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TCU Neeley’s 2018 Values and Ventures® Competition Welcomes a Record 55 Teams

They have a head for business and a heart for humanity. College students from around the world are headed to TCU April 6-7 to pitch business ideas that make a difference while making a profit.

April 02,  2018

By Elaine Cole

College students from 55 universities are coming to TCU April 6-7, 2018, to pitch their unique business ideas in front of judges in a two-day competition like no other. Only business plans that benefit the community, environment or a specific population are accepted, and they can’t be nonprofit.  

With that in mind, hundreds of college students will vie for more than $70,000 in cash prizes to make those ideas a reality, thanks to TCU’s Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition. (

Values and Ventures® is not like any other college business plan competition. Students must present a plan for a for-profit business that benefits the community, environment or a specific population. Past winners include mattress recycling plants that employ former inmates, affordable banking kiosks for underserved populations and human-powered grain machines for remote areas of Africa. 

This is the eighth year for the competition, presented by the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center in the TCU Neeley School of Business. Co-founders are Dallas real estate and technology entrepreneurs Nancy Tartaglino Richards and Lisa Barrentine of First Preston HT. 

More than 100 business professionals serve as judges and mentors. 

All 55 teams will compete Friday morning, April 6, in seven simultaneous flights. The top team from each flight will advance to the finals Saturday, April 7. Second-place teams from each flight will compete in a lightning round Friday afternoon. The top two teams from the lightning round will also compete in the finals on Saturday. All teams will compete in an elevator pitch competition Saturday. Winners will be announced Saturday afternoon.

2018 participating schools

Auburn University
Ball State University
Bangladesh University of Professionals
Baylor University
Brigham Young University
California Lutheran University
Drexel University
East Carolina University
Florida State University
George Washington University
Georgia State University
Grand Valley State University
Iowa State University
John Brown University
John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins University
Kansas State University
Lake Forest College
Michigan State University
Millikin University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Prairie View A&M University
Rice University
Rutgers University
Saint Leo University
San Diego State University
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
St. Edward’s University

St. Mary’s University
Syracuse University
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
Texas Christian University 
Trinity University
United States Air Force Academy 
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Florida
University of Houston 
University of Illinois
University of Iowa 
University of Mount Union
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pikeville
University of Strathclyde
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Walsh University
Wartburg College
Xavier University of Louisiana

Follow the action and awards announcements on Twitter @NeeleySchoolTCU #valuesandventures and Facebook The public is welcome at all stages of the event. A full schedule is available at

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