The Austin Technology Incubator’s (ATI) 3rd annual Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) program is well underway and teams are already reaching some critical milestones on their way to validating their business models and assessing the viability of their entrepreneurial ventures.
This summer’s teams include:
- ARC Chemicals has developed a novel waste treatment process that generates high-value nitrogen compounds from current anaerobic digestion models.
- PHeir Health is disrupting the healthcare IT space with a scalable, cloud-based SaaS solution targeted at helping prevent medication errors.
- ShapeScan is commercializing a 3D body surface scanning technology that quickly combines weight and scanning inputs to immediately determine subject’s BMI and body fat percentage.
- Vecturalux has developed ParaLux™, a fiber optic technology yielding 15x speeds and 3x distance over multimode fiber; vital for bandwidth growth in data networks, consumer electronics and telecommunication.
- Virtegrity is developing a suite of information security tools focused on the difficult and burgeoning area of virtualized servers.
It began quickly at SEAL Kick-Off day, June 7, 2011, as each team gave 15-minute quick-pitches to a packed room of ATI advisors and industry mentors, highlighting their technology and presenting their startup’s three most threatening potential deal killers. The subsequent 5 weeks have entailed many late nights, countless face-to-face strategy sessions with mentors, and hundreds of phone calls, emails, and meetings with potential customers and strategic partners as they continue to validate and iterate their initial assumptions and business models.
During the final 3 weeks of the program, the teams will be stretched to their limits as they execute against their task lists, validate their assumptions, and strive to reach their identified critical milestones. For some, that is completing SBIR grant applications and identifying initial funding sources, others that is landing their critical first pilot customer, and yet others are faced with exploring new markets and reassessing their initial thesis as the results of initial trials have come in.
The SEAL program provides facilitated contact with industry and the real world by delivering:
- Coaching and mentoring by ATI Directors and Industry Advisors
- Structured problem solving with an ATI senior associate & interns
- An enforced timeline and clear deliverables
- A co-working environment at the heart of the Incubator
During the program the teams develop team-specific roadmap, milestones, and analysis where they:
- Breakdown business issues into specific analyses
- Perform primary research through facilitated introductions with industry and technology experts by ATI leadership and relevant industry advisors
- Vet conclusions and recommendations from analyses with ATI leadership and relevant industry advisors
Don’t miss this year’s SEAL Decision Day, set for August 2, 2011, 4-6 p.m. in the ATI auditorium. (WPR Building, 3925 West Braker Lane, Austin, 78759)