UTSA business and engineering students responsible for developing and marketing a high-efficiency, low-emission internal combustion engine took first place Dec. 3 at the $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition at the UTSA Downtown Campus.
Organized by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), the high-tech business-planning competition offers UTSA engineering and business students the chance to test their entrepreneurial skills by launching new companies. They also receive coaching from the Venture Mentor Network organized by the Harvard Business Club of San Antonio.
The winning team, Logicorp, included undergraduate engineering majors Chris Noriega, Deezy Loving and Jeff Lujan and undergraduate business majors Stephen Gonzalez, Albert Casillas and Don Huynh.
AutoturnUTSA start-up teams Auto Turn and AutoView took second and third place in the competition, respectively. Auto Turn developed and marketed an electronic page-turner for musicians. AutoView developed and marketed visual recognition control software and an application to help drivers find parking spaces in busy lots using their smart phones. The three winning teams will split more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.
Additional competitors included entrepreneurs UmberMech, which offered a motorized umbrella for electric wheelchairs; Mbrace, which offered a wireless theft-prevention device for iPads, cell phones and laptops; Tommy, which offered a robot with built-in GPS and a camera for use in land surveys; and Rod Mount, which offered an integrated mount for telescopes.
UTSA’s biannual $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition promotes student entrepreneurship by pairing engineering students who create viable new technologies with business students who create business plans to market those technologies through a start-up. The event is sponsored by the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, Cox | Smith, the Harvard Business School Club of San Antonio, San Antonio Technology Center, the UTSA College of Business, the UTSA College of Engineering and the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research.
The competition was established by CITE, when it was noted that UTSA engineering students were developing new technologies and business students were writing business plans, but neither group cultivated projects together with the intention of going to market. With the competition, UTSA students now are developing before they graduate these marketable technologies and launching viable new companies based on those technologies.
Judges at the competition included Nancy Kudla, founder and former president and CEO of dNovus RDI; Ann Bohl Deacon, founder and CEO Deacon Recruiting; Teryn Grater of Teryn Grater, ATKG CPAs LLP; Lorenzo Gomez, III of Weston Properties (Rackspace/Geekdom); Rudy W. De La Garza, CFO of Idea Finishing School Inc.; Kristopher Hochart, broker-owner of Red Wagon Realty and Derrick Pizarro, attorney at Cox | Smith.