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New Student Entrepreneurship Group Sets Kick-Off

Texas Tech Innovation Mentorship and Entrepreneurship (TTIME) is a new student organization designed to create a culture of entrepreneurship across the campus. The organization is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all majors.

The kick-off event is set for:
  • August 29
  • 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Escondido Theater, basement of the Student Union Building
  • Lunch and a networking opportunity at noon
The kick-off event will include networking time for students and speakers including Luis Jimenez, president and chief operations officer of medical biotechnology company EternoGen, and Sheila Grant, professor of bioengineering at the University of Missouri. While a student at Missouri, Jimenez was mentored by Grant in a close teaming relationship with the business school to develop Grant’s intellectual property (IP) and turn it into a startup company that is now a multi-million dollar enterprise.

The concept of a student commercializing a faculty mentor’s IP is a model Vice President for Research Robert V. Duncan says he would like to see work at Texas Tech.

“Often a faculty member will get a provisional patent on something and then not know exactly what to do next,” Duncan said. “If the professor has a student who wants to do the business side, then it’s a win for everyone. The student concentrates on the business and the professor is able to continue with their excellent research and teaching while retaining royalties, and possibly some ownership in the company.”

TTIME will offer students a variety of innovative entrepreneurship-related activities, including a boot camp-type experience covering different aspects of startup companies leading to a pitch competition in the spring. The organization also will offer a business plan competition during the year.

“There are a lot of students on campus who are already engaged in innovation and more who are interested,” said Jennifer Horn, director of translational research and entrepreneurship and sponsor of the TTIME. “We need to offer our students education and activities that meet their entrepreneurial goals.

TTIME seeks to complement and increase interest in entrepreneurial programs available at TTU, such as programs at the Rawls College of Business and Whitacre College of Engineering.

In a survey conducted during the spring 2014 semester in conjunction with student government elections, 4,014 of about 6,000 students taking the survey said they were interested in learning more about entrepreneurship. Almost 1,100 said they were already engaged in inventing or entrepreneurship.

All students are welcome to join TTIME. Interested faculty members are also encouraged to participate. For more information, contact Jennifer Horn at jennifer.horn@ttu.edu.