Backpack Backpack Presents at TCU’s Values and Ventures Competition

2015-04-10 11.04.20This past weekend, Juhi Vazirani, Liza Hornyak, and I represented Villanova University at the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition. Our team’s venture, Backpack Backpack, strives to provide educational resources to children in rural areas of Colombia. The concept is simple: for every backpack sold in the United States, a backpack with educational materials will be given to a child in Colombia. The idea originated after I observed an early drop-out rate from children in public schools in Colombia. I recognized the need to help these children in rural areas, and sought to address the solution through this social venture. We believe education is the most powerful tool to combat poverty, and through our business, we will be able to motivate and enable students to stay in school.

The Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition is a competition for for-profit enterprises with a social purpose. 49 universities from all over the world gathered at Texas Christian University to present and compete with their innovative business ventures. Our team was excited to participate with other entrepreneurs, and we were inspired by their spirit to change the world. All of the ventures were outstanding, and we enjoyed hearing other student’s ideas and learning from their ventures.

2015-04-10 11.33.40The competition inspired and motivated our team to continue to improve our venture. We received incredible feedback from the judges, our mentor, and other students. While at TCU, we attended the Bolin Innovation Forum where Dr. Jeffrey Stamp presented on bold thinking. We also had an opportunity to participate in a student networking event which allowed us not only to meet remarkable individuals, but also learn from their ventures. At the event, we discussed our passions to positively change the world through business, and we bounced ideas off one another to improve our business plans.

We are extremely grateful to TCU and the Richards and Barrentine families for welcoming Villanova to Texas, and hosting such a beautiful, inspiring event that we will always treasure as a memorable experience. In all, The Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition brought together students from all over the world, and fostered an invigorating environment encouraging continued creativity and innovation.