TCU club wins top honors at collegiate entrepreneurial conference

The university's Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization chapter won top honors at the 2012 National Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization conference, CEO President Luke Otteson said.

Otteson won Best Student Leader in the Nation, and the CEO club was awarded first place for Best Marketing Plan out of 245 chapters.

“This award means a great deal to me and proves how great a team we have surrounding TCU CEO,” Otteson said. “My success as president was only possible through the support of my adviser Brad Hancock, the CEO officers and the whole crew at the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center.”

Otteson said the TCU CEO chapter is the largest in the nation with 400 members. Forty-four students and faculty attended the conference in Chicago Nov. 1-3.

Hancock was named runner-up for the Best Faculty Adviser in the nation. Hancock was nominated by Otteson for the award.

Hancock said he was proud of his accomplishment but even more proud of the students for taking advantage of opportunities for education, inspiration, encouragement and networking at the conference.

The CEO club’s success was a huge win for the chapter and the university, Hancock said.

“It’s a sign that the club and TCU are very serious about entrepreneurship,” Hancock said. “Not only are we successful in winning awards and competing, but we really have a very significant program.”

Two other students were recognized at the conference for their participation in the elevator pitch competition. Molly Johnson placed in the top six winning Honorable Mention, and Steve Hofmann was in the top 12, Hancock said.

Johnson, a senior entrepreneurial management major, pitched Sneeze4, which is an environmentally friendly tissue.

Johnson said 25 cents of every box of tissues will be donated to a non-profit organization related to Sneeze4Hunger, Sneeze4Veterans, Sneeze4BreastCancer or Sneeze4Alzheimers.

“Making the finals at the National Elevator Pitch Competition was exhilarating,” Johnson said. “I love public speaking, and I love social enterprise, so getting to combine those two passions was an incredible experience.”