SMU alumni Mark Hiduke ’09, Wood Brookshire ’05, ’11 and Kimberly Lacher ’05 were featured in the following article about a new generation of entrepreneurs finding success in the Texas oil fields, published by Bloomberg May 20, 2014.
Millennials Spurning Silicon Valley for Dallas Oil Patch
By Isaac Arnsdorf
Mark Hiduke just raised $100 million to build his three-week-old company. This 27-year-old isn’t a Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur. He’s a Texas oilman. As oil and gas producers change their focus from grabbing land to drilling, young entrepreneurs are forming companies to trade everything from minerals to leases and wells to equities. They’re competing against, and sometimes collaborating with, industry veterans twice their age.
The oil and gas industry is suddenly brimming with upstart millennials like Hiduke after decades of failing to attract and retain new entrants. Now that a breakthrough in drilling technology has U.S. oil and gas production surging, an aging workforce is welcoming a new generation of wildcatters, landmen, engineers, investors, entrepreneurs and aspiring oil barons.
“These guys are going to be the poster children of self-made oil and gas tycoons,” Nathen McEown, a 33-year-old accountant at Whitley Penn LLP in Dallas who organizes networking dinners, said in an e-mail April 1. “Or they could be the poster children of how too much money is chasing deals.”
Since the generational shift coincides with a technological breakthrough, the younger crop only knows the shale boom and knowledge of conventional drilling might retire with the baby boomers, Kimberly Lacher said by phone May 8. The 38-year-old studied to be a chemical engineer and was reassigned by her employer to petroleum just when the shale boom was starting.
Now she and her 31-year-old business partner, Wood Brookshire, head Vendera Resources, which has invested a total of more than $50 million in about 1,200 wells. The Dallas-based duo turned their first fund of a few hundred thousand dollars between the two of them into $4 million today, Brookshire said.
Read the full story here.