted on the best trade up. The winning teams were then given the opportunity to select a local charity as the recipient for all of the final trade items for the respective classes.

  • Kevin Tolotti and Rhett Bradsky 
    marble, sunglasses, a pair of cleats, a working tv without a power cord 
    CHARITY – Hidden Treasures, Caritas Waco
  • Hudson Graber and Cade Hanshaw 
    marble, phone case, perfume, box of string lights, dartboard, a pair of water skis
    CHARITY – Mission Waco

The best trade was not decided by a formal vote in Cacciotti’s classes. However, there were a couple of very clear standouts. Unbeknown to the students at the beginning of the experiment, the most engaged traders received extra credit points. All traded items Professor Cacciotti’s class were donated to the Salvation Army.

  • Zoe Brandenstein and Trey Robison 
    marble, computer mouse, Bauer hockey helmet

The overall Baugh Center Blog honorable mention goes to the trade from marble to a somewhat broken traffic light. No questions asked, but certainly ingenuity at its peak.

All in all, this was a fantastic exercise. Students were able to learn experientially, while having a little fun in the process. And if they also learned the value of saying I’ll trade ya… with all the passion and gusto of an eight year old, well that would just be cool.

Big Sic ‘em goes out to Baylor Entrepreneurship professors like Lee Grumbles and Gabriella Cacciotti who are quite literally rock stars in the classroom.

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Tristen Darmodihardjo, Baylor Student

Our failures teach us so much more about
entrepreneurship and life than our successes.

-Tristen Darmodihardjo

Tristen Darmodihardjo learned early on that earning his own money was so much more empowering than receiving an allowance. Bitten by an entrepreneurial bug at a very young age, Tristen’s first self-employed gig was selling candy. Certainly not to be shown up by the likes of notable entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or even Walt Disney, candy soon became ho-hum. As soon as Tristen could drive, he created a landscaping and junk-hauling business. And as the business grew, Tristen hired friends to help meet the demand. Not one to blow his hard-earned cash on frivolous purchases, Tristen saved his earnings and learned the art of investing.

Tristen had a VIP, front-row seat on the ins-and-outs of investing. He learned from his stock broker dad the importance of building a client base, developing investment strategies and adapting to market changes. Mostly focusing on stocks and cryptocurrencies, Tristen also invested in his older brother’s company. When the company was ultimately acquired, that investment proved to be quite fruitful.

Growing up in a private school setting, Tristen had an appreciation for smaller class settings that foster deeper connections with professors. As Tristen received affordable collegiate offers from notable public universities, Baylor wasn’t even on his radar. However, because of Baylor’s unabashedly Christian foundation, Tristen’s mom was persistent, to the point of insisting, on a trip to Waco to visit Baylor’s campus. Baylor’s close-knit community and overall inviting atmosphere not only put the University on Tristen’s radar, but ultimately positioned Baylor as the final destination.

Deciding on a major wasn’t a lengthy, drawn-out process for Tristen. His past experiences, passions, skills and interests led him to pursue a double major in entrepreneurship and finance. This strategically chosen double major combination proved to be the perfect funnel for Tristen’s involvement as a Senior Analyst in the Baylor Angel Network (BAN).

One of Tristen’s most impactful experiences while studying at Baylor has been in his Entrepreneurial Finance class taught by Professor Steven Diedrich, who also happens to be the BAN Director. In class, Diedrich often brought in experienced and successful business professionals to share their real-world expertise. Tristen relished in those moments, soaking up every bit of the knowledge and insight. Tristen feels that networking and seeking out mentors is the best way to navigate through the processes of pursuing both academic and professional goals.

While Tristen admittedly shares that entrepreneurship has the potential to be a risky field, he does feel that his experiences at Baylor will transcend quite well into the business world. Plus, he adds, “Our failures teach us so much more about entrepreneurship and life than our successes.”

Tristen will graduate in spring 2024 and his goal is to start off working in private equity or venture capital. Ultimately, he plans to start his own VC firm or business. 

Keep investing in your dreams, Tristen. Sic ’em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

T. Hingba, Entrepreneur in Residence at University of Colorado, Boulder

You have to embrace the challenges and ambiguity.

-T. Hingba

Whether it’s a holiday at the grandparent’s house, a cross-country roadtrip or an out-of-town business meeting, GPS makes the journey from point A to point B almost seamless. You can literally plan your trip down to the minute. But there’s an interesting quote floating around on Pinterest that’s attributed to Babs Hoffman, “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the trip.” Isn’t that counter intuitive in an era of a relentless recalculating and redirecting all in effort to avoid the potholes?

