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UTSA entrepreneurship e-textbook costs students less than $10

Jan. 16, 2014

This spring, UTSA students enrolled in any entrepreneurship course offered through the College of Business can purchase their textbook for less than $10.

Written by UTSA Department of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management professors Cory Hallam and Anita Leffel and former graduate student Matthew Gonzales, "A Commuter's Handbook to Entrepreneurship" is a step-by-step guide for starting a business. It is not exclusive to students either. Anyone with an entrepreneurial itch can benefit from this recently published book.

"Although the book focuses on technology ventures specifically, the information is applicable to most service-based companies as well," notes Leffel. "The book reflects the practical training tools and exercises we've used for years to help young entrepreneurs take an idea and turn it into a solid business enterprise."

Each chapter provides background information, exercises and resources on the various components to starting a company. By completing the exercises in each chapter, the reader will have completed a first draft of a business plan and pitch for an enterprise.

Matthew Gonzales, who graduated from UTSA in August 2013 with an M.B.A. in technology management, did much of the heavy lifting on the book while he was a graduate student.

"Working on this book was an intense but great experience," Gonzales said. "The knowledge I gained writing this book has been invaluable for my own career. It is rewarding to support the mission to educate and help others succeed in their business endeavors."

An entrepreneur himself, Gonzales owns DeadEye Markmanship, the company that won first place in the UTSA $100K Student Technology Venture Competition in December 2010 hosted by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship.

Hundreds of students who have participated in the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition have used the principles taught in "A Commuter's Handbook to Entrepreneurship" to help them develop successful business models. Since the competition began in 2007, 650 undergraduate students have participated, 85 company ideas have been developed and more than a dozen patent applications have been filed as a result.

The authors chose to publish an e-book because it is easy to update and to ensure the cost would remain low.

"With today's daunting textbook prices, it's refreshing to have a textbook that is not only very useful but also very affordable," said Raquel Stark, who graduated with her B.B.A. in entrepreneurship in December and used the book in her last semester of college. "Dr. Leffel and her team have provided a textbook whose value greatly exceeds the price."

The book is available on all e-book commerce websites including, and the Apple iBook Store.

The UTSA Department of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management offers a portfolio of courses taught by skilled faculty and focused on innovation and the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship in today's rapidly changing world. The department houses the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), an interdisciplinary center that serves as 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 at UTSA and beyond.


Prototype labor monitoring system team wins UTSA Technology Entrepreneurship Competition

Dec. 11, 2013

Claresta Solutions, a team of six business and engineering students, triumphed at the $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition presented by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE). The UTSA students developed a prototype electronic labor monitoring system and wrote a business plan to market the technology.

UTSA competitors In Line Innovations and INI Technology respectively placed second and third in the business planning competition Saturday, Dec. 7 at the UTSA Main Campus. The top three winning teams 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 companies.

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 labor. Capitalizing on advances in data processing capabilities paired with Bluetooth technology, the LaborGuard system was designed as a completely electronic solution. Claresta Solutions includes undergraduate business majors Somer Baburek, Margaret Mayfield, Servando Quinones and Alejandro Sosa, undergraduate engineering major Nolan Manteufel and biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate Steven Solis.

"Winning felt really great! I know all of the teams worked very hard on their projects, and it really kept us on our toes," said team leader and mother Somer Baburek. "I would love to be able to wear a LaborGuard the next time I have a baby. I believe that this product can offer so much in the way of efficiency and comfort in the hospital setting. It has the potential to offer peace of mind to expectant mothers and diagnostic power to their physicians."

Each competing team received guidance from an experienced professional within the San Antonio technology business community. Ian Clements, managing partner at Targeted Technology Fund II and CEO of ViroXis Corporation, mentored Claresta Solutions.

"The Claresta Solutions team has the passion, commitment and work ethic to make a difference with LaborGuard," said Clements. "The team was willing to listen, improve and take action. I have recommended that Claresta and LaborGuard continue to the next step in getting seed funding and full proof of concept. The future prospects look exciting."

In all, six teams entered this semester's competition. The additional teams included:

  • Mind Controlled Wheelchair, which uses a wireless electroencephalography headset to control the use of a wheelchair. Student team includes Graham Cull, Tanner Daniel, Yousef Failakaw, Analysa Gonzales, Nathan Gonzalez, Daniella Lerma and Carel Long.
  • In Line Innovations, which 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. Student team includes Samantha Block, Cassie Constanzo, Nick Goodwin, Robert Hampton, Kasi Holifield, Zachary Moses, Raquel Stark and Nick Taylor.
  • INI Technology, which offers a hand-held mechanical surgical instrument devised to remove all or part of the uterus of a patient during a hysterectomy procedure. 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, a towable trenching device that attaches behind a riding lawnmower. Student team includes Clark Carpenter, Frank Duran, Efrem Holley, Garth Morrison, Eduardo Rivera, Kevin Schielack and Johnathan Vela.
  • U-Cane, 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. Student team includes William Cochran, Moses Duggirala, Leonardo Espinoza, Ana Munoz, Cliff Paul and Ryan Waugh.

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. It offers UTSA's undergraduate senior business and engineering students the opportunity to build a technology, patent it, create a business and launch it in a rigorous incubator program.

Since the competition's inception, more than 650 students have participated, more than 90 company ideas have been pitched and a dozen patent applications have been filed.

Financed by the Texas Research & 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.


