Cowtown Angels Fellows Program Offers Insight on Entrepreneurship

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Before deciding to enroll in in TCU’s MBA program, Amenemopé McKinney (MBA, ’18) knew more than a little something about strategy. She had already achieved a lot in her career as a management consultant for Deloitte and Accenture, including successfully transitioning from a role in human capital to one in finance after just four years on the job. But Amenemopé realized that to advance any further, she needed a greater understanding of how all parts of the business work together.

Amenemopé surveyed the range of experiential learning opportunities available at the Neeley School of Business and chose to apply to the highly selective Cowtown Angels Fellows Program.

Each year, two MBAs join the team at Cowtown Angels in the Fellows Program. The mission of Cowtown Angels, created by TechFW, is to “connect entrepreneurs seeking early-stage funding with local investors.” Fellows work alongside the actual angel investors and participate in every aspect of the program, from the initial pitch to the final decision on which start-ups to sponsor.

As a fellow, Amenemopé has pre-screened entrepreneur applicants, facilitated monthly forums during which investors and entrepreneurs begin the vetting process and performed due diligence. She has refined her technical skills by evaluating business proposals and researching their profit potential within the context of market conditions.

Amenemopé’s biggest takeaway from her Cowtown Angels Fellows experience thus far has been “when asked the tough questions, no one should know your business better than you.”

She says she’s also learned what it means to be a “smart investor.” Being a Cowtown Fellow hasn’t simply inspired Amenemopé to think about eventually starting her own business; it has demonstrated to her how the brightest minds in their respective industries transform good ideas into plans of action.  

“The Cowtown Angels Fellows program takes Neeley to another level,” Amenemopé says. “There are not many places that give students the opportunity to take part in the growing entrepreneurship community from the investor side.”

Luke Wittenbraker (MBA, ’13) looks back on his time as a Cowtown Fellow and recognizes that it was the capstone for his MBA experience. “Working side by side with some of the smartest people in the DFW area, performing research and analyst work, building models and exploring opportunities to invest with them was hands down the most significant experience in my educational career,” he says. “It changed the way I think and act with regard to valuation and making educated decisions.”

Luke found that the skills and expertise he acquired in the entrepreneurial field were not only transferable but also paid immediate dividends. Upon graduating, he doubled his annual earning potential by taking on a marketing and sales director position with Mactech On-Site, an equipment supply and servicing firm in the energy sector.

“Bottom line, I am in charge of producing numbers and results for the company as a whole,” Luke says. “My goal is to grow the business and the revenue streams, and I continually explore different ways to do that. I lead a team of 13 salespeople toward a common goal of growth on both a regional and worldwide basis.”

Luke acknowledges that growth is only possible if, like an angel investor rigorously assessing a business’s future prospects, a leader prioritizes the right opportunities and executes on those plans, adding value on a personal and organizational level.

As a TCU MBA alum, Luke is now one of the investors for Cowtown Angels, directly impacting the success of local entrepreneurs and their early-stage companies.

Learn more about how the Cowtown Angels invest in the success of TCU MBAs by visiting the Neeley School of Business website.

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