Monday, June 12, 2017

UTSA students pitch their innovations for a shot at $100K in prizes


Annual CITE competition gives UTSA students launching pad to market their invention

UTSA students share their senior design projects at the 2016 Fall Tech Symposium. Photo courtesy: Deborah Silliman/College of Engineering.


(April 18, 2017) -- On April 25, UTSA students will pitch their exciting new innovations to business leaders for a chance to start their own companies at the annual UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) $100K Student Technology Venture Competition. The event is combined with the College of Engineering's Tech Symposium, which will showcase innovative student projects.

"UTSA has created an entrepreneurial environment unlike any other university in the region," said Cory Hallam, director of CITE and UTSA's chief commercialization officer. "This competition unlocks the entrepreneurial mindset in our students, and coupled with great faculty and a network of mentors, sets the stage for the next great start up in San Antonio."

To prepare for the competition, teams of business, engineering, computer science and music marketing students worked throughout the semester to develop a technology-based company. The students collaborated to create a business plan, a technology report, and a working prototype. Five teams from among 27 made it through the first two rounds of pitches, and will head to the finals. Each team will be judged on their innovation, business plan and presentation. The top three team have access to a prize pool of more than $100,000 in cash and business-related services to help launch their companies.

On April 25, the competitors will display their technologies from 8:45 a.m. until noon in the UTSA Convocation Center, alongside students sharing their senior design projects as part of the College of Engineering Tech Symposium. At 1 p.m., the students will pitch their business plan to a panel of judges from the San Antonio business and technology community. Winners will be announced shortly afterward.

Sponsors of the competition include the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, Geekdom, the San Antonio Technology Center, Rackspace, Humphries Medical Media, The Whittington Group, Targeted Technology Fund, 80/20 Foundation, SA Economic Development Corporation, SA Tech Boosters, the UTSA Colleges of Business and Engineering, and the UTSA Vice President for Research.

Since the competition's inception, more than 800 students have participated, and more than 125 company ideas have been pitched. The winners of the 2016 CITE 100K competition have since received a $50,000 National Science Foundation grant to support the development of their device for the market. Other winning teams from previous competitions have demonstrated steady progress toward commercializing their products.

- Courtney Clevenger

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Learn more about the UTSA Tech Symposium.

Learn more about the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition.

Learn more about the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship.

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