Feb 10, 2015

Austin’s entrepreneurial center of gravity got a whole lot stronger today with the announcement of a partnership between The Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University, and Capital Factory, an Austin-based early-stage accelerator for tech startups.

What makes this relationship unique is the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate business students at St. Edward’s to physically locate at Capital Factory and integrate directly into Austin’s entrepreneur community. The partnership also represents the first time Capital Factory has entered into a formal contractual relationship with a university to ensure a continuous presence of business students at the startup hub. For students, that means access to internships and jobs. For entrepreneurs, it means a direct pipeline to qualified job candidates with marketing, technology, problem-solving and leadership skills startups need to grow into thriving companies.

According to the deal, St. Edward’s now has five “Cowork Lite” memberships at Capital Factory that give students access to shared workspaces where they can collaborate directly with other entrepreneurs. The agreement also includes one private desk, along with use of classroom space and opportunities for all St. Edward’s business students to attend Capital Factory events. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“St. Edward’s delivers an academically rigorous, values-based education, and they truly believe in learning and service. That combination of academics and social good fits well with our member companies at Capital Factory,” said Capital Factory Managing Director Joshua Baer. “When you combine shared values with the opportunity to engage students with our member companies so they both benefit, it’s easy to see a partnership with St. Edward’s as a win-win.”

Five St. Edward’s business students are already taking advantage of the Cowork Lite memberships. They were selected in a business plan competition judged by Capital Factory mentors and faculty from St. Edward’s. Additionally, entrepreneurship classes have already met for lectures and discussion at the startup hub, and internship opportunities have revealed themselves quickly, proving that the partnership benefits students throughout The Bill Munday School of Business.

“Our approach to business education is to connect our students directly to the rich Austin business environment characterized by entrepreneurship, social enterprise, innovation, global collaboration and business analytics,” said Nancy Schreiber, dean of The Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s. “Our partnership with Capital Factory delivers all of this plus direct access to the innovators who are shaping the future of technology and entrepreneurship.”
The partnership between St. Edward’s and Capital Factory is set up to renew annually in perpetuity.

Read more about the partnership here, in this piece by the  Austin Business Journal.