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NIL Program Launched for Baylor Athletes

Startup Waco has launched a new program for Baylor athletes wanting to explore business opportunities.

WACO, Texas — Name. Image. Likeness. 

The landscape of college athletics has changed and it all started on July 1, 2021 when the NCAA announced that student athletes could now profit off of their name, image and likeness. 

This has opened endless doors. 

"I was thrilled. Not just for the fact that they can make money," Jon Passavant, CEO of Startup Waco said, "But now this opens up a whole bunch of opportunities for them. starting companies, and starting businesses, and generating real wealth which is far beyond just athletics.”

Startup Waco found the perfect way to center their mission around this new era of college athletics. 

“The idea of being able to use this platform, this space of NIL and direct it towards student athlete development and hopefully entrepreneurship is really something that came out of the core mission of Startup Waco," Passavant said. 

This non profit organization is serving the Greater Waco community by creating a thriving culture of entrepreneurship. On Wednesday, they launched a program called GXG aimed at providing opportunities to Baylor athletes in this new space. 

“This program that we launched this week both provides an avenue for NIL dollars to be able to come through to student athletes," Passavant said. "But it also provides the opportunity for that special kind of development in operationalizing what that kind of money can do for them.”

Startup Waco makes it easy for athletes to take that first step towards kickstarting their business careers with an athlete connect portal. 

"The one day that we launched, I think we had over 123 people submit surveys," Startup Waco Assistant Director, Jacob Kehoe said. 

The company focuses on every kind of college athlete. from every sport. 

"We had this softball player who was interested in starting a fashion brand. There was also one of the men's basketball players who’s one of a more higher profile basketball player interested in a fashion brand," Kehoe said. "Then we also have football walk-ons who want to start a tech company and they have this amazing idea.”

The company launched a pilot program in June with the Baylor men’s basketball team. 

"That was amazing because most of the guys on the team wanted to start a business and were interested in how this can be leveraged into something else," Passavant said.

NIL has created a new era with many unknowns -- this is just one more step to guide these athletes through the process. 

Baylor has also launched a marketplace with Opendorse as a way for student athletes to review and accept NIL deals, receive payments, and manage all communication within the secure Opendorse app. 

The Baylor Bears NIL marketplace will go live on Wednesday, August 3rd.

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