UTSA business and engineering students responsible for developing and marketing a marksmanship training aid and a parachute shock absorber tied for first place at The University of Texas at San Antonio $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition, held Dec. 1 on the UTSA Downtown Campus.
The business planning competition, organized by UTSA’s Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), offers UTSA students the chance to test their entrepreneurial skills and receive coaching from members of the Harvard Business Club.
First place winner Team Dead-eye developed a prototype and marketing plan for a basic rifle marksmanship training aid. The technology reduces operator error and ensures minimal barrel movement when a rifle fires. It was developed by engineering students Ahmed Alsheri, Susana Caballero, Zachary Hamilton and William Tirado and marketed by business students Brad Feltner, Erika Leija and Jason Strawn.
The competition’s other first place winner, Team Chute Damper, developed a technology that reduces the shock felt by a race car driver when the car’s parachute is deployed. Engineering students Ryan McDonnell and Brian Moczygemba and business students Mary Brown, Amy Hermes and Alex Quiroz developed the technology and business plan, respectively.
In addition, competitors included Team Fire Suppression, which placed third with an original fire suppression system designed to reduce vehicle fire fatalities and property damage; Team Back Brace, which offered an electromechanical orthopedic device to correct back problems; Team Static Dynamic, which designed a quad copter which can transport a system containing a video feed back to its user; and Texas Solar Energy Concepts, which developed a flat plate solar collector for residential power generation.
Together, the six teams will split more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.
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. It 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.
CITE established the competition when it observed that UTSA’s engineering students were developing new technologies and its business students were writing business plans, but neither group of students cultivated their projects after receiving a grade. With the competition in place, UTSA’s students are now developing marketable technologies and launching viable new companies based on those technologies, all before they graduate.
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