Team developing gastric bypass system wins UTSA entrepreneurship competition
By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist
(April 27, 2011)--UMDI, a team of four engineering students and three business students who developed a prototype electrolytic gastric leak detector (eGLD) and wrote a business plan to market the technology, triumphed last weekend at the $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition, presented by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE).
The technology, a smart drain with electricity-detecting sensors, monitors and reports the balance of electrolytes in patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
UTSA teams ATALIS and Voice Detection for the Deaf respectively placed second and third in the business planning competition, held Saturday, April 23 at the UTSA Downtown Campus.
ATALIS offered an RFID-based (radio frequency identification) technology that identifies and weighs bottles stocked by business and bar owners in real-time to determine if the correct amount and type of alcohol is used for a particular drink and to determine if the charge is correct.
Voice Detection for the Deaf offered a mobile technology to assist in the awareness of surroundings of the deaf and hard of hearing by integrating an alerting wristband with a mobile phone application.
Rudy De La Garza, CFO of the IDEA Finishing School, now has judged three iterations of UTSA's $100K tech competition. His company identifies new entrepreneurial talent and helps those young entrepreneurs develop their companies and take them to market.
"This year's presentations were probably the best of all the presentations they've had in the past," said De La Garza. "We like the technology we see out of UTSA."
Nine student teams competed last weekend at UTSA's $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition. The six other competitors included:
- ACESS, which offered a new way to efficiently capture, store and transfer energy using multiple super capacitors in a series in its storage circuit
- B.A.T., which offered a safe and convenient technology to jump-start a battery
- DIP, which offered an ultra-violet camera system and robotic component to eliminate faulty produce from food packaging lines
- Ortho Applications, which offered the Synergy Wrap, a portable hot/cold therapeutic wrap that is digitally controlled and regulated to provide safe and consistent hot or cold temperatures
- PowerSole, which offered the SolarSole technology, a shoe that harnesses both piezo electricity and solar energy to charge a small back-up battery in its heel to charge handheld electronic devices
- SCHRUBR, which offered a technology that promotes a clean environment by cleaning and removing bio fouling that has accumulated on the hulls of ships
UTSA's biannual tech competition is the largest business-planning competition in San Antonio. UTSA established the event in 2007, when it was observed that its engineering students were developing new technologies and business students were writing business plans, but neither group of students continued their efforts beyond turning in projects for a grade.
With the competition in place, UTSA students now are developing marketable technologies and forming viable new companies based on those technologies. Teams in the competition are judged by local academic, business and entrepreneurial experts on their technology, business plans and presentations.
"The final test of the competition is the venture pitch portion of the competition," said Cory Hallam, director of CITE. "Each team is given the stage for eight minutes to convince investors to invest in their company. At this year's competition, investment discussions were initiated between a local investment group and several of the teams the morning of the competition. The outcome remains to be seen, but looks positive."
Winners receive $100,000 in services and prizes including consulting, marketing and legal services, office space and other benefits.
The $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition was sponsored the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, Cox | Smith, Harvard Business School Club of San Antonio, San Antonio Technology Center, Startech, UTSA College of Business and UTSA College of Engineering.
About the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship
The Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) is an interdisciplinary center in the UTSA College of Business and College of Engineering. The center fosters the growth of entrepreneurs and new technology-based ventures through education, experiences, resources and support.