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 | Deana Steele


 

Deana Steele, Office Manager Department of Entrepreneurship

 

WHO IS DEANA STEELE?

I’m from Tomball, a small Texas town that my family helped found in the 1800s. I was raised in the oldest Lutheran church in Texas, Salem Lutheran Church. I’ve been married to my husband, JonL, for 30 years. We have one son, Dustin; a daughter-in-law, Danielle; and a grandson, Logan.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I’ve been the Office Manager in the Entrepreneurship Department at Baylor for almost three years. I kind of think of myself as a Jack of all trades in the business school, and I love it.


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

I love working in the Entrepreneurship department! I am a people person and have had the privilege of meeting so many interesting people from all walks of life that visit Baylor.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

Although I am not a Baylor grad, I love all of the Baylor traditions. I especially love everything about the Baylor Line. I think it’s an awesome way for the University, upperclassmen and the entire Baylor family to welcome the new freshmen to Baylor.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

My advice for all students is to reach out to your professors! Each day, I see first-hand how much these professors enjoy and love their students.


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/.

 

Jeremiah Allison, 2020 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship

 

You have to enjoy everything God has planned for you along your journey, and remember it’s not just about the final destination.

-Jeremiah Allison


Jeremiah Allison has a history of forging his own path. Taking the road less traveled, he was often met with twists and turns and even a few detours. So, how does this non-traditional student go from barely squeaking out a high school diploma to being recognized as the Hankamer School of Business 2020 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship?

Growing up, Jeremiah was surrounded by a spirit of entrepreneurship, even though he didn’t realize it at the time. Jeremiah’s dad was self-employed; his grandma operated her own music agency; one uncle made a living working in lawn-care and landscaping; another uncle ran a successful IT company. As Jeremiah puts it, “I can clearly see now that there is definitely some entrepreneurial DNA in me.”

Jeremiah graduated Round Rock High School in 2009 through a program called Success. On the verge of dropping out, the self-paced program allowed Jeremiah to take evening classes to fulfill his graduation requirements while working full time during the day.

Throughout his early adult years, the self described partier jumped around from job to job. Jeremiah explains that he was always a hard worker, but just lacked purpose. He was searching for a sort of inner peace to ground him.

By the time he was twenty-two, Jeremiah had several outstanding warrants for his arrest and had a suspended driver’s license. Low on money and out of options, Jeremiah and a friend hopped on a Greyhound bus for a one-way trip to California to work on a cannabis farm. In California Jeremiah was able to save enough cash so that he could return to Texas and settle his legal issues. This was a turning point for Jeremiah. Back in Texas, he got a full-time job, paid off his debts and even enrolled in a local community college. There was still something missing. Jeremiah lacked a vision. He was missing purpose.

During the fall of 2014 Jeremiah’s life veered in a completely new direction. He started going to church and even joined a life group. By November, Jeremiah gave his life to Jesus and felt a passion to be a man of God in the marketplace. Jeremiah found his purpose.

As Jeremiah wrapped up his course work at the local community college, his plan was to transfer to University of Houston to continue his studies, but a mentor planted the seed to pursue a degree at Baylor University. With prayer, scholarships and a few twists and turns, Jeremiah started class as a Baylor Bear in the fall of 2017.

Jeremiah had two options for his Baylor degree plan. He could select one major and graduate in two years, or a dual-major and graduate in two and a half to three years. Jeremiah chose a single Finance major. That was a solid plan until Entrepreneurship Professor Tyler Self told Jeremiah about an opportunity for entrepreneurship majors/minors to earn additional scholarship monies. Jeremiah felt God asking, who have I made you to be

With his entrepreneurial DNA becoming more apparent, Jeremiah changed directions to pursue a dual-major of Finance and Entrepreneurship. Jeremiah jumped in feet first in the Entrepreneurship department by serving on the Entrepreneurship Student Advisory board and also volunteering with departmental events such as the New Venture Competition and Texas Family Business Awards. 

Jeremiah was recognized as the 2020 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship during his final semester at Baylor. A semester full of promises of new beginnings, however, took a very odd turn when COVID-19 changed everything. There were no final handshakes or goodbyes and even graduation was postponed to a later date. But to Jeremiah, what really matters is that he found his calling and his passion. He found his purpose. Jeremiah sums up his experience, “You have to enjoy everything God has planned for you along your journey, and remember it’s not just about the final destination.”

