UTSA undergrads vie for $100K in cash, services in technology start-up contest

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(Nov. 19, 2013) -- Six UTSA teams comprised of senior business and engineering students will compete for cash and business-related resources at the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition, hosted by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), an interdisciplinary center in the College of Business and College of Engineering.

The competition will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02) on the UTSA Main Campus.

Established in 2007 and held semi-annually, the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition at UTSA offers the largest award of all undergraduate business-planning competitions in the nation. Focusing on student entrepreneurial activities, CITE hosts the competition to give students hands-on experience as early-stage entrepreneurs. Teams of senior business and engineering students work throughout the semester to develop a technology-based company. The engineering students create the technology and the business students create a fully developed business plan. The competitors will offer new technologies poised to enhance health care, mobility, the oil and gas industry, and construction.

Each team receives guidance from an experienced professional within the San Antonio technology business community. Local academic, business and entrepreneurial experts judge the teams on their technology, business plan and presentation. The competition culminates with each team making a six-minute pitch to potential investors.

The top three winning teams each receive a cash prize and in-kind business services such as marketing, consulting and office space totaling $100,000 to support the launch of their new company.

Since the competition’s inception, 650 students have participated, more than 85 company ideas have been pitched and a dozen patent applications have been filed. Two winning teams from previous competitions, Leto Solutions and Invictus Medical, have demonstrated steady progress and are on their way toward commercialization of their products.

Financed by the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, the competition also receives support from Cox|Smith, the San Antonio Technology Center, Rackspace, the Whittington Group, the UTSA College of Business, the UTSA College of Engineering and the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research.

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Schedule

9 a.m.-noon -- Project viewing and judging, interaction with teams (open to public)
Noon-1 p.m. -- Lunch
1-3 p.m. -- Competition
3-3:30 p.m. -- Award presentation

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Competitors

Claresta Solutions offers the LaborGuard Monitoring System, which uses wireless technology to capture and track the electronic impulses created by the fetal heart rate and uterine contractions during pregnancy. The student team includes Somer Baburek, Margaret Mayfield and Alejandro Sosa.

Mind Controlled Wheelchair uses a wireless electroencephalography headset to control the use of a wheelchair. The student team includes Graham Cull, Tanner Daniel, Yousef Failakaw, Analysa Gonzales, Nathan Gonzalez, Daniella Lerma and Carel Long.

Modified Smart Pig offers a way to locate water pockets within an oil and gas pipeline in order to prevent undesirable corrosive effects caused by acid buildup in the water pockets. The student team includes Samantha Block, Cassie Constanzo, Nick Goodwin, Robert Hampton, Kasi Holifield, Zachary Moses, Raquel Stark and Nick Taylor.

Salubrious offers a hand-held mechanical surgical instrument devised to remove all or part of the uterus of a patient during a hysterectomy procedure. The student team includes Cellan Caverte, Ryan Garcia, Josue I. Cruz-Lambert, Anne Margaret, Adolfo Mijares, Pablo Pardo, Rani Putri and Ta’Mara Williams.

Trench Winch is a towable trenching device that attaches behind a riding lawnmower. The student team includes Clark Carpenter, Frank Duran, Efrem Holley, Garth Morrison, Eduardo Rivera, Kevin Schielack and Johnathan Vela.

U-Cane is a device that enhances the function of the white cane used by a blind person by using ultrasonic waves to increase the detection of obstacles, particularly eye-level obstructions. The student team includes William Cochran, Moses Duggirala, Leonardo Espinoza, Ana Munoz, Cliff Paul and Ryan Waugh.

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UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship

CITE, an interdisciplinary center in the College of Business and College of Engineering, was established in 2006 to create a pipeline for UTSA faculty, students and surrounding business community to develop new technology ventures. Through a process of education, experiences, resources and support, CITE is focused on fostering the growth of new technology-based ventures. CITE also coordinates resources for supporting early-venture execution within the university or in collaboration with companies and provides linkages to IP protection, incubation and funding that support the successful launch of new technology ventures. For more information, visit the CITE website.

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About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.

The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.