T. Hingba had a bit of recalculating on his journey, but he ultimately found a way to enjoy every minute of it. T. Hingba grew up as a pastor’s kid in Maram, Manipur, India. He studied engineering at the National Institute of Technology Agartala, India. He was living his best life as a manager at the Engine Manufacturing Unit of a shipbuilding company under the Ministry of Defense for the Government of India. After about eight years, however, T. Hingba ultimately felt a need to recalculate… to redirect.

T. Hingba wanted a new challenge and he felt that higher education definitely hit all the check boxes. As an experienced engineer and manager, he was looking for a program that could provide just the right blend of both a technical mindset as well as a management viewpoint. Baylor University stood out among the options. Baylor’s solid education credentials and its unabashedly Christian heritage were a perfect alignment with T. Hingba’s personal values and beliefs.

Ultimately pursuing an MBA-MEng joint degree, T. Hingba was also drawn to the Lab to Market Collaborative (L2M) and the L2M Fellows Program. With the Fellows Program, students assist with the management of innovations, but also have the opportunity to participate in research with the L2M startup companies. This was the perfect intersection for T. Hingba. As he puts it, “The L2M platform emerged as a veritable playground for me.”

T. Hingba’s time as an L2M Fellow was an incredible blend of innovation, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. He was able to lead teams on more than 15 projects, all requiring intricate collaborations with protolab, bizlab, Mtac as well as Baylor faculty and researchers. He credits his time as an L2M Fellow for providing substantial growth both personally and professionally.

One particular L2M project that stands out to T. Hingba is his work on the “Valuation of MCE-5 Variable Compression Engine.” This project was significant because it allowed T. Hingba to dig deep into his knowledge and expertise of hands-on experience with internal combustion engines. The project also gave T. Hingba an opportunity for in-depth research. But most significant to T. Hingba was that the project was an introduction to the dynamic of real-time, time-constrained consulting. T. Hingba explains, “With L2M you are often navigating uncharted territory and you have to be able to embrace the challenges and ambiguity.” He continues, “Ultimately it is this very environment that can be a crucible for personal and professional growth.”

Following his August 2023 Baylor graduation, there was no recalculating for T. Hingba. His  journey continued as the Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As an EiR, T. Hingba has a hands-on commitment to nurture innovation, drive technology commercialization and contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He explains, “My journey as an EiR feels like a seamless extension of the invaluable experiences I garnered during my tenure as an L2M Fellow.” 

T. Hingba looks back fondly on his time as an L2M Fellow. He often refers to the experience as a journey of exploration, creativity and impact. A journey with challenges and even potholes. A journey he would undoubtedly recommend.

Continue to enjoy your journey, T. Hingba! Sic ’em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Dr. John Chen, Associate Professor

I didn’t choose the field of entrepreneurship…
it chose me.

-Dr. John Chen

Originally from Taiwan, John Chen calls Huntsville, Alabama, his hometown. John’s education and career have allowed him to travel quite a bit, from California to Florida with several stops in between. Most recently, he has planted roots in Waco, Texas. And fortunately for the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department, John will be joining the faculty roster in Fall 2023 as an Associate Professor teaching Strategic Management / Business Policy.

John didn’t grow up in an overtly entrepreneurial household. He wasn’t the kid on the block washing cars, mowing lawns, selling lemonade or hustling classmates for snacks and treats. He loved math and engineering. That was his focus as an undergrad and that’s what guided him to a career in the high-tech industry. It was after he transitioned to a more business-oriented tech role that John learned about high-caliber management and entrepreneurship research.

As a junior scholar, John’s research focus was using computer simulation methods. However, there was a shift in thinking when John was connected with an established scholar who was interested in applying the computer simulation methods to entrepreneurship. What started as an implementation of a somewhat novel research concept, ended as a career-defining moment. John explains, “I didn’t choose the field of entrepreneurship… it chose me.”

John enjoys being a collegiate professor. He considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to build relationships with students and to share his academic expertise and his faith. After several conversations with Baylor Entrepreneurship Chair, Dr. Peter Klein, and a discussion with Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, John felt that God was leaving not-so-subtle “breadcrumbs” leading straight to Baylor University.

John views Baylor as a new mission field and is excited to build relationships and share his expertise at an unapologetically Christian university.

Welcome to Baylor Entrepreneurship, Dr. Chen! Sic’ em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Glenn Coward, CapabilitySource

Entrepreneurs are the people willing to dream big,
take the risks and put in the hard work.

-Glenn Coward

Sometimes a conversation with the right person at the right time can put you on the right path. For Glenn Coward, a conversation with Roy Cashion did just that.

