ENT Buzz | Boris Nikolaev


 

Boris Nikolaev, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation

 

WHO IS BORIS NIKOLAEV?

I’m originally from Bulgaria, but I came to the United States right after high school with plans to get a college degree, become a marine biologist and eventually study whales in Kauai. But that’s not exactly how things worked out. I ended up changing my major at least five times, and finally graduated with degrees in Economics, Mathematics and Philosophy. What was I thinking trading the sandy shores of Kauai for an office? I went to Florida for a few years where I earned my PhD degree and helped out with a family business. Then I was off to Emory University to work as an economist for a bit before coming to the Entrepreneurship department at Baylor. I now live in Waco with my wife, Tabitha, and our two kids, Theo and Kennedy.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I teach and research entrepreneurship. The research part can be a little lonely at times while spending hour after hour in front of the computer. But Baylor students more than make up for it. They are so creative and inspiring. I love what I do. I have a job that allows me to be curious, discover new knowledge, research obscure topics and continue to learn. I think this is where I would do a Sic’Em Bears, right?


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

I don’t necessarily have one specific favorite memory that stands out because working in the Entrepreneurship department is full of fun and unexpected moments. It’s kind of like watching The Office, but in real time. My coworkers are definitely an interesting cast of diverse characters. I never know what’s going to come up in a conversation.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

Truth be told, I’m still learning the Baylor traditions. If I had to pick just one, off the top of my head it would definitely have to be the Baylor Line. It’s so unique. I am excited to keep discovering new traditions!


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Of course I would recommend taking my Entrepreneurship classes! Then I would say to take action and not overthink. So many students feel they have to have the perfect plan from beginning to end in order to start a business. That’s not really how entrepreneurship works. It’s not a straight arrow process. It’s more of a zig-zag, but the most difficult part is actually just getting started.


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

 

ENT Buzz | Matthew Wood


 

Matthew Wood, Ben Williams Professor of Entrepreneurship

 

WHO IS MATTHEW WOOD?

I am Midwesterner by birth but Texan by choice. I lived most of my life in Decatur, Illinois, a mid-size town in central Illinois. My grandfather founded Wood Printing Services in 1954, so I grew up in the family business. In 1997 I took on the role of Owner and President. I sold the business in 2006 to pursue my PhD degree at Southern Illinois University, which eventually led me to Baylor. I am married to my highschool sweetheart, Pam, and she has put up with me for 27 years. I have two amazing children. My son, Collin, graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now in the Baylor MBA program. My daughter, Mariah, is a senior at Baylor and will graduate in May 2020. Pam and I spend most of our free time hanging out with our kids and traveling the country in our RV. Next up on my bucket list is to take our RV to Alaska; I might not come back!


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I have been at Baylor since 2012 and I basically do whatever Deana Steele and Kathy Carr tell me to do! I research how entrepreneurs evaluate and make decisions about pursuing various opportunities for new businesses and teach students how to do the same. I also serve as Director of the Entrepreneurship PhD program. I am passionate about the program and I enjoy training PhD students to become faculty members at leading universities. I just really love university life.


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

I remember when I was recruited to come to Baylor the faculty described the environment in such positive terms it seemed too good to be true. To be honest, I was actually a little skeptical. I have to say that the faculty were spot on in their descriptions of life at Baylor. It’s an amazing place. I am continually impressed by the talent and work ethic of my colleagues. In one word, working in the Entrepreneurship department is fun. And then there’s the laughing… It’s pretty common to hear several of us in an office joking and laughing about pretty much anything. If our spouses knew how much fun we have we would no longer be able to say “I am going to work.” 


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

Dr Pepper Floats – whoever came up with the idea to combine vanilla ice-cream and Dr Pepper should be in the hall of fame! It’s brilliant.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

My advice is to embrace all of the opportunities the Entrepreneurship department provides for out-of-the classroom learning. Programs like the New Venture Competition and the Entrepreneurship Incubator allow students to team up with other students and work on entrepreneurial projects, often with the guidance of mentors and coaches. Entrepreneurship is so unique in that it’s a study where the classroom is a starting point (rather than ending point) of chances to learn and engage.


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

 

ENT Buzz | Peter Klein


 

Peter Klein, Chairman Department of Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation

 

WHO IS PETER KLEIN?

I grew up in an academic household and always loved being around a university setting. My wife (who teaches Economics at Baylor) and I met at an academic conference so yes, we’re somewhat nerdy. We have three kids, one living in Dallas after graduating from Baylor last year, one about to start as a freshman at Baylor and one in middle school. I love to travel – my Mom is from Scotland and I spent summers there as a kid; at last count I have visited 39 countries!


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I came to Baylor in 2015 to join the faculty in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation and to work with the Baugh Center’s Free Enterprise Program. I love being a professor. I basically get paid to read, think, write and argue with people — most of which I’d do for free anyway! To research and teach is hard work but it’s also very rewarding. You really feel like you can make an influence on people’s lives.


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

I started at Baylor in Fall 2015, just as the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation opened. Everything was fresh and new. The hallways still had that “new building smell.” I was assigned an office right next to the Department Chair, but I wanted to be as far away from the boss as possible. Since everyone was moving into offices, it was easy for me to switch. Four years later and now I’m the Department Chair and everyone wants to get away from me! Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

It’s hard to pick one favorite, but I love Christmas at Baylor – the decorations, music, Christmas on 5th, everything. The flash mob Christmas carols in the Foster building are amazing.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Get involved! Besides our classes and other “official” activities the Entrepreneurship department has so many extra, after-hours, fun and interesting things going on: outside speakers from industry, academia, and popular culture; our student incubator and new venture competition; the Baylor Angel Network; and so much more. Attend as many activities as you can, get to know our faculty and staff and your fellow students, and get involved in the Waco entrepreneurial ecosystem.


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