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Inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs and investors.

Powered by the Shaddock Seed Fund

Have a business idea and need money to make it happen? Want to learn more about private equity and investing in startups? CREATE – Powered by the Bill Shaddock Seed Fund, gives you experience on both sides of a startup. Not a competition, this unique cross-campus program is designed to get early stage ideas off the ground.

Student Entrepreneurs

Take advantage of workshops, mentors, advice, grants and legal assistance. Any idea at any stage is welcome. Open to ALL TCU students.

Student Investors

TCU MBAs, training to be Angel Fellows, practice deal sourcing, due diligence and milestone tracking.

How it works

Pitch us your idea for a chance to receive up to $25,000 in funding.

Any idea can be a great one. Whether you’ve got an idea on a napkin, a business plan, or already have a startup in the works, we want to help fund your idea and grow it into the next successful venture. No equity, no strings attached – just cash.

Don’t over-think it, just do it!

Rules for Submission

  • Final Cutoff: No more submissions for Spring 2023 can be accepted.
  • Video Upload Format: Submissions are required to be uploaded to YouTube. Other formats will not be considered, resulting in disqualification from considerations for the Spring 2023 funding cycle.
  • Pitch Video Length: All submitted pitch videos must be no longer than five minutes long. Any content after the five-minute mark will not be considered in the evaluation of the venture.
  • Commercial Venture: All submissions must be a commercializable venture.
  • Pitch Structure: While there is no formal structure requirement, students are advised to follow the CREATE Evaluation Rubric.

The Process

Pitch Video – Students must submit a five minute pitch video via YouTube including:

  • The problem you are solving
  • The solution
  • The competition
  • Why you are better/different
  • The size of the market
  • Any validation you have done
  • How much money you need to make it happen!

All TCU student submissions meeting the requisite criteria will receive feedback on their pitch, whether or not their team is selected to move forward.

Top Ten – After all first-round submissions have been reviewed, the top ten teams will be announced. These teams will move forward to an in-person pitch where they will present their venture to a panel of judges. Finalist pitches will consist of a presentation that is no longer than seven minutes in length, followed by a three minute Q&A conducted by the judges.

Questions? Email us at or call us at 817-257-6544.

You MUST be a TCU student to apply.

Section Image: CREATE team of four girls


Experienced professors and professionals share their entrepreneurial knowledge to help you get your idea off the ground. Workshops include:
  • Exploring the Business Model Canvas
  • How to Evaluate Startup Ideas
  • How to Set KPIs and Goals
  • Startup Financial Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
  • How to Finance Your Startup
TCU students, faculty and staff, log in to watch all videos here.
Meet Our Mentors
Meet Our Mentors

Our mentors volunteer to share their entrepreneurial experience and knowledge directly with you. We match you according to industry, experience and stage of your idea

Thomas Allison 
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship 
TCU Neeley 

Aaron Anglin 
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship 
TCU Neeley 

Antonio Banos 
Program Director, CREATE - Powered by the Shaddock Seed Fund 
Assistant Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Nathan Butorac 
BBA '13, CEO and Co-Founder 
Better Than A Letter 

Rodney D'Souza 
Davis Family Entrepreneur-in-Residence 
Managing Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Joe Dickerson 
MBA '20, Fellow 
Cowtown Angels and Investor in Residence 

Stacy Landreth Grau 
TCU IdeaFactory 

Keith Hmieleski 
Schumacher Executive Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Technology 
TCU Neeley 

Charlie McKee 
BBA '19, CEO/Founder 

Austin Patry 
BBA '17, Co-Founder 
Rollin' and Bowlin' 

Devan Peplow 
BBA '19, Co-Founder 
Program Manager 
Tech Fort Worth 

Michael Sherrod 
William M. Dickey Entrepreneur-in-Residence 
TCU Neeley 

Lianne Yang 
Cowtown Angels and Investor in Residence 

Amber Yourman 
BBA '19, Operations Associate 
Accelerate DFW Foundation 

Shannon Younger 
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship 
TCU Neeley 

Off-cycle Funding

Besides the November competition, this semester, the CREATE powered by the Shaddock Seed Fund is incorporating "off-cycle" funding for student teams who have companies that meet the following requirements:

In order to qualify for "off-cycle" funding, teams must have:

  1. Business already incorporated
  2. Active working team with proven milestones achieved
  3. Beta/Alpha version (post MVP) of the product or service
  4. Invested 15k or more of their personal money into the venture
  5. Clear Unique Value Proposition
  6. Customer Validation
  7. Demand for the product or service already documented
  8. Numbers that show customer acquisition costs
  9. Projections capital clearly outlined besides money already invested

If you believe your team qualifies for "off-cycle" funding, please email the CREATE team at for more details on how to apply. Otherwise, please feel free to apply to our "regular cycle" competition by submitting your video by November 15th