November 07, 2005

New Internship Program Gives Entrepreneurship Students Valuable Start-Up Experience

For Immediate Release

Holly Preston
PR/Marketing Coordinator
Neeley School of Business
(817) 257-7768

New Internship Program Gives Entrepreneurship Students Valuable Start-Up Experience

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 6, 2005) - Seven TCU entrepreneurial management majors are taking part in a new internship program that will give them valuable entrepreneurial work experience with true start-up ventures. The Entrepreneurial Intern Scholarship Program is a partnership between the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program at TCU and Tech Fort Worth, a privately funded nonprofit business incubator in Fort Worth. The program matches undergraduate students with the technology start-up companies who are housed in the incubator.

According to David Minor, director of the nationally-recognized Neeley Entrepreneurship Program, the program is an incredible educational opportunity for entrepreneurial students. "This type of experiential learning will clearly enhance the value of the education these students are already receiving in our program," says Minor. "I cannot think of a better way for our students to learn how start ups work than to work with them in their infancy."

Clyde Higgs, Executive Director of Tech Fort Worth, agrees. "Our goal is to provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurship," says Higgs. "This innovative program will not only provide additional resources to our portfolio companies, but it also creates a living laboratory environment for the students." To increase the probability of success by area start-up companies, ensure a high graduation rate, and ensure sound decision making by the entrepreneurs participating in the Incubator, Tech Fort Worth provides a wide range of specialized business services that, in a pro-active approach, are critical for the start-up companies. Business assistance is provided to participating companies through a strategic partnership with the Fort Worth Business Assistance Center (BAC), and financial assistance is offered through introductions and connections to a network of investors, such as venture capitalists, investment and merchant bankers and private "angel" investors.

"My experience at Urico Innovations is giving me valuable experience in the complicated stages of creating a business from an idea," says Tanner Simmons, a Junior Entrepreneurial Management/eBusiness major. "My internship at Urico is teaching me valuable lessons in time management and the ability to multitask efficiently." Simmons, of McKinney, is one of seven 2005 Entrepreneurial Intern Scholars, including Daniel Alvarez of Fort Worth, Jordan Bastable of Overland Park, Kansas, Lyndsay Dixon of Rockwall, Jake Mattison of Round Rock, Bobby Silber of Richardson, and Chase Feehan of Houston.

According to Dr. Byron Conner, CEO of Urico Innovations, the program is a win-win situation for the students and the start-ups. "Tanner's participation with Urico in the Entrepreneurial Intern Program not only provides a learning experience for him, but often challenges us to consider business approaches and marketing strategies for the young professional and for someone who is outside the medical community," says Conner. "We hope to offer a real-world perspective of business challenges, especially licensure of patents, 510K application processes, business plan development and web site construction, that cannot be achieved in the classroom setting. It's a pleasure to work with a bright young mind who often adds a new perspective to business operations in a start-up company."

Participating companies in the Entrepreneurial Internship Program include Smartacus Corporation (a developer of premier e-learning products), Computer Based Anatomy (CBA) (a developer of medical software), Urico Innovations, Inc. (a medical device company developing presentation material for potential inventors and customers), The Lineage Group (preserves family, church, art, and medical history using an encrypted storage procedure for date), Red Productions LLC (a full-service production company for commercial and corporate video), and Kompression Media (an integrated marketing communications firm).

About the TCU Entrepreneurship Program
The entrepreneurship program of the M. J. Neeley School of Business is ranked in the top two percent in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and is listed among the Top 20 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in America by U.S. News & World Report magazine. In 2003, the program's Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) Club was named the best chapter in the country, and in 2004, the chapter received a second place award for best student-run website and was the recipient of the E-Diffusion Award, which recognizes the CEO chapter that has done the best job of recruiting and creating programs for students who are not in the business school. Additionally, NASDAQ recognized the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the M.J. Neeley School of Business at TCU as a "Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence," one of only three in the country to be honored with that distinction in 2003. Undergraduates can major in entrepreneurial management, and graduate students can earn a concentration in entrepreneurship.