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

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

Robert Torres, 2020 Drayton McLane Jr. Hankamer School of Business Scholarship Recipient


We need to welcome failure as a chance to improve in the future!

-Robert Torres

Like a lot of Baylor students, Robert Torres chose Baylor as his university of choice because he felt a connection to Baylor. There was just something about the people and the faith-based mission that drew Robert to the University. He says, “Baylor just felt like home to me.”

Robert is from Grand Prairie, just about 100 miles north of Waco. So, he had a familiarity with Waco and Baylor. He grew up in a multicultural American and Mexican home, and regularly attended what he refers to as a “charismatic church,” which he credits as an instrumental part of  his childhood.

Robert’s first brush with owning a business came with  a snow cone stand he ran out of his parents’  house. It was a great way to be the boss and earn a little extra cash at the same time. But Robert soon found out that there’s so much more to entrepreneurship than being a boss and making money. By middle school, Robert felt that God was calling him to open his own business with a company that would “transform the community.”

In order to be best prepared to operate a business, Robert chose to study Entrepreneurship at Baylor. He feels the practical application of the in-class, book knowledge is crucial to an understanding of entrepreneurship. He explains that it’s so easy to get bogged down with the potential of failure, but he stresses, “We need to welcome failure as a chance to improve in the future!”

Robert’s determination and tenacity hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was the recipient of the 2020 Drayton McLane Jr. Hankamer School of Business Scholarship, awarded to undergraduate Entrepreneurship majors based on need and merit.

While Robert hasn’t decided on his exact entrepreneurial path just yet, he is looking at his time at Baylor as a way to prepare for his future. For right now, his post-Baylor plans include gaining industry experience in finance and to later build on those practical, hands-on skills to one day owning a business that will make a positive impact on the world.

Keep up the good work, Robert. Leave your mark on the world and make it a better place in green and gold style. Sic ‘em!

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