January 18, 2011


The Neeley Entrepreneurship Program (www.nec.tcu.edu) was named the 2011 National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Annual Conference in South Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 15.

Dr. Ray Smilor, the Robert and Edith Schumacher Executive Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Technology and a Professor of Professional Practice in Entrepreneurial Management at the Neeley School of Business at TCU, was honored with the John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy. The award is presented to an individual who consistently contributes encouragement, support, resources, time, talent, development and/or financial contribution to further the cause of entrepreneurship. Read Dr. Smilor’s bio here.

Also at the conference, Dr. Curt B. Moore, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, was honored with the Best Paper in the International Entrepreneurship division.

Out of a record 47 entries, TCU’s Neeley Entrepreneurship Program was chosen to make a final presentation at the conference for the 2011 National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award competition. Ball State University and Oklahoma State University were the other two finalists.

TCU’s winning presentation focused on how the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program offers comprehensive, unique opportunities for TCU undergraduate students through the Neeley School of Business as well as a campus-wide entrepreneurship initiative. Brad Hancock, Director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, Dr. Keith Hmieleski, professor of management and program director for the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program, and Dr. Smilor delivered the presentation. See the winning presentation here.

“Our approach to entrepreneurship begins with helping students identify and develop their individual talents and core virtues, then synergistically put them into action to accomplish entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Dr. Hmieleski. “This enables our students to focus on their strengths in a way that enhances engagement in the learning process and allows them to function with an economy of means. In the end, it is our hope to place each of our students on a path toward a career and life of meaning. We believe that sets us apart.”

Mr. Hancock said that the award for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the country was due to the dedication of numerous people over the past 10 years. “The Neeley Entrepreneurship Program has been built by people who embrace entrepreneurship and want to see it thrive at TCU, where it obviously does. These include our founding director, David Minor, our respected entrepreneurship faculty led by Dr. Garry Bruton, and the tremendous support and encouragement of Dean Homer Erekson. Additionally, there are hundreds of TCU alumni, community business people and parents of students who have judged competitions, mentored students, spoken to classes and student groups, and supported the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program financially.”


Elaine Cole
PR Manager
Neeley School of Business at TCU