RampCorp tailors business resources to suit entrepreneurial women

By Kristina Kenney
University News Service
August 28, 2011

Starting up a business is never an easy task.

Entrepreneurs must navigate through the complex web of details, resources and investments that go along with creating a company from the ground up. Last year Texas State’s Office of Commercialization and Industry Relations set out to make that process a bit easier for those looking to establish their own companies and business ventures.

RampCorp was introduced in October as a valuable resource for motivated women who dream of creating and running their own scalable companies. Through the guidance and assistance of seasoned investors, entrepreneurs, inventors and business leaders, RampCorp set out with the goal of educating future entrepreneurs in all the aspects of creating and running a business.

“These are scalable businesses, either technology-based or businesses that can have a national or international market,” said Terry Chase Hazell, director and creator of RampCorp.

Members of RampCorp must apply and gain acceptance into the 30-week program, which places its focus on the three main components of curriculum, networking and coaching.

“They go through the process of what all it is about intellectual property, business plans, venture capital and all the things related to starting a business,” said Billy Covington, associate vice president of research at Texas State.

Since its initial implementation, RampCorp has assisted in the creation of more than 40 new companies. Hazell said more than half of the 60 women who have taken part in the program have been successful in starting up their own scalable ventures. Recently, two members were selected as finalists in the last round of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, one was a winner of the Rice and RISE pitch competition and another, Jeanette Hill, was a North American finalist for the Cartier business competition.

“I was thrilled to be selected as one of three finalists for North America,” said Hill. “I joined RampCorp the first year but have also actively participated this year, and the largest impact has been the encouragement and collaboration with not only the RampCorp leaders but also other members of the class.”

RampCorp has extended its influence and success from San Marcos to two other locations in Austin and El Paso. Hazell said three other locations are currently in the works, including one in Williamson County and two others in large Texas cities, which will be officially announced this fall.

While the adult-education program is tailored to and marketed toward women, it is not restricted to women, and Hazell said men are welcome to apply. More than half of the once-a-week sessions are completely open to the public, giving anyone a chance to attend and listen to a guest speaker or network with professionals.

Hazell said other important accomplishments RampCorp is making focus around the creation of emerging jobs and the specific advantages the program gives women entrepreneurs.

“The most jobs are created by new businesses and those jobs are helping to heal the economy,” said Hazell. “RampCorp’s specific niche is our focus on women. It’s what separates us from other entrepreneurial programs.”

For more information, contact Terry Chase Hazell at (512) 810-1012 or visit www.txstate.edu/rampcorp.