Texas A&M University System and Halliburton Collaborate to Shape the Future of Entrepreneurship

Leaders from Texas A&M University System, its flagship university, and Halliburton come together to discuss the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation at Texas A&M.

Leaders from the Texas A&M University System, its flagship university, and global energy company Halliburton recently gathered at Halliburton’s Houston headquarters for a daylong session titled “Shaping the Future of Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M: A Collaborative Vision.” The event aimed to foster discussions among key stakeholders on how the university can foster entrepreneurship across disciplines and create an entrepreneurial hub on campus. With around 50 attendees, including esteemed figures from top businesses, the session focused on hands-on learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and real-world impact for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Texas A&M’s Strengths in Entrepreneurship and Commercialization

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp highlighted the university’s strengths in entrepreneurship and commercialization during the event. He emphasized that the university excels in three key areas: having excellent students, conducting extensive research, and fostering successful commercialization. Sharp proudly stated that Texas A&M surpasses other universities in these aspects, positioning it as a leader in innovation. He also mentioned that the United States Space Force recently selected Texas A&M to lead an initiative in advancing in-space operations, further solidifying the university’s reputation as a pioneer in research and innovation.

The Vision for Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M

Texas A&M President Mark A. Welsh III, along with Jennifer McFerrin-Bohner and Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller, discussed the vision for entrepreneurship at Texas A&M. Welsh expressed his desire for entrepreneurship and innovation to be intertwined, with innovators developing new solutions for immediate and long-term problems, and entrepreneurs identifying gaps and creating innovative solutions. Welsh envisioned Texas A&M as the number one entrepreneurial school in the country, emphasizing the practical considerations needed to achieve this goal. McFerrin-Bohner added that her family aims to create a robust ecosystem at Texas A&M, inclusive of students, faculty, startups, and industry, to address real-world problems and encourage collaboration across campus.

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Collaboration as the Key to Entrepreneurship

Throughout the day’s events, collaboration emerged as a recurring theme. The importance of collaboration was emphasized among students, faculty, staff, industry leaders, alumni, donors, and other stakeholders, all united in their commitment to fostering entrepreneurship on campus. Mike Francis, an Aggie alumnus and CEO of NanoTech, highlighted the strength of Texas A&M’s alumni network and faculty, calling it the best team on the planet. He expressed confidence in Texas A&M becoming the top university for entrepreneurship in the United States. Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need to break down silos and promote collaboration across various colleges, including engineering.

Research and Development as Catalysts for Entrepreneurship

As a Tier 1 research institution, Texas A&M invests heavily in research, conducting studies in labs and fields worldwide. Dr. Elsa Murano, director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development, emphasized the role of research in entrepreneurship. She explained that research in labs leads to the development of new solutions, which are then implemented in real-world settings. The Borlaug Institute collaborates with faculty to implement research findings in developing countries, resulting in significant positive impact. This emphasis on research as a catalyst for entrepreneurship highlights the practical application of academic knowledge in solving real-world problems.

Educating and Supporting Future Entrepreneurs

Panels featuring Aggie business leaders, staff, and faculty leading entrepreneurship programs discussed the importance of preparing students to become successful entrepreneurs. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset was identified as a critical aspect of entrepreneurship education. Dr. Murano stressed that an entrepreneurial mindset goes beyond starting a business and is applicable to various aspects of life, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Jim Donnell, director at the Meloy Texas A&M Engineering Entrepreneurship Program, highlighted the program’s efforts to introduce engineering students to entrepreneurship through curricular and extracurricular experiences. The goal is to graduate students equipped with leadership skills and an entrepreneurial mindset.

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The collaborative session on the future of entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University, hosted by Halliburton, brought together leaders from academia, industry, and alumni to discuss the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation on campus. With a focus on collaboration, research, and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, Texas A&M aims to become the top university for entrepreneurship in the United States. By leveraging its strengths in research, faculty expertise, and a robust alumni network, Texas A&M is poised to shape the future of entrepreneurship and create a thriving ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs.