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April 24, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 2 | There’s a lot going on in Texas

From the University of Texas at Austin:

The University has appointed Mark Arnold as the new Associate Vice President for Discovery to Impact, the University’s connection unit between campus innovators and industry.

In this new role, Arnold will enhance the University’s research commercialization efforts; formalize a dedicated technology transfer office to revitalize the University’s intellectual property, licensing, and business development efforts; and launch Texas Startups, a new division within Discovery to Impact that will position the University as a national leader in incubating, accelerating and investing in more undergraduate, graduate and faculty startups.

The appointment underscores President Jay Hartzell’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation across campus, driving impactful collaborations between the University and industry, and cultivating a strong research pipeline centered on life sciences, energy and the environment, and deep tech.

Arnold, who will also serve as the Managing Director of Texas Startups, has more than 25 years of leadership experience in scaling technology companies from inception through exit, navigating venture investments, and launching innovative business development initiatives.

From the University of Texas at San Antonio:

Through robust external partnerships locally and abroad, the Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIE) branch of the UTSA Najim Center has expanded its programming for Roadrunners. The SIE has created an ecosystem that enables UTSA students from all majors and backgrounds to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and gain translatable skills that they can put to use to start a business or build their careers.

The SIE offers multiple programs throughout the year including City Trek, an immersive experience where students venture into downtown San Antonio to learn from and network with local business owners, and the Start-Up Academy, a 10-week paid innovation sprint where students explore and develop practical skills alongside industry leaders.

The programs are mutually beneficial for students and UTSA’s community partners — students gain access to unique experiential learning opportunities, while San Antonio employers gain access to a pool of students who are prepared to join the workforce after graduation.

From the University of Texas at Tyler:

Two students from the Tyler University Academy (UA) won the 2024 “East Texas High School Idea Challenge,” the region’s premier innovation competition for high school students at the institution.

First-place winners Umama Khan and Olivia Hall, UA seniors, each received a $5,000 UT Tyler scholarship. Their winning project, Vitaband, is an idea for a wristband that monitors patients’ key vitals and connects them to a health care professional. Kiley Salser, a sophomore from Pine Tree High School, placed second and received a $2,500 UT Tyler scholarship. Her business venture,  Glistening Gardens, transforms lawns into flourishing gardens with expert planting, soil care and ongoing maintenance supplies.

From Ohio University:

The University’s Center for Entrepreneurship is offering a free bootcamp that would be perfect for newer farmers and helpful to anyone who caters to end consumers and has been in business for five years or less. Over six half-day Saturday morning sessions starting on June 8, the bootcamp will be taught by Ohio University and Marietta College entrepreneurship directors. There will be multiple entrepreneurs and subject matter experts as speakers.

Topics covered in the Community Bootcamp address all facets of a successful venture, ranging from developing a viable business concept to understanding your market, designing your profit model, setting up operations properly, marketing your venture, and understanding basic numbers.

Participants who complete the course can receive a $2000 grant by completing recommended action steps. They will also receive mentoring support and access to numerous resources for 12 months. Funding opportunities will also be available.

Registration deadline is May 17. Visit the program website for more information and to apply.

From the University of Colorado Boulder:

The Chancellor of the University of Colorado’s Boulder (CU Boulder) campus was on hand to welcome attendees to the 17th year of the school’s elite entrepreneurial competition. “The New Venture Challenge (NVC) is a vibrant and supportive launchpad for students, faculty and staff to learn how to make a tremendous impact through new start-ups and nonprofits and a chance to launch their new businesses with transformational funding,” Phil DiStefano told the attendees that packed the Boulder Theater.

Since its founding, NVC has launched 1,176 new ventures and distributed $1.4 million in funding with winners representing a range of industries, including environmental sustainability, healthcare, music and entertainment, food and agriculture, and manufacturing.

Five teams competed for $165,000 in prize money. