Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Justin Yan


“It’s so exciting to be in a new place, to work with new colleagues and to meet new people.

-Dr. Justin Yan

Who is the new #BaylorENT prof?
I grew up in Inner Mongolia, a northern province of China. For my undergraduate work, I studied at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. I came to the U.S. about eight years ago and received my MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University. After my MBA, I worked in the financial service industry and as a financial analyst for Bloomberg LP and I co-founded FISH institute, an online education service firm that provides assistance to foreign students in the U.S. I recently wrapped up my Phd. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I like to travel and hike. Fun fact — I’ve been to more than 38 states and 50 national parks and historical sites so far.

Why teach?
For me, teaching is a combination of an intense, intellectual challenge that comes with research and a thrilling, interactive experience that comes with teaching and mentoring students.

Why Baylor?
The University’s Christian guided mission was a major factor when deciding on Baylor. But Baylor also has one of the best entrepreneurship programs in the nation and a top-ranked entrepreneurship research group. 

Thoughts on Waco?
I wasn’t expecting the great cultural and racial diversity of the local population. Another surprise was the weather…

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Collegial, Diverse, Prestige

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at


A Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystem with Baylor Entrepreneurship


Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” A dream, a passion and a deep rooted why are certainly necessary to start a successful business, but how in the world does a Baylor student with dreams of entrepreneurship continue to persevere and get back on the proverbial horse time and time again?

That’s where the Baylor Entrepreneurship department, cloaked in a green and gold cape, swoops in to save the day. The Baylor Entrepreneurship department is dedicated to the study, teaching and practice of new venture creation. The faculty and staff are devoted to encourage, support and help those student business owners who dare to take risks. Who dare to persevere. Who dare to be entrepreneurs. Even if it means stepping outside of the classroom.

Join Baylor Entrepreneurship on a virtual Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and explore the outside-of-the-classroom, entrepreneurial resources that are available to Baylor students.

Melissa Pardun of Maker’s Edge Makerspace
Maker’s Edge is a collaborative workspace established with a goal to combine thinking and doing around the idea of offering space, tools, mentors, training and STEM outreach. Maker’s Edge is about getting people to explore things they really wouldn’t be willing to explore on their own. The whole point of coming to a place like Maker’s Edge is that you feel free to fail so you feel free to try again. A partnership with Baylor University allows students to be part of Marker’s Edge for free. 

John Passavant of Startup Waco
Startup Waco exists to serve entrepreneurs. The simple act of walking into Startup Waco expands business owners’ networks. Often when starting a business it’s not what you are doing but who you know can help you get from one step to the next step.

Gib Reynolds of Baylor University 1846 Business Incubator
The 1846 Business Incubator was established with the sole purpose of facilitating student startups. We take Baylor students with raw ideas and give them resources to launch companies before they graduate. Call to Action: if you have an idea, you’re curious about pursuing entrepreneurship, you previously started a company or you’re actively trying to start a company now send an email to

Andrew Telep of Baylor University Experiential Libraries Commons (ELC)
Located in the garden level of Moody Library on Baylor Campus, ELC has digital fabrication tools and laser cutters available for use free of charge.

Q&A Session

Q:  John, what is the most exciting thing available for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Waco?
A:  There’s a lot of opportunity. Waco has unbelievable resources available and provides a great environment to test ideas.

Q:  Melissa, do you have suggestions for introductory projects, things students can try?
A:  When most people come into the space they come in for one thing, usually a class requirement or something like that. They don’t actually have the mindset of “making.” We encourage students to come in and take as many classes as possible. There isn’t a tool available that doesn’t have a training class.

Q:  Gib, what type of businesses have you seen students start?
A:  Baylor students are creative. We’ve had a wide spectrum of ideas. It’s not just one kind of business that works here. Just start something. If there’s something that you are passionate about or interested in, learn by doing. Just do.

Q:  Melissa, how do you balance ambition and school work?
A:  It doesn’t take a lot of time to have a great idea. It takes time to bring the idea to market. Baylor has so many resources, the opportunities will naturally fall into place. Connect with the right people and you can make it happen.

Q:  John, how do you balance ambition and school work?
A:  Allow yourself to be pulled into something rather than being forced into something. The journey starts by taking that one step.

The Baylor Entrepreneurship department is helping to shape the future one dream, one passion and one why at a time.

Visit the Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystems video link at

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at

Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Jim Kee


I’m most looking forward to seeing first-hand
the success of my students.”

-Dr. Jim Kee

Who is the new #BaylorENT prof?
I’ve lived all over. I was born in Los Angeles, lived in Tulsa for ten years and graduated high school in Houston. Interesting James Kee trivia, I was a Radioman with the US Coast Guard and was one of the last to learn Morse code. My wife Lea and I have been married for 28 years. Our son Robbie just graduated from Notre Dame and our daughter Kellie is a sophomore at Oklahoma University. Before moving to Waco I was the President of South Texas Money Management, a $4 billion investment advisory firm which was sold last year. 

Why teach?
As a professor, I have the opportunity to share my life experiences with students with hopes of helping them achieve success in their careers. 

Why Baylor?
Without a doubt, Baylor’s Christian mission was a deciding factor to move to Waco. The world needs institutions like Baylor, and Baylor students can and do influence the world. 

Thoughts on Waco?
Cameron Park is this beautifully hidden little gem tucked within Waco. 

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at


Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Lee Grumbles


My hope is that students with non-entrepreneurial backgrounds
will take one of my courses and be motivated to start a business.”

-Dr. Lee Grumbles

Who is the new  #BaylorENT prof?
I grew up in Houston, Texas. My wife Lauren and I are the proud parents of twelve-year-old Ethan and nine-year-old Avery. I completed my undergraduate work at Texas A&M. After that, I spent almost twenty years working in the commercial banking and finance industry where I helped new and mature ventures grow by providing them with external capital. During this time, I also earned my MBA from Sam Houston State University as well as a PhD in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.

Why teach?
The opportunity to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs is an experience that can’t be beat.

Why Baylor?
Lauren is a Baylor grad, so I have an affinity to Baylor albeit by proxy. The deciding factor to yes, we’re moving to Waco really comes down to Baylor’s mission to integrate academic excellence and Christian commitment. To work for an employer that openly supports my faith is an unbelievable opportunity.

Thoughts on Waco?
Construction! I suppose that’s the positive side of growth. Seriously though, who knew Waco was surrounded by so many charming communities?  

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Discovering tomorrow, together.

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at