While studying at Baylor, Glenn met with Roy for a thirty-minute personal consultation. During the conversation, Roy shared his journey to successful entrepreneurship. Roy left Glenn with a personal realization that entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily the luckiest, smartest, shrewdest or creative people. Glenn says, “Entrepreneurs are the people willing to dream big, take the risks and put in the hard work.”

This was a turning point for Glenn. At that moment, Glenn knew he was on the path to be an entrepreneur. 

Glenn graduated Baylor in 1987 with a BBA and a plan. He didn’t immediately hop on the bandwagon to start a business. Instead, Glenn wanted to soak up as much industry experience and know-how as possible and then patiently wait for just the right opportunity to start a business… to start his business.

Glenn’s first job after Baylor was with a British telecom company, Cable & Wireless. Armed with a brochure and a savvy sales pitch on repeat, Glenn walked the streets of San Antonio, Texas. Building by building, Glenn’s goal was to convince busy business managers to sign up with Cable & Wireless telephone services. While the experience was undeniably soul crushing, Glenn discovered he was a really good pitchman. 

Glenn eventually transitioned to other sales roles in manufacturing and computer technologies. He learned several technology and  programming languages and worked his way into the technology sector, culminating with a role as VP of System Develop at a division of Fiserv. 

Wanting to bulk up his entrepreneurial tool kit, Glenn moved to Colorado to work on his EMBA at the University of Denver. Upon completion of the EMBA, the Coward family moved back to San Antonio where Glenn served as a Business, Technology and Innovation Director at USAA.

Glenn was comfortable at USAA. His role was financially rewarding and he was on track for an early retirement. But what about the big dream and the entrepreneurial path? Taking an undeniable leap of faith, Glenn left the comfortable role at USAA in 2011 to start his entrepreneurial journey with CapabilitySource.

Simply put, CapabilitySource was created to simplify the way people work. CapabilitySouce focuses on the very unique needs of marketing by developing digital marketing strategies that integrate people and systems regardless of the device or the location. According to Glenn, “CapabilitySource focuses on the big picture to ensure that people, processes, technology and information are all aligned within the overall marketing strategy.”

As CapabilitySource continued to grow, Glenn and his wife took another leap in 2022 and moved to Waco. For the Cowards, Waco was an appealing move for multiple reasons. All three of the Coward children were already in Waco at Baylor University (one with a staff role and two as students); the Cowards love collegiate sports and Baylor has multiple top-ranked teams and the move made it easier for CapabilitySource to connect with the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department.

For CapabilitySource, it’s not a question of if it can be done, but instead it’s more of a question of how it can be done. By aligning with up-and-coming technology companies, the relatively small CapabilitySource has moved from a small to midsize market to an enterprise market. With Glenn’s leadership, CapabilitySource was able to pinpoint a unique way to do business that ultimately gave the company an advantage. 

As an entrepreneur, Glenn has worn many hats. But through it all, he has been steadfast in the core principles in which CapabilitySource was founded: innovation, intelligence, dedication and perseverance.

Glenn firmly believes that being a successful entrepreneur requires such a level of effort and commitment that it becomes a way of life. He explains, “For me, CapabilitySource is a vehicle that allows me to use the skills and abilities that God has given me so that I can make a positive contribution toward the greater good of those around me.”

Big dreams and hard work have definitely taken this Baylor grad down the path of entrepreneurial success. Sic’ em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Dan Rettinger, Local Skate Rats

“You have to make sure that your vision matches your passion.”

-Dan Rettinger

What do you get when you combine the style of Jeff Spicoli, the love of surfing and a passion for art? You get Baylor senior and breakout entrepreneur Dan Rettinger.

Dan grew up in Southern California just outside Malibu where surfing, skating and golfing were the daily norm. He never technically had a job, but he had an assorted bevy of side hustles. From washing cars to babysitting, Dan was making money. There was even the occasional hustle on the golf course at the local country club. Whether Dan realized it or not, he was an entrepreneur in the making.

With his older brother already a Baylor student, there was some green and gold influence for Dan to make the move from Malibu to Waco. It was Baylor’s Christ-centered commitment, however, that made the real distinction for Dan.

Dan came to Baylor with a focus on growing his art and creative skills. As a marketing major, Dan’s dream was to ultimately use his skills in the “real world” after graduation. The funny thing about that is he didn’t actually wait until after graduation. In June 2021, Dan passionately put those skills to work when he founded Local Skate Rats. In addition to creating tees with hand-drawn designs with Local Skate Rats, Dan used the business to support other small businesses. It’s the little things that make a difference, like selecting a local print shop to produce the tees. Dan explains, “I intentionally partnered with local business Hole in the Roof to produce my tees as a way to support and build up the Waco community.”

It didn’t take long for Dan to realize there was also a growing small business community right in his backyard, a somewhat undiscovered gem of a network consisting of student business owners struggling to get their name and products in front of consumers. As a way to build community and spotlight these businesses, Dan organized a student market that was largely inspired by the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. Operating under the name of Local Trading Post, the first student market was held at a locally-owned coffee shop within walking distance of campus. The event was a huge success. Not only did the event give students an opportunity to sell their products, but it also brought a general awareness to this growing community of incredibly motivated and passionate student business owners.

After his May 2023 graduation, Dan plans to stay in the Waco area and work full time with the marketing team of Waco Surf using his skill sets to merchandise clothing, make videos and create content via the company’s social media platforms.

Dan’s vision and passion are certainly coming together wonderfully. There’s not doubt Dan will continue to conquer the gnarliest waves that come at him. Sic’ em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Lee Grumbles, B&I LLC Faculty in Residence

“Don’t be in a hurry, but instead enjoy the process,
embrace the failures and use it all to fuel your growth as an entrepreneur.”

-Lee Grumbles

What do you do when life just kind of happens and you’re a little slow reaching your goals and dreams? For Lee Grumbles it’s a go-to Bible verse that carries him during trying times. Lee says, “I lean on Philippians 4:6 when stress and anxiety try to get the best of me.”

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
~ Philippians 4:6

Lee grew up in Houston, Texas. He completed his undergraduate work at Texas A&M. Lee spent most of his corporate career working in the commercial banking and finance industry. While working, he also earned an MBA from Sam Houston State University as well as a PhD in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. For 17 years, Lee was a vice president in commercial banking and mentored countless new bankers in areas such as B2B sales, risk assessment and portfolio management. By all accounts, a very impressive resume.

However, Lee’s goal was always to transition to academia, but “life” just kind of happened. Married with two children and a fortieth birthday around the corner, Lee realized it was time to just go for it.

Lee was initially drawn to Baylor University because of Baylor’s mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment. However, after meeting with the Entrepreneurship Department and experiencing its unique culture, he was hooked.

Lee started his new career in academia as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department in the Fall of 2020 and taught Small Business Management, New Venture Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance. 

The amount of behind-the-scenes work required with academia was a bit of a culture shock for Lee, but he soon learned to take full advantage of evenings and weekends to keep on track and not fall behind. Lee feels his years of mentoring new bankers actually prepared him for his role in academia. He explains, “I believe those experiences were extremely valuable in giving me an understanding on how to effectively work with my students.”

In the Fall 2022, in addition to teaching Lee took on the role as Faculty In Residence at the Business & Innovation LLC housed in Brooks Flat Residential Hall. In this new role, Lee serves as a resource for students to help them navigate a new life at Baylor, but he will also work as a mentor to these students as students explore business and innovation from a faith-based perspective.

While Lee knows firsthand that life happens and it’s easy to lose track of time, his advice to students is not to be in a rush. He shares, “Don’t be in a hurry, but instead enjoy the process, embrace the failures and use it all to fuel your growth as an entrepreneur.”

Lee didn’t rush and he is right where he’s supposed to be. Sic ‘em, Lee!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Nathan Hennigh, Beba

“A failed attempt is far better than living with the regret of not knowing what could have been.

Nathan Hennigh

The really cool thing about the journey to entrepreneurship is there is no cookie-cutter path to get there. There are about as many paths to entrepreneurship as there are grains of sand at the beach. For some, the journey starts off with selling lemonade or mowing lawns. For Baylor student Nathan Hennigh, the journey started with selling avocados from his parents’ trees in his hometown of Inshupu Tanzania.

Nathan called Tanzania and Kenya home for most of his life. He was completely immersed in a world of entrepreneurship. All around him the locals would sell their farm produce or livestock at the nearby markets. He was actually inspired for his first “entrepreneurial gig” of selling avocados after talking to a few village neighbors at the market. After avocados, Nathan dabbled in washing cars and trying to sell local gemstones.

It was when Nathan was away at boarding school that he had his big break in entrepreneurship. At first he sold sodas and snacks out of his dorm room. He would travel an hour to Nairobi to find the best treats to sell in his little dorm room bodega. By Nathan’s senior year, he was able to secure a space on campus that gave students a home base to run a business.

Candy bars were the typical goods sold from the campus space commonly referred to as the “coffee shop.” Nathan had a bigger vision for the space. He wanted to spice things up a bit. First, Nathan gave the space an actual name – Teddy’s –  after Teddy Roosevelt, who is credited with building the cornerstone to the boarding school. Second, he arranged for deliveries of coffee and fresh produce from the local farmers. He even brought in fresh juice from a local producer.

But by the time of his high school graduation, Nathan had grown tired of the traditional school setting. He had no desire to continue collegiately. Instead he wanted to give some time to his passion for programming and moved to California to participate in a programming boot camp. After six months, Nathan realized programming wasn’t the passion that he wanted to follow. He found  joy in creating, problem solving and exploring new things. He found joy in his passion for entrepreneurship.

In October 2019 Nathan founded Beba with his brother. Beba produces handcrafted products in Kenya. Beba was born out of a need (and maybe a little bit of want) for a unique and functional backpack. That is, after all, the essence of entrepreneurship…see a need or problem and create a way to fix it. Concentrating on the purpose and quality of the end product, the brothers were determined to empower the local craftspeople behind the product. Nathan explains, “Too often the craftspeople of Kenya are extorted and left in the shadows. At Beba, we are intentional to recognize them and their talent, while also providing equitable pay.”

After much deep thought, Nathan realized he actually did want to continue his studies. He wanted to study business, more specifically he wanted to study entrepreneurship. Baylor’s Christian foundation and the fact that the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department is a nationally ranked program made the collegiate decision so easy.

Nathan is truly following his passion at Baylor and he takes every opportunity to soak up the counsel and expertise of his professors. Nathan shares, “The professors in the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department are here for our success and they truly want students to succeed.” He specifically credits Dr. Scheaf, Dr. Grumbles and Dr. Bradley for providing support, encouragement and understanding. 

Nathan will graduate in May 2023. Following graduation, he plans to go back to his coffee shop roots and work for Odeko, a company that provides tech services and vendor services to small coffee shops. However, Beba will still be on the front burner. There’s no escaping the entrepreneurial bug. Nathan explains, “You have to chase your dreams and do whatever you can to achieve them.” He continues, “It can be a little scary, but a failed attempt is far better than living with the regret of not knowing what could have been.”

Keep chasing your dreams, Nathan. Sic ‘em!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Mac Miller, 2022 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship

In order to lead inspirationally, one must serve;
and in order to truly serve, one must love sincerely.

Mac Miller

Success is one of those arbitrary words that can mean so many things but still remain incredibly vague at the same time. Think about it. When one hears someone say I want success, what does that actually look like? Is success tangible or is it more in line with a feeling? For some, success is based on financial gain. For others it’s title or fame. And still others find success with houses and cars. None of these are inherently bad viewpoints by any means. However, recent Baylor graduate Mac Miller views success through yet another lens. To Mac, success is based on a faith-driven foundation to go out into the world and live out a destiny to love God and to love others. 

Mac grew up in a family filled to the brim with entrepreneurial spirit. His mom started one of the first CrossFit gyms in Texas and his dad started a leadership development firm with fellow West Point classmates. Mac was also immersed in the real-world, hands-on work of an entrepreneur by helping his grandpa run a cattle business.

Mac was always encouraged to think outside of the box and to find ways to solve problems. During his senior year of highschool, the U.S. Army awarded Mac with a full-ride tuition scholarship to any U.S. university with an Army ROTC program. Because of its Christian heritage and academic excellence, Baylor was the obvious collegiate choice. Pursuing entrepreneurship just simply made sense, and the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department’s reputation as a leader in its field made the decision that much easier. 

While at Baylor, Mac excelled in the ROTC program, competing with the Ranger Challenge Team. He was also an academic standout as well. So much so that Mac was recognized as the 2022 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship. Mac credits the Baylor Entrepreneurship Department for bringing out his competitiveness and curiosity. Mac says, “The faculty and staff in the Entrepreneurship Department work hard to equip and enable students so that business dreams come true.”

Following his May 2022 graduation, Mac was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an active duty Infantry Officer. A couple days following the commissioning, he married Sarah Miller. He then started a new adventure as husband and Army officer at Fort Benning, Georgia. In Georgia, Mac will participate in the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, Basic Airborne School and Ranger School. And after that, Mac and Sarah are off to North Carolina where Sarah will attend med school and Mac will serve as an Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.

All along the way, Mac is guided by his personal motto, “In order to lead inspirationally, one must serve; and in order to truly serve, one must love sincerely.”

A servant leader, through and through. Looks like Mac is certainly on the road to success. His success.

Sic ‘em, Mac!

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.