Longhorn Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (LEAP)
The Longhorn Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (LEAP) is an experiential leadership program that provides BBA and MBA students
with a hands-on learning opportunity. Students can accelerate a new venture through advice and assistance on the entrepreneurial process. In this semester-long program, students work in volunteer teams with startups comprised of minority or underrepresented groups in their local area to accelerate the startup’s development.
Student teams consists of three members, selected by the student entrepreneurship organization for their respective program. At the end of the acceleration period, the teams present their client startups in a “demo day” format to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angels, and others in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The program is managed by the Herb Kelleher Center in collaboration with the UT BBA Advisory Board, the MBA Entrepreneur Societies in the Full-Time, Working Professionals, and Executive MBA Programs, and (in a modified form with teams composed of current students and alumni) the BBA Program.
LEAP for Students
By participating in LEAP, students gain first-hand experience in the key aspects of new venture acceleration. This includes sharpening an idea, establishing product-market fit, building the team, securing funding, marketing, handling legal issues, and fine-tuning a business model, through applying knowledge on new venture creation provided by the program under the guidance of Entrepreneurs-In-Residence.
LEAP for Companies and Partners
Entrepreneurs gain access to top-notch talent and expert advice over a meaningful amount of time to help them develop their startups, including increasing the viability of their startup and positioning it for growth. Students are matched with companies based on industry, stage, location, and student background.
A representative from the company must be able to engage with the student teams on a weekly basis, preferably focusing on a key startup growth initiative such as market research, organizational growth, scaling, financial planning, marketing strategies, and product/service sales channel growth. Founder or Co-Founder must be a part of an underrepresented group or minority.