New managing director Rodney D’Souza leads the institute’s campus-wide emphasis on all TCU students’ entrepreneurial endeavors and sharing faculty research to benefit entrepreneurship and small businesses.
In answer to the demand from TCU students and the entrepreneurial community, the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center is now the TCU Neeley Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The new designation brings with it an increased focus on co-curricular support for TCU students in any major, research affecting entrepreneurship and small business around the world, and a strong partnership with DFW economic drivers of entrepreneurship and small business.
Rodney D’Souza, a renowned leader in entrepreneurship education and research and successful business owner and angel fund manager, joins TCU Neeley as managing director of the institute and the Davis Family Entrepreneur-In-Residence. D’Souza was formerly the Fifth Third Bank Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship and director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University. He was awarded the 2017 Freedoms Foundation Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education and the 2017 University Award for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement, among other honors. He developed and delivered undergraduate courses on entrepreneurial mindset, opportunity recognition, idea valuation, new venture creation, new venture management and business plan writing, as well as an MBA module on innovation and competitive intelligence. He holds both a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Computer Management from the University of Pune, MBA from Northern Kentucky and Ph.D. from the University of Louisville.
Keith Hmieleski, the Robert and Edith Schumacher Executive Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Technology, is academic director of the institute. Brad Hancock is assistant director of the institute. Matt Smilor is director of the Values and Ventures® program. The institute’s staff also includes Michael Sherrod, the William M. Dickey Entrepreneur-in-Residence; Lin Nelson, instructor; and Cindy James, administrative assistant.
The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center launched in 1999 and quickly earned a reputation for helping TCU students imagine and achieve their dreams of being business owners. TCU Neeley has ranked in the top 25 U.S. Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship 2012-2017 by The Princeton Review for Entrepreneur magazine and has been designated a National Model Entrepreneurship Program by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The TCU Neeley Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will continue to produce these high-caliber programs:
Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition – An annual competition for undergraduate college students around the world to come to TCU to win funding for conscious capitalism ventures.
Bill Shaddock Venture Capital Fund – TCU students review other students’ business plans for possible cash grants totaling $20,000 in funding each year.
Elevator Pitch Competition – TCU students pitch a new business idea to a panel of judges for cash prizes.
Entrepreneurial Intern Scholars Program – TCU students are matched with TECH Fort Worth business owners for internships.
Jane and Pat Bolin Innovation Forum – National leaders who have transformed their industry or field are featured at TCU for this free annual event.
Entrepreneurship Club at TCU – Open to any major, the club brings successful entrepreneurs to campus, organizes road trips, supports student businesses and coordinates a successful mentor program.