Economics and Business

LIVE (Lab for Innovative Ventures and Entrepreneurship)

Students at Southwestern University take a variety of classes across different departments and subject areas. This interdisciplinary curriculum often ignites curiosity and passion to explore challenges that span domains. Southwestern University LIVE (Lab for Innovative Ventures and Entrepreneurship) offers students an opportunity to take an idea from the concept stage to the development of a business plan.



To provide Southwestern University students the opportunity to gain experience in
(1) developing or refining an innovation idea
(2) conducting detailed industry research, and
(3) developing a business plan for the idea
Students will also gain exposure a to the vibrant start-up community in Central Texas.

How LIVE Works

LIVE is as an application-based student lab and one-credit class per semester. Students (sophomores [1] or higher) from any major can participate. Ideas of all kinds are welcome. Projects range from developing a technological innovation to creating an arts initiative to starting a family business. Students can apply individually or in pairs. Further, they can continue participation in LIVE for multiple years but must reapply each spring to demonstrate continued progress/interest.

The fall semester is focused on ideation (further developing and refining a student’s idea) and exposing LIVE members to start-up communities and resources for entrepreneurs. In the spring semester, LIVE members develop a business plan based on the refined idea. The spring sessions cover topics that include raising capital for a start-up venture, managing finances, marketing an innovation, and developing a solid management structure.

For more information, please contact Professors Andy Ross ( and Debika Sihi (

2020-2021 Cohort

Madison Delmer & Mercedes Gonzalez, Project focus: scientific innovation
Ruben Garcia & Blake Grider, Project focus: health and wellness
Lauren Gonzales, Project focus: food science and health and wellness
Emily-Rose Gottsman, Project focus: health and wellness
Conor Medina, Project focus: automotive/recreation

2019-2020 Inaugural Cohort

Madison Delmer & Mercedes Gonzalez, Project focus: scientific innovation
Courtney King, Project focus: real estate
Michael May, Project focus: STEM education

[1] Students can be first year students and apply. They must be a sophomore or higher when participating in the LIVE program.