Unique McCombs MBA Scholarship Offered to Entrepreneurs

Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs will provide two scholarships to entrepreneurs to develop startup ventures while pursuing their MBA degrees. The scholarships will be awarded to the winners of a shark-tank-style pitch competition at The University of Texas at Austin on Feb. 15, 2014.

The scholarships, each worth more than $174,000 in tuition and startup services, are the only scholarships of their kind for MBA candidates in the United States. This is the second year Texas Venture Labs has offered this scholarship.

Last year's scholarship was awarded to Courtney Leffall for his idea, Grillmobile, a bracket that allows the mounting of a barbecue grill to the bed of a pickup truck.

"The TVL Scholarship matters because it not only encourages students to take risks and pursue their ideas, but it also equips students with the tools and experience they need to move their businesses forward," Leffall said.

The scholarship is designed to help the McCombs School of Business continue to grow its nationally ranked entrepreneurship program and encourage more student startups. While attending McCombs, students can participate in experiential classes such as New Venture Creation in which they create in-depth business plans, or the Texas Venture Labs Practicum, through which they consult directly with startups.

Students also have an opportunity to raise seed money for their business ideas through the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition. Notable startups that began as a result of these programs include uShip and Phurnace Software.

The McCombs School of Business is ranked the seventh best graduate school for entrepreneurship according to U.S. News and World Report.

The scholarship application process opened Oct. 1, and final decisions will be made in February. More information can be found on the TVL website.

Since 2010, the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs has worked with more than 60 startups in a wide range of industries through the Texas Venture Labs Practicum at The University of Texas at Austin. Forty-eight percent of these companies have gone on to raise more than $180 million during the past six semesters, and the program has worked with more than 160 graduate students from the McCombs School of Business, the School of Law, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Pharmacy.