After Jeremiah completes his coursework at Baylor, he and his wife will follow an entrepreneurial path to join his dad at Intralife in Houston, Texas. Jeremiah is excited to use his classwork experience in real-time situations. Ultimately, the duo feels a calling for long-term mission work overseas. But Jeremiah explains, “For now, we are going to enjoy our journey and everything that God has planned for us in Houston.”

Following a road less traveled, indeed. Sic ‘em!


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

 

ENT Buzz | Brooklyn Bolton


 

Brooklyn Bolton, Program Director Business & Innovation LLC

 

WHO IS BROOKLYN BOLTON?

I graduated from Baylor in 2015 with a BBA in Business Fellows, Math and Economics. Shortly after graduation I married my Line Camp crush, Aryn, and we moved abroad to work with college students in East Asia. It was such an amazing experience and I knew that God was calling me to work with college students on a professional level. I started my job at Baylor after we moved back to Waco. Aryn and I now have two cute kiddos. Eden is 2 and Judah will be 1 this month. They are the biggest (little) blessings and we are so grateful at how God has guided our journey.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I oversee the Business & Innovation LLC. It’s basically my dream job. I get to work with entrepreneurially-minded, undergraduate students in the residence hall. I work directly with our student leaders to create programming that promotes student engagement outside of the classroom. Each year (who am I kidding, each day) looks a little bit different. We have dodgeball tournaments, Bible studies, golf lessons, guest speakers, pancake parties…you name it! My office is in the residence hall, right in the middle of student activity. I am an ambassador-of-sort for the Entrepreneurship department. I find joy in connecting our students to people and resources/programs that the Entrepreneurship department offers.


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

I love this department so much that it’s really hard to choose. If I had to pick one thing that stands out, I’m pretty sure it would be when we dared Gib Reynolds to do a backflip on one of our prospective student campus tours. He was in a suit!  In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did not back down from the challenge.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

Homecoming! Aryn and I got engaged at the Homecoming bonfire during our senior year. Now that we are local alumni, we host our college friends in our home during Homecoming. It’s always such a fun weekend.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Live in the Business & Innovation LLC!  Am I allowed to say that if I run it? But seriously, the LLC offers so many resources and connections for our residents. Another great program that is open to non-LLC students is Oso Launch. We have some amazing faculty and staff that have created an awesome program for freshmen students to start and grow a successful venture.


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

 

Clayton Tynes, 2019 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship

“But that’s the fun of entrepreneurship isn’t it…
you never know what tomorrow will bring!”

-Clayton Tynes


Growing up in Robinson, Texas, Clayton Tynes was immersed with small-town values and big-city dreams. Clayton stayed busy in high school with athletics, band and academic UIL while his family operated a multi-generational, family-owned advertising and marketing company. He was just a regular, boy-next-door.

Just ten miles outside of Waco, with Baylor University practically in his backyard, there was an obvious familiarity with the University. Clayton could give a good “sic ‘em” like any other Bear fan, but he never really saw himself as the Baylor type. He explains, “I always thought Baylor was just too great of a school for a small-town kid like me.”

After graduating high school in 2007, he moved 40 miles away to attend a near-by university. Unsure of a major and admittedly homesick, Clayton moved back home after one semester. He attended a local community college the next semester, with the hope of finding motivation for his future. After a semester at community college, Clayton still lacked clarity on his collegiate path. He determined his next step would be the United States Air Force.

Clayton served in the USAF for almost ten years, primarily as active duty and then a short time as active reservist. After separating from the USAF in January 2017, he had a now what moment. Maybe it was time to give Baylor a shot. Afterall, Clayton had always been drawn to Baylor, but there was always that twinge of doubt. Not anymore. It was time to check out what was sitting in his backyard this whole time.

Part of the now what was determining what exactly to study once at Baylor. By watching his family own and operate a business for so many years, Clayton had an innate sense of drive and entrepreneurial gumption. Being a part of such an enormous entity as the USAF, that drive had been stifled somewhat. It was always there, just tucked away. But during this now what discovery, Clayton realized that the only way he was personally able to safeguard his success or failure was by owning his own business. Studying entrepreneurship at Baylor seemed the next logical step in the now what journey.

Once at Baylor, Clayton became deeply involved in the Veterans of Baylor student organization, even serving as president for two years. Through this organization, he became acquainted with Kevin Davis, who was the organization faculty advisor and also the program manager for Baylor’s VETS (Veteran Educational and Transition Services). Kevin soon became significant factor in the now what journey. Clayton explains, “I wouldn’t be where I am now without Kevin.” He continues, “Not only is Kevin the leader of the program, but he’s also a mentor, a life coach and a great friend.”

