Get your pitch ready: The $100K Student Technology Venture Competition is back at UTSA on April 26. The competition, hosted by the UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE), challenges UTSA students to create and pitch a product exciting enough to nab $100,000 in prizes and business-related services. The event is combined with the College of Engineering’s Tech Symposium, which will showcase innovative student research projects.
“It’s always exciting to see these brilliant, driven UTSA students showing what they can do,” said Cory Hallam, director of CITE. “Every-one of these projects is fascinating and demonstrates a real talent for innovation.”
The competitors will display their products from 8 a.m. until noon in the UTSA Convocation Center, alongside students participating in the Tech Symposium. From 1 to 3:30 p.m., the students will give a five-minute pitch to a panel of judges from the San Antonio business and technology community. Winners will be announced shortly afterward. The event is free and open to the public.
The top three teams have access to a prize pool of more than $100,000 in prizes and business-related services to help launch their companies. Past winners include a portable device that alleviate sleep apnea, a motorized torque wrench that makes aircraft safer and a prototype labor monitoring system. This year’s 14 teams will offer new technologies with biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering applications.
As in past competitions, each of this semester’s competing teams have received guidance from an experienced professional from the San Antonio Tech Boosters mentors network, a volunteer organization dedicated to helping technology-driven start-ups and entrepreneurs in the greater San Antonio area succeed. Neal Vail is the current president of this organization.
To prepare for the competition, teams of business, computer science and engineering seniors worked throughout the semester to develop a technology-based company. The students collaborated to create a business plan, a technology report, and a working prototype. The teams will pitch on April 26th to a judging panel formed by Tech and Business leaders from the community.
Sponsors of the competition include Geekdom, The Whittington Group, San Antonio Technology Center, Texas Research and Technology Foundation, Texas Technology Development Center, Cox Smith/Dykema Attorneys, Humphries Medical Media, Targeted Technology Fund, 80/20 Foundation and the UTSA Office of Commercialization and Innovation.
Since the competition’s inception, 844 students have participated, more than 120 company ideas have been pitched and a dozen patent applications have been filed. Two winning teams from previous competitions, Leto Solutions and Invictus Medical, have demonstrated steady progress toward commercializing their products.