Team Developing Prototype Prosthetic Cooling System Wins CITE Entrepreneurship Competition
May 2, 2013

Leto SolutionsLeto Solutions, a team comprised of eight undergraduates triumphed at the $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition, presented by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE). The UTSA students developed a prototype thermoelectric cooling system that adds comfort and improves hygiene for prostheses and wrote a business plan to market the technology.

UTSA competitors Cyclosa and PLaCR I.T. respectively placed second and third in the business planning competition, held Tuesday, April 30 in conjunction with the university’s first Technology Symposium at the UTSA Main Campus.

Amputees who wear prosthetic limbs frequently experience discomfort. Heat builds up in the space where their residual limb meets the prostheses, leading to the accumulation of sweat. In addition to the discomfort this causes, serious medical problems can result, such as infection, skin breakdown, ulcers and painful friction blisters.

Leto Solutions offers Aquilonix Prosthetic Cooling System, which uses thermoelectric technology integrated into a prosthetic socket worn by the patient, to regulate the temperature and reduce sweating. Leto Solutions includes undergraduate engineering majors Austin Darius, Jake Montez, David Schultz and Gary Walters and undergraduate business majors Nam Do, Eric Michael Garza, Enrique Medrano and Justin Stultz.

“It’s been six years since my leg was amputated and for six years I’ve been searching for a solution to the discomfort that I feel from heat every day wearing a prosthetic,” said Gary Walters, senior mechanical engineering major. “This competition allowed for the perfect time and opportunity to create a solution.”

During the competition, local academic, business and entrepreneurial experts judge the teams on their technology, business plan and presentation.

“This is one of the best programs in the U.S. and over the years I have seen the quality and caliber of the companies and presentations grow tremendously each year,” said Randy Goldsmith, investor-in-residence at Texas Technology Development Center and CITE competition judge. “We have had the opportunity to fund the first place winner from four competitions ago, and we are seriously considering funding the other winners as well.”

In all, 10 student teams competed for $100,000 in cash and business-related services. The remaining teams included:

  • Artemis Care, which developed an indoor tracking system called Apollo’s Eye that safeguards special needs individuals while respecting their freedom and privacy.
  • Circa-Invention, whichcreated a machine that launches Frisbees and tennis balls with a touch of a button, designed to help children and others develop hand-eye coordination.
  • Cyclosa, whichinvented a gear shifter that works on both chain and belt-driven bicycles that is lighter, quieter, stronger, more efficient and requires less maintenance than traditional shifters.
  • ELD Energy Loss Detection Software, which detects energy leaks in a building and determines the fiscal losses caused by these leaks. It will also cost out the building improvements necessary to get rid of these problems.
  • Jack N’ Slide, which is a wheelchair accessory that aids patients in wheelchair-to-bed transfers. Their product replaces the canvas seat of a wheelchair with a mechanical lift seat that easily bolts to the frame of a standard wheelchair.
  • PLaCR I.T., which provides a fast, accurate and easily repeated method of centering a gamma radiation source for small-batch Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and inspection of pipe welds in the 36” - 60” diameter range.
  • Reddo Communication System, which created a portable device for translating sign language into voice.
  • Smart Car Seat System, which developed the NannyPad, a vibrating pad built into a car seat to comfort a child and detect harmful cabin temperature.
  • Smart Steer, which developed a steering wheel cover that manages the infotainment system of the vehicle without requiring the driver to look away from traffic – hence decreasing distractions and unexpected accidents.

“What made this group unique is that they were so competitive with one another,” said Anita Leffel, UTSA entrepreneurship professor and associate director of CITE. “They really learned from each other and fed off each others’ energy and motivation to make their companies better and better leading up to this competition. I’m proud of all of them.”

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. It offers UTSA’s undergraduate senior business and engineering students the opportunity to build a technology, patent it, create a business and launch it in a rigorous incubator program.

Winners receive $100,000 in cash and business-related services including consulting, marketing and legal services, office space and other benefits.

The UTSA CITE $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition is sponsored by the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, Cox | Smith, Rackspace, the San Antonio Technology Center and Startech, and is supported by the UTSA College of Business, College of Engineering and Vice President for Research.

CITE Mentors

Harvard Business Club Members Mentor Students
The college's Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) partnered with the Harvard Business Club to establish the CITE Mentor Network, a mentoring program for student entrepreneurs participating in the biannual $100K Student Technology Venture Competition.

The mentorship program is led by William Tolhurst, '85, president of the Harvard Business Club. A professional mentor is paired with each student team participating in the competition. The mentors acted as advisers to the start-up companies, provided professional guidance and utilized their network of contacts to provide subject matter experts in key areas such as venture financing, business strategy and market research.

"I am personally motivated to help students realize that there are other opportunities available to them beyond the more traditional employment tracks," said Tolhurst, who received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. "These opportunities can enrich both the students and the San Antonio community, and over the years help develop a strong and vibrant culture of technology entrepreneurship."

Since the inception of the program last fall, 17 mentors have participated.

"Perhaps the most eye-catching motivator to our mentors is the chance to be part of something that is truly unique, not only locally but nationally," said Tolhurst. "While it's a delight to see new companies formed by these teams, the primary objective remains enriching the educational experience of the students."

The $100K Student Technology Venture Competition is the major student entrepreneurial event at UTSA, giving students hands-on experience as early stage entrepreneurs. Teams of senior business and engineering students work throughout the semester to develop a technology demonstrator and business plan to successfully develop a new company. More than 300 students have participated in the competition since its inception in 2007.



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