With a lot of hard work and stick-to-it-ness, on April 24 Clayton was recognized at the Hankamer School of Business Spring Appreciation Banquet and the Baylor University Honors Convocation as the 2019 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Professor Boris Nikolaev shares, “I am fortunate to have had such a creative, hard-working and truly outstanding student as Clayton this semester.”

Clayton would ultimately like to own and operate his own business by the time he’s forty. Maybe that means launching a new business idea. Maybe that means buying an existing business. Maybe that means purchasing a franchise. Clayton says, “But that’s the fun of entrepreneurship isn’t it… you never know what tomorrow will bring!”

Congratulations, Clayton. Sic ‘em!


For more information about the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneur/.

 

Zach Morrow, Flourish

“Be passionate about your startup and have a higher driver than financial returns.”

-Zach Morrow


At a young age, Zach Morrow knew he wanted to serve others. He found joy in serving. Afterall, he grew up a missionary kid so the idea of serving others was somewhat home-grown.

Like a lot of young boys, Zach ventured into mowing lawns in the summer. He started in seventh grade mowing a neighbor’s yard, and during the next six years that neighbor’s yard grew into a bonafide lawn-care business with more than 40 yards. The “sweaty work” that his dad encouraged him to do paid off as Zach gained the invaluable know-how of a hard, work ethic.

Thus an entrepreneur was in the making.

With mom, two sisters and a brother-in-law all hailing from sic ‘em bears country, it wasn’t an outlandish idea to think Zach would follow the same path. Zach not only followed the path, he blazed it. Jumping in full-speed-ahead, Zach served as freshman class treasure, junior class president, a Robinson High School YoungLife Leader and countless club memberships. As Zach puts it, “Anything I wanted to do, I was able to accomplish.”

Zach was kind of like the Hulk, an untouchable hero type. But if you remember, the Hulk had a dark side. He was literally powered by rage. During this time of accolades and success, Zach’s mindset shifted from ”sweaty work” and serving others to one with a focus on success and making money. His goal was to make money – the most money – he could in life.

But it was during Zach’s junior year at Baylor when there was a pivot in ideals, goals and aspirations. Zach unapologetically admits that God humbled him, and he describes this time as his faith journey. He explains, “I didn’t realized during this difficult time that God was actually clearing my plate for something greater than I could have ever imagined.”

A few months before Zach’s final semester at Baylor, he befriended two students from the University of Pennsylvania. The three had a mutual passion to promote human flourishing through business. But what exactly would that look like? They explored the idea of a microfinance business model to support entrepreneurship in developing countries, but very quickly realized that was too difficult for college students to successfully launch.

Then the trio shifted gears to the idea of using round-up technology to help non-profit organizations in fundraising efforts. The idea was well received by the non-profits, but it became clear that the needs were pressing and immediate. The collegiate trio realized that this idea needed to materialize sooner rather than later.

Not wasting any time, Braden Fineberg, of the University of Pennsylvania side of the partnership, built a simple platform and app over the course of one weekend. With due-diligence they tested the app and it worked.

And Flourish began, turning pocket change into global change.

Flourish offers a micro-donation and donor analytics platform where non-profit organizations collect electronic pocket change from debit and/or credit card transactions of donors. For example, a $3.50 latte at the local coffee house will be rounded to $4.00. Flourish collects the $.50 round-up change. The donor selects how to allocate the monies and the non-profit of choice receives the pocket change.

Internally, the goal is to have 50,000 donors signed on to Flourish. That would translate to about $1 million directed to non-profit organizations each month. Zach says, “I know that God has been preparing my heart to serve others through business since I was a child.”

Zach experienced his share of growing pains while getting to the point of Flourish, but he came out more resilient and determined than ever. And the professors at the business school noticed. During Zach’s final semester at Baylor, he was recognized as the Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship at the Baylor Hankamer School of Business Senior Appreciation Banquet.

Coming full circle with the “sweaty work” lessons from his dad, Zach has learned that it takes the right team from a utility perspective to utilize sweat equity. And even more important than the ultimate team is passion. Zach sums it up, “At the end of the day, even the greatest opportunity can leave someone lifeless and unmotivated.”

Zach certainly still has a superhero quality, but maybe not so much on the dark and Hulkish spectrum. Perhaps there’s more of a Captain America-esque aura about him, but with a sic ‘em bears kind of flare.


For more information about the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneur/.