The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 16, 2024

Texas A&M baseball sophomore RF Jace LaViolette is known for his bat — and for good reason. LaViolette ranks sixth in the country in home...

Advertisement
The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Entrepreneurs of Aggieland gather for their First Look event

StartUp+Aggieland+hosted+their+first+event+of+the+semester+at+the+Ice+House+on+Main+in+Bryan.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Skye Lovelady

StartUp Aggieland hosted their first event of the semester at the Ice House on Main in Bryan. 

On Sept. 27, StartUp Aggieland, a program in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted its first event introducing new business pitches and network opportunities.
Blake Petty, director for the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, said the event was the first look at the teams that applied for StartUp Aggieland and the first time they could pitch their business ideas.
“So it’s important to note that yes, we are based out of the Mays Business School, but we are charged with assisting, supporting and marinating all entrepreneurs all across campus, no matter if they have an idea, if they have a business, an existing business, or if they are just curious about what it means to become an entrepreneur,” Petty said.
Petty said that the McFerrin Center is the hub for entrepreneurship here at Texas A&M.
“Startup Aggieland is one of the programs under the McFerrin Center … it is our accelerator for new companies,” Petty said. “It is the spot where entrepreneurial students can come meet, meet each other, test their ideas, change their ideas, build their business, build their teams … you can literally launch and grow your business while you are a student.”
The McFerrin Center and Startup Aggieland is not just a place to proof the hundreds of business idea that come through them, it is a place where the staff goes beyond that and teaches the students to proof their own ideas before pitching them, according to Petty.
“So we help students understand the principle of fail and fail fast, so that you don’t waste your time on an ideas that never is going to make it to market,” Petty said. “What we do is teach them the skills to evaluate which ideas they should continue pursuing.”
Jose Quintana, Class of 1986, helped restore the Ice House on Main where the event was hosted. Quintana is the president of Advent GX, a community development and historic innovations company.
“We have a business and technology incubator where we help about 52 companies grow, you know baby companies,” Quintana said. “So this happens to be one of our buildings. We rescue old buildings and make them accessible to the community.”
The 107-years-old Ice House is located in the north end of historic Downtown Bryan.
JT Natenstedt, engineering freshman and Caleb Feste, business administration freshman, started their own business called HighFive Protection and were invited to join StartUp Aggieland. They created a glove, called it the Stun Gun, that acts like a taser, however they have redesigned it to fit and function better.
“What it is it’s a glove that is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, and it houses a powerful but discreet stun gun in the knuckles,” Natenstedt said. “And so what it does is it allows anybody, regardless of technical training or physical ability, to protect themselves in a moment’s notice, which is something that other products on the market lack.”
Their idea began approximately a year ago in their business incubator classroom at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. They had 38 teams and only two were awarded $3,000 for their idea. Feste and Natenstedt won.
Rusty Burson worked for The 12th Man Foundation from 1996 to 2014, and is the author of “The Entrepreneurial Spirit of Aggieland,” which is a collection of entrepreneurial and business stories from people all over Aggieland.
“I had student workers who were so bright and ambitious, and I always wanted to figure out is there a way that I can connect these great entrepreneurs who I met and was raising money from and so forth, with the students,” Burson said. “Then by chance, and this is a God thing, a total God thing, I picked up The Battalion one day and there was an article about a new organization called StartUp Aggieland.”
Burson has written 22 books, most of them relating to The 12 Man Foundation, and was ready to publish something different.
Burson met with Startup Aggieland and shared his vision of the book about the entrepreneurial spirit that flowed through A&M, and all he asked for in return was their support and said that he would give 100 percent of the proceeds to Startup Aggieland.
He was inspired from a book called Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews, that expressed that there is more learned from other people than from experience.
“If we can learn from people without having to make the same mistakes … that’s true knowledge, that’s why I kind of got this vision,” Burson said. “All of these [entrepreneurs in the book] went through amazing hardships and difficult times … So I just wanted to try and inspire students that if you [have] a business idea don’t wait, and go for it.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *