This past weekend marked the close of another fall semester, where we celebrate and send off Broad Spartans into the vast network of MSU alumni. These December graduates have each symbolized their official transition by donning bright green gowns, walking across the Breslin Center’s commencement stage and repositioning the tassel of their caps. Bailey Paxton, who called graduation the end of an era, is leaving the banks of the Red Cedar with an unusual wealth of experience.
While at MSU, Paxton wasted no time. He traveled abroad and gained global experience in Israel and Norway, became a member of the Honors College, was selected as a Future Founders Fellow, earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and, remarkably, founded three start-up companies.
“I’m not going to college to learn how to get a job. I want to learn how to create jobs,” he said, recalling how he first said these words at his Broad College student orientation meeting.
Paxton has delivered on that personal mission statement by being heavily involved with entrepreneurship clubs and organizations on campus since his freshman year and by attending start-up competitions and conferences, such as SXSW, CES and the Startup World Cup, to present his business ideas on national and international levels.
“We’re in this stage of our lives [in college] where we will never have more opportunity and less risk,” he said. “Even if you try something and it doesn’t work out, you’ve learned so much more, so much faster, than going to class. We live in a world where going to class isn’t enough anymore.”
Paxton will be the featured guest on this month’s episode of the Spartan BizCast, sharing his journey as a student entrepreneur and talking about his postgraduation plans.
Paxton was introduced to entrepreneurship at an early age — prior to his days as a Spartan — through family friends who had started their own companies. In high school, he gained critical firsthand experience when his father decided to start a series of adult in-home care companies.
“I had the opportunity to be with my dad when he was building these companies from the ground up,” Paxton said. “This experience led to my biggest motivating factor going in my freshman year to start my own business.”
Paxton shared that his experience caring for elderly people through his father’s companies inspired him to make the most of his time at school so that he could also make a difference for people.
Throughout his time at MSU, Paxton pitched and explored numerous business ideas, learning along the way what would work and what he was most passionate about. After deciding to forgo a few other ideas, he settled on his current company, AgileCare, and is now making strides in the healthcare industry. AgileCare is working to revolutionize the way that families connect with care providers for their aging loved ones.
Improving health care
Paxton founded the company during his junior year under its original name, Smart Staffing. The company originally set out to match caregivers and patients for elderly home health care companies.
“My background gives me the knowledge on how the industry works to build a network to include agencies, families and facilities to collaborate on one platform,” he said. “We are also working with large insurance companies to bring caregivers into the home to help patients save money in the long term.”
Paxton explained that AgileCare is now creating an app for caregivers to monitor patient information, access real-time data and use predictive analytics to contact customers proactively based on patient history.
“While there are competitors in this space, no one has done it well yet,” he said. “Everyone takes it from the family side, but we are taking it from the caregiver and the business standpoint.”
Paxton shared that one of his biggest challenges has been “staying focused and knowing the difference between real traction and fake traction.” He reminds himself to “tune out the noise” and to prioritize things that improve his company’s bottom line and attract more customers.
Reflecting on his time as a student, Paxton shared that the entrepreneurial spirit of the Broad College and MSU overall are unmatched. Through his involvement with MSU Hatch, the Entrepreneurship Association, Women in Entrepreneurship and the Chinese Entrepreneurship Association, he has attended national conferences and events where he has been able to talk with students from other universities and understand MSU’s true competitive advantage.
“MSU is unparalleled to what other schools are doing right now in this space,” he said.
He emphasized that he had an exceptional experience at MSU that helped further his goals and dreams. “Broad and the entrepreneurship program have done a phenomenal job with exposing me to alumni and making connections for me to explore my entrepreneurial paths,” he said.
Looking forward, Paxton is eager to see where AgileCare will take him, and his sights are set on continuing to help real people. His advice to current and future Spartans: “Remember why you’re at school. You’re there to learn and build skills for your lifelong career.”
He continued, “MSU offers unlimited opportunities and tremendous potential, but you have to be able to find out what opportunities are out there and figure out how to maximize on them for your goals.”
Want to learn more? Subscribe to the Spartan BizCast to hear the latest happenings within the Broad College. Paxton will be the featured guest on the December 2019 episode, airing Wednesday.