The launch of their Big Idea doesn’t have to wait until after graduation for entrepreneurially minded MBA students at UT McCombs School of Business. Earlier this week, the school’s entrepreneur initiative Texas Venture Labs announced a new scholar program which will award scholarships for students to pursue their startup business while earning their degree.
Scholarship applicants will submit their business plans and presentations electronically by January 7, 2013, and selected finalists will participate in the competition on the University of Texas at Austin campus on February 9, 2013. Plans will be judged by a panel including TVL’s Accenture Venture Partners and representatives from the Texas MBA admissions committee and the McCombs entrepreneurship faculty.
According to the school, the total potential value of each Scholar Program award is $175,000. Competition winners will receive a scholarship package of $50,000, and their startups will be accepted into the Texas Venture Labs accelerator program, also valued at $50,000. Winners will also be automatically considered for a TVL summer internship and for a position as a postgraduate Accenture TVL Venture Partner, a combined value of $75,000.
“The Texas Venture Labs Scholar Program pulls together all the attributes that entrepreneurs look for when starting a business,” says the program’s director, Rob Adams.
“The Austin startup ecosystem, McCombs’ top-ranked MBA and entrepreneurship programs, and the significant track record of Texas MBAs starting businesses on graduation. Combining these attributes with scholarship funding enables entrepreneurs to radically accelerate the development of their business while earning their MBA at McCombs.”
UT McCombs ranks in fifth in the recently announced 2012 Princeton Review’s top graduate programs for entrepreneurship. Interestingly, scholarship applicants don’t have to apply for admission prior to the competition. Winners will be able to exercise their scholarship option for the full-time MBA program for 18 months after receiving the award, the school says. To exercise the scholarship, competition winners must follow the standard McCombs MBA application process and be accepted to the program.
“Many of our best MBA startups come from students seeking our top-ranked entrepreneurship program, arriving with a business idea and using coursework to incubate their idea,” says MBA program director Christina Mabley. “With the TVL Scholar Program, we are recognizing and funding this fast-growing cadre of MBA applicants.”