Saturday, September 05, 2015

UTSA sets stage as pipeline for technology entrepreneurship boom

Teja Guda

Teja Guda, assistant professor of biomedical engineering research and new assistant director of UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship

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(July 8, 2014) -- The UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) has received $300,000 from the 80/20 Foundation to continue its growth as San Antonio's pipeline for young tech entrepreneurs. On the heels of becoming the first Texas university to receive distinction as a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site, UTSA's focus on technology entrepreneurship is about to expand even further.

"UTSA's entrepreneurship program has been the best kept secret in San Antonio for many years," said Lorenzo Gomez III, executive director of the 80/20 Foundation. "It is these students that will end up creating the next Rackspace and we hope that with our partnership we can accelerate and expand their great momentum."

Established in 2006 as an interdisciplinary center in the College of Business and College of Engineering, CITE fosters the growth of entrepreneurs and new technology-based ventures through education, experiences, resources and support. More than 500 UTSA students have competed in the center's technology business competition resulting in more than 80 new ventures pitched to investors. Several past competition winners have established start-up companies, secured funding, hired CEOs and are on their way toward commercial success. The center also fosters the more than 100 student-owned businesses on campus in the Roadrunner Business Incubator.

"With additional resources in place, we expect to see a sizable increase in the number of students and faculty involved in San Antonio tech start-up companies over the next few years," said Cory Hallam, UTSA chief commercialization officer, associate professor and CITE director. "We have built the foundation, now we are taking the next steps to create an even more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem at UTSA."

UTSA has appointed biomedical engineering assistant professor of research Teja Guda as assistant director of CITE. Representing the College of Engineering, Guda will work alongside current CITE assistant director Anita Leffel, who serves as the College of Business representative in her role as senior lecturer in the UTSA Department of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management.

In the coming months, CITE will hire a full-time program coordinator, who will manage the center through its growth phase. With the addition of a full-time center administrator, the faculty who have been coordinating the programs will be able to focus more on enhancing the technology entrepreneurship curriculum and building the resources available to UTSA students and faculty.

"I'm very much looking forward to making the UTSA College of Engineering a more integrated part of CITE and ensuring that our engineering students target pressing real-world challenges and come to naturally think about their innovations as having a possible life beyond the classroom," said Guda.

Guda specializes in the area of developing regenerative strategies for bone and skeletal muscle tissue engineering and works closely with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research to translated these therapies to treat wounded warriors. He understands the important role engineers play in developing innovative products and technologies that could change the world and has developed an engineering course at UTSA on product development.

Guda earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India, and received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at UTSA through the joint program with the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. After completing postdoctoral research at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, he returned to San Antonio in 2011 to join the faculty of the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering.

CITE's signature programs include the semiannual $100K Student Technology Venture Competition and Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. Additionally, CITE manages the Roadrunner Business Incubator for early-stage student companies and the New Venture Incubator for emerging technology and biomedical device companies. In May 2014, CITE was designated a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site, joining a national initiative to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology.

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For more information, visit the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship website.

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
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Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
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Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus


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Meet a Roadrunner

Teja Guda '08 is an engineer on the cutting edge

Biomedical engineering alum and professor is working to regenerate tissue

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