The Texas State Center for Entrepreneurial Action (CEA) seeks to spread an awareness of entrepreneurship as a potential life path and to train individuals in the skill sets necessary for success on this path. Three basic principles guide our programs: (1) Learning by doing, (2) Interdisciplinary training, and (3) Community involvement. CEA supports these efforts by collaborating with other programs at Texas State University and building stronger ties between the classroom and the community.
In 1999, the College of Business Administration and the Department of Management were awarded a Mitte Chair in Entrepreneurship. With the assistance of Sam Barshop, co-founder of LaQuinta Inns and the first holder of the chair, and Patrick Oles, President and CEO of Barshop & Oles and holder of a McCoy College Professorship, over 140 distinguished speakers have participated in the specially designed and innovative Studies in Entrepreneurship course. To date, over two thousand undergraduates have been inspired by the first-hand business experiences of Herb Kelleher, Admiral Bobby R. Inman, Cyndi Krier, Jack Martin, Red McCombs, David Robinson and others.
Learning by Doing
As a result of the success of the Studies in Entrepreneurship course, an integrated sequence of four courses was developed and now constitutes our undergraduate concentration in entrepreneurship. In the Fall Semester of 2007, the concentration was officially launched. Since that time, more than 180 students have completed the entire concentration. In 2008, four graduate entrepreneurship courses were developed and approved for inclusion in our MBA curriculum.
Effective entrepreneurship education requires a hands-on experiential approach to learning. To that end, we require our students in our final course – with aid from faculty and experienced entrepreneurs - to actually launch a business.
To ensure that our students develop the necessary skills and have an opportunity to successfully launch or help launch a new business, a new product/service, or a not-for-profit organization.
We work hard to cultivate greater cross campus connections involving both faculty and students from multiple disciplines. Most of these collaborations have involved interdisciplinary project teams completing feasibility studies of some sort. More recently we have begun a partnership with our Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization [MSEC] program faculty in the design and development of a doctoral program in MSEC. CEA has taken a leadership role in designing the Entrepreneurship component of the MSEC PhD program. Moreover, we co-developed a Bobcats Entrepreneurs Boot Camp program that is offered to all students enrolled at Texas State University. The inaugural run of this program started in September 2011. The boot camps provide training in the basics of planning and launching a business. They are focused on the needs of non-business students furthering our cross-campus entrepreneurship goals. Boot Camp cohort ends with a business pitch contest
Connection with Community
CEA success depends on building and maintaining good relations with Central Texas Businesses and regional leaders. These individuals provide guidance for our aspiring entrepreneurs and bring the real world into the classroom as mentors and speakers. They also serve as advisors to CEA and provide assistance in locating projects that strengthen our town & gown relations.