The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a nonprofit unit of The University of Texas at Austin, announced the kick-off of the 3rd annual Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) program today to follow-up on the successes with previous participating startups Mutual Mobile, Solavicta, Wibole, Ordoro and SpectraPhase.
In both 2009 and 2010, five startups participated and several went on to be successful startups. Mutual Mobile has garnered millions of dollars of revenue, Solavicta won MOOT Corp 2010, Wibole and SpectraPhase are spinning out UT Austin IP and are members of ATI, and Ordoro is also a new member of ATI and has ramping revenue.
This summer’s SEAL program includes the following early-stage ventures:
Azotergon delivers a novel waste treatment process that generates high-value nitrogen compounds. MedMa has a SaaS solution to help nursing homes prevent medication errors.
The Body Browser offers a 3D body surface scanning technology initially targeted at fitness tracking in health clubs. Vectralux provides an optical transceiver vendor that enhances signal performance over multimode fiber. Virtegrity is a novel security software startup tackling the difficult virtualization market.
Kyle Cox, the new ATI – On Campus Assistant Director, said “this 2011 SEAL class is extraordinary in terms of their technical sophistication and focus on solving specific, well-defined problems with technology-based breakthroughs.”
Recently at UT Austin, there has been increased interest in entrepreneurship spurred on by several new programs like the Idea to Product Competition (I2P), the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition, 3 Day Startup and the Hatchery Class. Courses, competitions, student organizations and UT departments serve students as they progress through the first three stages of a startup: develop innovation, light-touch market validation and business validity. However, as a student progresses through the entrepreneurial process, the last step of making the decision to significantly invest in the new business does not have institutional support at UT Austin, but ATI’s SEAL program does just that.
Each summer, ATI hosts the SEAL program, a two month accelerator for five select UT Austin student-led startups, sourced from other student entrepreneur programs at UT, to make the “Go / No-Go” decision. In order to determine whether their business can develop into a successful startup and to look at the possible roadblocks, the five SEAL teams participate in multiple strategy sessions, interview prospective customers and partners, create financial models, write a high-level pitch, and develop leadership and organizational skills along the way. At the end of the program, each team delivers their ‘Decision Day’ pitch to an audience of potential angel investors, venture capitalists, UT Austin faculty and members of the Austin startup community.
This year’s Decision Day is set for August 2, 2011 at ATI, located at the West Pickle Research (WPR) Building, 3925 West Braker Lane, Austin, Texas 78759. ATI is currently looking for mentors and sponsors for the event.
Bart Bohn, ATI IT/Wireless Director and Founding Director of the SEAL program said, “the continuing evolution of the SEAL program is critical to sustaining the momentum of student-led innovation and entrepreneurship.”
SEAL program partners include 3 Day Startup and the Hatchery Class.
For the full press release view:
ATI – On Campus