A Bear Ventures Out: Ty Findley

By Becca Broaddus

Ty Findley, BSME ’09, MBA ’10
Senior Associate
GE Ventures
Chicago, Illinois

Ty Findley has always had a “natural curiosity” in business, even when he pursued an undergraduate degree in engineering. So after he graduated with an engineering degree from Baylor, he stepped into the Baylor MBA program.

“I was curious that I didn’t understand the bigger picture,” Findley said. “For me, getting the business side, spending that extra year, was not that big of an investment. It was a perfect complement to that engineering degree. There was a blended understanding with a technical foundation.”

Findley went to Baylor for two reasons: football and engineering. He was able to do both, walking on and playing linebacker while receiving his degree in mechanical engineering. But having seen his father start a successful company, he pursued a master’s in business, focused on entrepreneurship at Baylor.

After graduating from the one-year MBA program, Findley was selected for a job opportunity at Boeing doing a rotation program based in Seattle. The rotation moved him through six engineering environments across the company. Findley started working there with the intention of “pivoting back to the business side” if he didn’t love it.

Meanwhile, as Baylor Bears do, he missed being away from Baylor. Instead of lamenting his location, he decided to do something about it. Findley started the Seattle chapter of the Baylor Alumni Network (BAN).

“I knew absolutely nothing about how to do it when I started,” he said. “Dean Maness and Brenda Morris were very helpful to me. With their mentoring, we put together a steering committee of people who had been engaged with Baylor from Seattle and had interest in helping build a network chapter in the area. From the steering committee, it was just looking back to BAN’s structure and building that bridge between Seattle and Waco. Next thing you know, the team had worked with BAN to host sports watch parties, conduct a Stepping Out in Seattle, build out a Baylor Business Network entity and even host President Starr for a Baylor Parents Network send-off party.”

Although Findley had established the city’s alumni network chapter, he wasn’t at home with his job at Boeing.

“I worked for a product development team conducting new airplane studies at Boeing,” he said. “While I really enjoyed and learned a lot from my years at Boeing, I felt a big calling to pivot back to the business community. [Engineering] wasn’t my long-term mission.”

Findley and his wife moved to Chicago, so he could pursue a second MBA degree, this time focusing on finance and private equity with his acceptance into Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. While he was there, he took the Seattle template for how to create a network chapter and established the Chicago chapter of BAN.

“[BAN has] made such an impact on my family because we’re not in Texas,” Findley, who now serves as a BAN board member, said. “It’s great to see the momentum reach out much broader than just the booming Texas community. I helped create an alumni chapter in both cities I’ve lived in because I love knowing where I can make a direct, measurable impact on the Pro Futuris goal to advance a community of committed constituents. There are a lot of bears in the woods; you just have to get them out of the woods!”

Following his graduation from the program at Kellogg, he found an opportunity as an investor at GE Ventures, GE’s venture capital and growth equity group. He works as an advanced manufacturing investor, where he can use his skills learned in the manufacturing setting of Boeing as well as his business education. He started in August 2015.

As a venture capitalist and a co-founder of two Baylor Alumni Network chapters, networking has become a large part of Findley’s life. He attributes his knack for networking to three things: being prepared, being genuine and being giving.

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Baylor Business Review, Spring 2016

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