Smilor Matt award

Values and Ventures Honored with Innovative Achievement Award

What’s better than a competition that rewards students for businesses ideas that make a difference in the lives of others? Winning an award for it.

July 18,  2017

By Elaine Cole

Already internationally known for innovation and inspiration, the Values and Ventures® Competition at TCU was recently recognized by the Southwestern Business Deans' Association with the Innovative Achievement Award. The cash award of $1,500 recognizes innovative excellence in management education.

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center founded the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition seven years ago to reward college students who have profit-making business ideas that impact society in meaningful ways. Values and Ventures® has awarded more than $300,000 in cash prizes and almost twice that amount in in-kind services to deserving college students around the world. 

The Southwestern Business Deans' Association was so impressed that they honored it with the Bobby G. Bizzell Innovative Achievement Award, accepted by Matt Smilor, director of the Values and Ventures program at TCU Neeley.

“Values and Ventures® is an innovative international business plan competition with proven impact. It accelerates the launch and growth of for-profit, values-centered businesses. It inspires students to create values-centered enterprises that result in successful companies. And it advances entrepreneurship education by creating teaching materials to assist faculty in developing values-centered curricula,” Smilor said. 

The Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition started with the support of two committed entrepreneurs, Nancy Tartaglino Richards, a TCU Trustee, and Lisa Barrentine, partners in the successful Dallas-based real estate company First Preston HT, based on their strong belief in making money while creating meaning.  

The competition boasts distinguished judges and mentors from among seasoned entrepreneurs, investment professionals, CEOs and other business executives from around the country.   

Throughout the two-day event, college students from around the world hone their business models and gain needed resources by networking with other like-minded students, faculty from across the globe and successful entrepreneurs and business professionals.  

“Matt has done an excellent job of continuing to improve one of the most outstanding undergraduate business plan competitions in the nation, and one that epitomizes TCU Neeley’s mission to develop ethical leaders with a global perspective who help shape the business environment,” said O. Homer Erekson, the John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School of Business at TCU. 

The Southwestern Business Deans’ Association is made up of deans from business schools throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, with other member deans from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah.