Meet William Cavanaugh. For the past four years, you've seen him on the football field playing right guard for the Roadrunners. When he's not on the offensive line, though, he's making a difference in the lives of students.
Cavanaugh, along with his business partner, UTSA student Clesmie Burden, created Synced-In, an app to boost student productivity and organization.
"Synced-In is an automated calendar app to help UTSA students manage their time," said Cavanaugh. "It pulls information like assignment due dates from Bluebook and plugs it into one calendar automatically. This type of software has already been produced, but nobody has applied it to school calendars yet. That's what we're doing."
The idea for Synced-In came to Cavanaugh, an entrepreneurship major from New Braunfels, while playing Division I football for UTSA.
"In between practice and academics, my schedule can get very hectic. I had to train myself how to stay organized," said Cavanaugh, who admitted to struggling with a class during his freshman year. "With Synced-In, we're addressing this issue by providing a tool to help students organize their time and stay on track."
The app hasn't hit the market just yet, but Cavanaugh has met with tech savvy leaders from Geekdom, as well as UTSA administrators, to launch the app on campus.
In December, Cavanaugh and Burden presented Synced-In at UTSA's $100K Student Technology Venture Competition and snagged third place. The event, which is hosted by the Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE), allows students to showcase their innovations for a chance to win funding and support to launch their start-ups.
"The exposure Synced-In received at the CITE competition was very beneficial," said Cavanaugh. "Even though we placed third, Burden and I were confronted by several potential investors."
Cavanaugh's interest in entrepreneurship began at a young age. Although his parents divorced when he was eight, he says he learned a lot from both of his parents. They each independently own their own corporate housing businesses.
Off the field, the second-generation athlete – his father Bill Cavanaugh played right guard for Texas A&M – is an avid movie buff and outdoorsman. After graduation, he hopes to further his education at UTSA with a master's in business administration, and intern with a consulting company. With UTSA's support, he and Burden also plan to pursue the development of Synced-In, an opportunity that they likely wouldn't have received had it not been for UTSA's CITE competition.
"I truly believe that this is a top-tier education. Classes are really tough, and I think that what they're doing here is fully preparing students to go out into the workforce to make a difference," said Cavanaugh.
– Yvonne Zamora
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