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Launch Taylor takes off

Taylor Enactus and Promising Ventures revitalize former campus police building

By Brecken Mumford | Contributor

Taylor Enactus and Promising Ventures hosted an open house this past Tuesday, ushering in a new era for the old campus police building with the beginning of their program, Launch Taylor.

Students learn how to utilize Launch Taylor’s new space at Tuesday’s open house. (Photo by Hannah Bolds)

Students learn how to utilize Launch Taylor’s new space at Tuesday’s open house. (Photo by Hannah Bolds)

With the opening of the LaRita Boren Campus Center last spring, many offices and programs moved into the new space. Campus Police was among that shift, vacating the small brick building near the baseball field.

Students were unsure what would happen to the old police station. Some speculated it would be abandoned, some hoped for an on-campus bowling alley and some didn’t know the police moved at all.

However, Eric Hernandez, assistant professor of accounting and Enactus team co-sponsor, and Jeff Aupperle, director of the calling and career office, shared their plan to create Launch Taylor and utilize the building with university cabinet members. It was well-received, and Hernandez and Aupperle spent the summer solidifying the transition.

The new program, Launch Taylor, is co-sponsored by two Taylor programs: Promising Ventures and Enactus.

Promising Ventures is a co-curricular and interdisciplinary entrepreneurship program within the Calling and Career Office.

Enactus is Taylor’s chapter of an international student organization supported by corporate sponsors that seeks social, environmental and economical improvements through the entrepreneurial collaboration of students and business professionals.

“We are at a stage in the development (that) it still feels ‘earthy,’” said Hernandez. “From that perspective, it is reminiscent of all the startups that have sprung out of small unkempt apartments or reconditioned garages. Starting from humble beginnings is very much part of the entrepreneurial aura.”

Launch Taylor is designed to provide a stable, consistent work space for budding entrepreneurs within the Taylor community—not just business majors—to explore their pursuits and collaborate with other students and business professionals. One of these business professionals, Promising Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence, Andrew Fennig, will be involved. Fennig will be in the new space every Tuesday for the fall semester to help students with their projects and challenge them as they pursue their goals.

Because Launch Taylor is a co-sponsored program, teamwork is a major part of its foundation and purpose. The values of both Promising Ventures and Enactus have been incorporated into the program and were heavily considered when finding a place for it.

“The Promising Ventures program’s mission statement is to connect students to people and an experience that will accelerate their entrepreneurial aspirations,” Aupperle said. “(This) building provides a physical space to encourage creativity, innovation and risk as students pursue starting something of their own.”

In addition, Hernandez and the Enactus team hope to inspire the Taylor community to join more entrepreneurial efforts within this new space.

“We appreciate the centrality and visibility of the space. In a way, it can function as a small landmark to entrepreneurship on campus,” Hernandez said.

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