June 25, 2015
By Elaine Cole (click here to view original article)
Neeley School alumnus and successful entrepreneur Bill Shaddock likes the concept behind television’s “Shark Tank” so much that he initiated a similar opportunity for TCU students. He made a $250,000 commitment to form the student-run Bill Shaddock Venture Capital Fund, which lets TCU entrepreneurship students judge other students’ business plans and decide whether or not to award grants.
Undergraduate and graduate TCU students throughout the university, not just Neeley School students, can pitch their business plans to the student review committee by submitting a written plan and then making a presentation. The student committee then determines if and how much a plan will be funded. Funding can be used for working capital, market research, purchase of raw material or inventory, office equipment and supplies, or other business-related necessity. Students who receive funds must provide scheduled updates on their venture’s progress.
“The Bill Shaddock Venture Capital Fund will attract entrepreneurial students to TCU, nurture them with something fun and interesting, give them tangible accomplishments, and provide them with an experience they can use to go out in the business world with the confidence to follow their passion and desire,” Shaddock said.
Senior BIS major Yun Lim has been chosen to lead the first grant review committee, all of whom are TCU juniors and seniors who go through a rigorous application and selection process.
Three groups of students pitched their businesses at the inaugural presentations in April, where the asked tough questions covering competition, market share, accounting, finance and more. Two business plans, VitaFive customizable, home-delivery gummy vitamins, and NotebookU online classroom/classmate sharing platform, received funding.
“I want this to be fun and challenging for these young entrepreneurs and provide them with a valuable experience as they embark on their careers,” Shaddock said. “Entrepreneurship is a passion of mine, something like a fever, and I want to help TCU students catch that passion and fever.”
Shaddock is president and partner of the Shaddock Development Company, one of the largest residential real estate developers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is CEO and owner of Willow Bend Mortgage Company and Capital Title Company, the largest independent title company in Texas, and owner and chairman of First National Title Company, one of the top 15 title insurance underwriters in the U.S.