Acton School of Business

Acton School of Business

Infobox University
name = The Acton School of Business

mottoeng = Acton's mission is to prepare talented and dedicated students for extraordinary lives as principled entrepreneurs.
established =2002
type = Private
president = Georgia Thomsen
faculty = 12
students = 29
city = flagicon|USA Austin
state = TX
country = U.S.
campus = Urban, 2.5 acres
colors = Black and Copper
mascot =
affiliations = Hardin-Simmons University
website = []

The Acton School of Business is a private, one-year MBA in Entrepreneurship program in Austin, Texas, taught by successful, practicing entrepreneurs. Offering only a full-time program, the school is based on experiential learning. Students analyze over 300 business case studies and participate in simulations, such as building real assembly lines and selling products door to door. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) through Hardin-Simmons University. cite web | url = | title = Acton FAQs | publisher = Acton School of Business | accessdate = 2008-09-03 ] Acton has recently moved into a new 10,000 sq. ft. campus on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. cite web | url = | title = Austin-American Statesman: Acton School of Business prepares for classes | publisher = Austin-American Statesman | accessdate = 2008-09-03 ]


Acton grew out of the curriculum developed by the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence (AFEE). Founded by Jeff Sandefer, a successful entrepreneur and teacher at the University of Texas, AFEE was created to publish entrepreneurship cases and notes and spread entrepreneurship curriculum to schools across the United States. While at UT, Sandefer was ranked one of the top ten entrepreneurship professors in the country by BusinessWeek. cite web | url = | title = Acton Foundation History | publisher = The Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence | accessdate = 2008-09-03 ] In 2002, Sandefer and fellow teachers, Phil Siegel, Vaughn Brock and Jack Long left the University of Texas and founded The Acton School of Business in order to have full control of their curriculum. Acton graduated its first class in 2004. The school derives its name from Lord Acton, a 19th century scholar and originator of the famous quote “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The Acton name stands as a powerful reminder that power and riches are poor masters and that contributing something important, raising a loving family, and defending our freedoms are far better aspirations for a life of meaning.

Master Teachers

According to their website, these are some of Acton's prominent teachers:

Jeff Sandefer runs an energy investment firm, Sandefer Capital Partners, that holds over a billion dollars in assets. For the last sixteen years, Mr. Sandefer has also taught entrepreneurship at the graduate level. While at the University of Texas, Mr. Sandefer was voted by the students as UT’s Outstanding Teacher five separate times and was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in the United States. He has served for over a decade on Harvard University’s visiting committee and as chair of the university’s academic research committee. He is a director of National Review magazinecite web | url = | title = Forbes: Now It's Time to Get Your Hands Dirty | publisher = Forbes Magazine | accessdate = 2008-09-04 ] , formerly served as chairman of the Acton Institute of Religion and Liberty and was a member of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 21st Century Commission on Higher Education.

Before his current work, Steven Tomlinson was a professor of finance and economics at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business for 15 years. He graduated with highest honors from the University of Oklahoma and earned a Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University. Tomlinson's academic awards include the prestigious Texas Excellence Teaching Award given by the University of Texas Alumni Association and being named "Outstanding Core Faculty in the MBA Program" several times. He has developed several instructional guides and computerized educational programs for economics. Tomlinson is also an accomplished theater artist, with more than half a dozen award-winning solo performances to his credit. His most recent play, American Fiesta, won the American Theatre Critics Association's Osborn Award for Best New Play by an Emerging Playwright.cite web | url = | title = American Theatre Critics Association Honors Tomlinson | publisher = ATCA | accessdate = 2008-09-04]

In 1990, Jack Long launched Lone Star Overnight, an overnight package delivery business dedicated to serving the state of Texas that was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Six years later, Jack sold the business for enough money to retire. But with entrepreneurship in his blood, retirement was short lived. Today he runs PeopleAdmin, a successful software company that he co-founded in 2001 and has also been named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in America.

Phil Siegel began his career at the Boston Consulting Group where he repaired one company after another, learning crucial lessons about how business really works. In 1998, Phil joined Austin Ventures, one of the largest venture capital firms in Texas. Since joining Austin Ventures, he has started four companies, three of which are thriving, each forecast to earn over $50 million in revenue.

Jeff Serra is the founder of ReNEW Energy and Eyes of Texas Partners as well as the former chairman, president and CEO of Phibro Energy, one of America’s largest energy refining and marketing companies. With Warren Buffett as a board member when Serra was CEO of Phibro, he learned from one of the best.

Ed Perry started his first company, Singapore-based engineering-consulting company MEPL, almost 25 years ago. Since then, he has been the founder, CEO, president or managing director of eight successful companies in the areas of engineering, consulting, enterprise software and venture capital. He has also led as a lead partner of Koch Ventures, a well-known venture capital firm.

Jeff Connally worked for twenty years as a top sales and marketing executive in software, hardware and information service companies, including Stratfor/Infraworks, ReCompute, Globalsoft and IBM. He founded the Uplink Corporation, co-founded Gener8Biz and is currently the President and CEO of CMIT Solutions, Inc., a leader in innovative IT support to the small and medium sized business market.


Using the case method, exercises and business simulations, Acton offers a MBA in Entrepreneurship in one year. Unlike traditional MBA programs, Acton offers only a core curriculum with no additional elective courses. In the fall, the curriculum consists of five courses: Life of Meaning, The Entrepreneurial Journey and three “Tools” courses – Customers, Operations & Costs and Cash & Valuation. The Life of Meaning course teaches students how to balance the demands of career, family and community, and helps students discover their callings in life.cite web | url = | title = Philanthropy Roundtable: Building a Purpose-Driven MBA | publisher = Philanthropy Roundtable | accessdate = 2008-09-04 ] The Entrepreneurial Journey is the program’s flagship course, which takes students through the entire lifecycle of a business. In the spring, the curriculum consists of six courses: People Management, Raising Money and four other courses that further explore each of the phases covered in Entrepreneurial Journey – Opportunity Analysis, Gathering Resources & Launch, Growth and Harvest.


The Acton School of Business considers itself to be “highly selective.” The school ranks #3 on Princeton Review’s list of “Best Professors” and #2 on the list of “Best Classroom Experience.” It also ranks #3 on the list of "Most Competitive Students" and #9 on the list of "Best Administered." The average undergrad GPA of an admitted student is 3.1 and the average GMAT score is 670. cite web | url = | title = Princeton Review: The Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship | publisher = The Princeton Review | accessdate = 2008-09-03 ] Most students have 7 years of work experience prior to being admitted, though the school does not require applicants have a certain amount of work experience.

Financial Aid

Tuition for The Acton School of Business is $51,500, and if a student graduates, his tuition may be paid for through the Acton Fellowship program. Each student pays for the first semester’s tuition and if the student completes the first semester with all 'A's and 'B's, the student is granted a fellowship to cover the tuition for the second semester.cite web | url = | title = Business Week: By Entrepreneurs, For Entrepreneurs | publisher = Business Week | accessdate = 2008-09-04 ] And upon successful completion of the program, the student is refunded the fee for the first semester and in turn pledges to donate 10% of their future earnings until the full fee has been paid. Fellowships have been sponsored by friends of the program, ranging from local philanthropists to well-known business leaders, such as T. Boone Pickens and Charles Koch. cite web | url = | title = Austin Business Journal: Ready to Learn | publisher = Austin Business Journal | accessdate = 2008-09-04 ]

External links

* [ The Acton School of Business]


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