Tapping into SMU’s innovation ecosystem

Tapping business plan tips, a network of mentors and serious seed funding, startup-minded students aiming to transform their bold ideas into businesses get the edge they need to succeed.

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Dallas Skyline at Night
Ranked among the nation’s top entrepreneurial cities by Inc., WalletHub and others, Dallas offers a wealth of opportunities and resources for building businesses from the ground up.

More Great Stories with World Changing Impact

Narrative as Reality

Acclaimed education advocate and NFL athlete Kelvin Beachum ’10, ’12 utilizes art as another way to bring people together to explore and understand our complex world.

Detecting the Unseen

A team of SMU researchers use satellite radar imagery to reveal hundreds of unseen landslides occurring in Western U.S. states.

David Huntley

Excelling in Business

Be self-aware. Embrace unexpected opportunities. Lead with empathy. That’s just some of the great advice shared by alumni who took their SMU degrees and forged unexpected paths after leaving the Hilltop. One thing they all have in common is that they didn’t let fear get in their way. When they have a vision, Mustangs are unstoppable.

Hannah Clark

Finding Her Yes

Hannah Clark ’23 never dreamed NASA would be in her future. Now she’s completing her second stint with the space agency where she’s working on an engineering challenge for other students.

Finding Math Everywhere

SMU’s Candace Walkington helps math come alive by connecting it to everyday experiences.

Neighborhoods in Focus

Researchers combined street-level investigations with SMU’s supercomputer power to reveal infrastructure deserts. Their study lays the groundwork for improving neighborhoods.

3 Mustangs 2 Years 1 Global Pandemic

3 Mustangs, 2 Years, 1 Global Pandemic

SMU undergraduate students Kelsey Hodge ’20, Nushah Rahman ’23 and Alexandra Savu ’23 walk us through their first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic in a short film by Alexa May ’23. They navigate a campus-wide shutdown, dramatic shifts in religious and social life, cries for racial justice and an uncertain future. Despite the challenges, their stories offer a collective voice of hope as we look forward to a new year on campus.

Big idea. Big rewards. Big future.

Startup co-founder Seun Suberu ’23 arrived on campus with big ambitions for the future of his CollegePlus app. Fast forward three years, and Suberu has honed new business skills while earning more than $85,000 in funding through multiple SMU competitions designed to jump-start student-led innovation.

Stuart and Curtis

Entrepreneurial brothers go “all in”

Brothers and SMU alumni Stuart Edenfield ’07 and Curtis Edenfield ’09 envisioned a life of entrepreneurship after the Hilltop. After a decade of working for others in the world of aviation, they founded private jet charter company Thrive Aviation in 2018.

Continuing the legacy of empowerment

Hispanic Alumni of SMU Board has raised more than $250,000 in scholarship funds that do more than help cover the cost of tuition.
Lab on a chip

Lab on a chip

SMU researchers put the COVID-19 pandemic to work as a proving ground for a fast, accurate and affordable immune response test. Lead researchers Ali Beskok and J.-C. Chiao, professors in the Lyle School of Engineering, are seeking funding to fully develop the potential of their breakthrough test.

Welcome back Mustangs

Mustangs make the Hilltop special. Fall 2021 promises to deliver on that truth as students, faculty and staff return to a more traditional campus experience.
Photo of wildfire

Stoking the fires of change

Photojournalist Stuart Palley ’11 experiences wildfires in the moment. SMU researcher Chris Roos looks at them through the long lens of archaeology. Ultimately, their perspectives are the same: Wildfires are getting worse, and there’s an urgent need to adopt coexistence strategies.

Here We Go, Mustangs! 2021

Our students perfected the pivot while earning degrees. Now they're ready to use their know-how to do a world of good. Click on their photos below to learn about some of our stellar grads.
SMU alumna Regina Taylor ’81, in collaboration with Meadows School of the Arts, delivered a master class in socially-relevant artistic expression.

Art as Activism

SMU theatre students share their reflections on the lingering impact of their performances on their art and in their lives.

Common Connections



A Witness to History

Prepared to Lead

Prepared to Lead

Ana Rodriguez and the SMU Cox Latino Leadership Initiative are breaking down barriers and reversing the trend for Latino leaders – one promotion at a time.

Welcome Mustangs

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed how we live, learn, work and teach. We’ve been working hard across campus to welcome our new and continuing Mustangs this fall!

Finding Your Place

Kaitlyn Contreras, '20 was the first in her family to go to college. Find out how she found her place at SMU.

Buning 20

Tom & Chance Buning ‘20

Father-and-son graduates Tom Buning ’20 and Chance Buning ’20 have great memories from their shared time as students at SMU.

Here we go Mustangs!

Here We Go, Mustangs!

They’ve put in the hard work, and now the Class of 2019 is ready for life’s next big adventure.

Mickey's Wild Ride

Mickey's Wild Ride

From bobsledding to the Oklahoma State Legislature, Mickey Dollens ’11 never quits.

From Honduras to Texas, With Love.

Teaching Innovation

Teaching Innovation

SMU professors bring innovative tools and techniques to wherever the students are. And it only starts in the classroom.

Conquering the Divide

Conquering the Divide

SMU researchers hope their work will help cities make more equitable choices for residents of neighborhoods like Dallas' Vickery Meadow.

Cooking Up Something Good

Cooking Up Something Good

SMU first-year student Sarah Tersigni spoons a tiny piece of eggshell from the four eggs she's cracked into a glass bowl. She's making the filling for the lemon squares that she will serve later to fellow students in her residence hall.

Here We Go Mustangs 2020

Here We Go Mustangs '20

The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this semester, but couldn’t stop our 2020 grads. They pivoted to remote classes and continued to learn, create and achieve.

Monica Lee '20

“SMU allowed me to try so many new things and supported my intellectual curiosity. Looking back, it is really cool to see all that I have accomplished.”

- Monica Lee '20

Seamonsters Unearthed

Seamonsters Unearthed

What happens on earth when you put an ocean where there wasn’t one before?

Shear Share

Shear Genius

SMU alum Courtney Caldwell ’00 and her husband, Tye, are shaking up the salon industry with ShearShare, a mobile B2B platform shaped for the gig economy.

Speaking Up!

Speaking Up

Hallie Hovey-Murray ’16 brings a fresh voice to autism advocacy.

Kaitlyn Contreras '20

First in her family, Kaitlyn Contreras finds her place

Stejara Dinulescu '19

Finding Your Path at SMU

Wired for Good

Wired For Good

See three SMU teams tapping technology to change lives.
Photo of drone with hands

On the Fly

SMU engineers set up an innovative lab for drone study.