Students get the chance to turn their business ideas into a reality

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The Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition provides mentors networking opportunities and cash grants for winners as it helps undergraduate students turn their business ideas into a reality.

This competition is open to students of all majors. Even if a student is not a part of the business school, they can utilize the entrepreneurship center just the same.

“If you have a great idea, let us help you,” the director of the Values and Ventures competition, Matthew Smilor said. “Come up to the entrepreneurship center. We’d love to discuss that with you or take you to the next level. We want all the colleges to be involved.”

Each business in the competition must possess a value component to enter. An example of this is “TOMS”, which uses the money they receive from each pair of shoes sold to give back to the community.

“The idea of having a for-profit company that has a social responsibility and a social need to give back is lacking and that’s why this was started,” Smilor said. “We want to encourage that you can make money, while doing good.”

Two TCU students, Nik Hall and Garrett Adair, placed as honorable mentions in the April 2015 Values and Ventures competition. Their business is called Vitafive and it sends personalized gummy packs to your door on a four-week subscription.

Hall and Adair said that the competition was a great experience and helped them tremendously.

“Values and Ventures got our feet wet and helped us with investor presentations later in the summer,” Adair said.

After Hall and Adair created their business plan, they received a mentor in pharmaceuticals and used the entrepreneurship center to build their presentation. Hall and Adair said that the competition pushed them to transition their ideas.

“It made us go into research and find out what the real problems were,” Hall said. “The idea before the presentation was completely different than what it is now.”

Adair and Hall will be launching their business Jan. 1. They have five charities lined up for once their business begins making revenue.

Values and Ventures began in 2011. Over the course of those five years they have given over $250,000 to winners and over $250,000 of support from the Fort Worth community to the winners as well.

First place receives $25,000, second place receives $15,000, third place receives $10,000, fourth place receives $5,000 and six honorable mentions receive $2,500.

This year’s competition will be held April 8 and 9. TCU will have preliminary rounds in March to determine which team will represent them.

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