Tarleton student, advisors win Sly Innovation Award at TCU competition


FORT WORTH (April 25, 2017) — Thomas Rudolph, a Fort Worth business major at Tarleton State University, is one of 18 top winners announced Monday in the TCU Neely Entrepreneurship Center 2017 Values and Ventures Competition.

Thomas and his faculty advisors, Assistant Professor Steven Gerhardt and Dr. Ceyhan Kilic, brought home the $2,500 Marjorie and James Sly Innovation Award in the unique competition that rewards plans for businesses that make a profit while making a difference.

Once up and running, Thomas’ company—TreeMendous Products—will produce innovative tree wraps that create viable micro-ecosystems, reducing water, energy and herbicide use by 75 to 90 percent. Thomas will donate the wraps, called Tree-Ps, to school and community gardens.

Tarleton State University business major Thomas Rudolph (left) and faculty advisor Dr. Ceyhan Kilic were presented with the Marjorie and James Sly Innovation Award following the 2017 Values and Ventures Competition hosted by Texas Christian University’s Neely Entrepreneurship Center. Rudolph attends class at Tarleton-Fort Worth and received a $2,500 prize.

Tree-Ps are perfect for residential as well as large-scale agriculture and reforestation projects, according to Thomas. They are self-sufficient, maintenance free and manageable with minimal effort.

The University of Iowa won the event’s grand prize of $25,000 for Health Tech Solutions, a company created to improve the organ transplant process by using HIPAA-compliant real-time software.

More than 50 university teams submitted plans in this year’s competition, with nearly $230,000 in cash and inkind services awarded.

Since the competition started seven years ago, 230 teams have vied for nearly $400,000 in cash prizes and $850,000 in kind. At least 90 companies have launched.

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