Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

Caruth Institute @ Cox

From blockchain to venture investing, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship provides essential insights and connections in the world of entrepreneurism. In addition, the Institute offers budding entrepreneurs a face-to-face platform to meet potential investors in the bimonthly Southwest Venture Forum. Another signature Caruth event: The annual Dallas 100 Awards, honoring the fastest-growing privately held companies in the Dallas area.

For 32 years, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business and the Dallas 100TM sponsors have celebrated area entrepreneurs’ innovative spirit, determination, and business savvy. We have saluted the diversity, creativity, and resolve it takes to create and sustain a successful business in today’s hyper-competitive environment.

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Southwest Venture Forum

The SMU Cox Southwest Venture Forum (@smucoxswvf) is a public bi-monthly breakfast meeting where the Dallas venture community comes together to network and gain insights into different venture financing topics that are timely and relevant to the management of their portfolio of investments and fund strategy and operations. In 1990, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship assumed responsibility for operating the Southwest Venture Forum, founded by a local venture capital firm in 1984.
Entrepreneurs are also selected to present their business plans at each meeting to attendees. If you are interested in presenting, you must submit to the selection committee as follows:
A two to three-page business plan or executive summary that describes:

  • The opportunity and business concept.
  • The existing or proposed products and, or services.
  • The industry and target markets in which they will operate.
  • Accomplishments of key management personnel.
  • Summarized financial projections of sales, profits, and cash flows.
  • What they are seeking in terms of financing to build their company.

Please submit at least five weeks before the following forum to

Following the presentations by selected entrepreneurs, prominent investors or expert panels discuss current venture financing topics. Attendees in the forum consist of venture investors, entrepreneurs, bankers, attorneys, accountants, and consultants working with early- and intermediate-stage growth-oriented entrepreneurs and their firms.

The Southwest Venture Forum cordially invites you to:

Topic: Investing in AI Technologies


  • David Evans, Technologist and Serial Entrepreneur; Adjunct Professor, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas
  • Rick Seaney, Chairman/Chief Innovation Officer at 3Victors; Adjunct Professor, Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science


  • Bill Rolley, Managing Director & Middle Market Team Lead at Texas Capital Bank

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2024

  • 7:00 AM Check-in/Coffee/Networking
  • 7:30 AM Plated breakfast
  • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Program

Location: Park City Club, 5956 Sherry Ln. Dallas, TX 75225

Registration will close Monday, May 13, 2024 at 5:00 PM. 

Regular Registration

Student Registration

For more information, contact us at

Venture Capital Update Downloads

Joint Support In Entrepreneurship

The Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship serves as an additional guidepost for the SMU Cox community of entrepreneurial leaders. In concert with the Caruth Institute, the Hart Institute aims to lift up start-up endeavors, layering in technology and innovation expertise.  

Learn more about the Hart Institute

The Dallas 100 Entrepreneur Awards

View of Dallas, Tx from the Fincher buildingFor 32 years, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business and the Dallas 100TM sponsors have celebrated the innovative spirit, determination and business savvy of area entrepreneurs. We have saluted the diversity, creativity and resolve it takes to create and sustain a successful business in today’s competitive environment.

Find out more at

Blockchain Program Initiative

How will blockchain shape the future of business? In this program, students join Professor Simon Mak, who applies his technical background, global network and dot-com and open source startup experience to take on this emerging field. Together, the Cox School and the business community are advancing the theory and practice of blockchain entrepreneurship globally.


Blockchain Commerce Update for Entrepreneurs and Investors 
Offered by the SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship Blockchain Program Inititiative

View on YouTube

See more about the Blockchain Program Initiative

Supporting Student Success

Caruth Institute equips students to launch and manage successful entrepreneurial ventures. Along with academic courses, student-focused programs include: 

  • Blockchain Program Initiative : Explore blockchain entrepreneurship and help develop the business model of the future. 

  • Cox MBA Venture Fund: Students manage investments to fund select startups developed by Cox students and alumni. 

Learn more about The Southern Methodist University Business Plan Competition

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club

The SMU Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club, founded in 2000, is a student-led organization dedicated to promoting innovation within the SMU community. The Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship club fosters opportunities for student club members to achieve their goals of starting and launching a viable business, exploring venture capital interest, supporting a startup, or inspiring entrepreneurial thinking. 

Learn More


You can watch past webinar recordings here.

SBA Loans: The Money's Gone, Now What?
As seen on NBC Channel 5, John Terry will walk you through the process and more.
Speaker: John Terry

Click here to view.


Featured Faculty

Gordon Walker

Gordon Walker

Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Group

Dr. Walker arrived at Cox with a sterling academic track record, including teaching positions at MIT, the Wharton School and Yale. He has published in leading academic journals and is the author of Modern Competitive Strategy. Global companies have tapped Dr. Walker’s expertise as a business strategist and consultant. He has garnered accolades for his teaching, including a nod from Business Week magazine.

Simon Mak

Simon Mak


Hailed as a visionary and "startup evangelist" by the Dallas business community, Dr. Mak left Silicon Valley to help manage Cox's internationally ranked entrepreneurship program. His IPO experience flavors his approach to teaching entrepreneurial skills to both students and executives. When he’s not in the classroom, Dr. Mak researches and publishes about strategic thinking, business modeling, lean launch, innovation/ideation, corporate entrepreneurship and blockchain entrepreneurship. He is also the recipient of Cox’s Teaching Innovation Award.