Local program helps launch, grow local businesses

WACO, TX (KXXV) –Besides the lottery, it’s the quickest way to make your first million.  And the odds are better.  The program is called Launch, and it’s part of Baylor’s Research and Innovation Collaborative, or BRIC.

People are coming from all over the world to tap into the one-stop-shop.  It could be a gold mine for businesses large and small.

Cyphr Co-Founder Dawson Barksdale recalls starting his company. “It’s like trying to climb a mountain that you’ve never climbed before, with no tools.  With flip flops and a t-shirt.”

Clearly, starting Cyphr wasn’t easy.  But Barksdale says working with Launch helped.

“It was so valuable realizing here’s what you’re going to have to conquer.  We didn’t have a map, we just had an idea.  We didn’t have a clear vision, we just had an idea.”

Launch walks folks through every step of the process to become a successful business.  It can be a short 3-day workshop or a long-term consulting partnership.

Launch Director Dr. Greg Leman says, “It helps them crystallize their thinking as a team and helps them really connect their message to the people they need help from.  That could be financial partners, could be customers, could be suppliers or their own employees.”

So far, over 70 companies have noticed Launch.  Big names like Hewlett Packard and Under Armour.  And it’s leading to local economic growth.

“That can be because new companies start in the area, it could be because existing companies grow and international companies are actually looking at Waco to relocate because of our programs,” Dr. Leman says.

Cyphr is a good example.  With Launch’s help, the Waco-based tech start-up created an app that gives users access to discounts and freebies at dozens of businesses in Bell and McLennan Counties.  There’s no spam involved.  You pick the stores and restaurants you want to hear from.

Barksdale says, “We would have never been able to get started as quickly as we did because there was so much we didn’t know until we went through the Launch program.”

Something to note, Launch isn’t free.  Depending on your needs, the program could cost thousand.  But there are so many who will testify that it’s worth every penny.

For more information about Launch, click here.

For more information about Cyphr, click here.

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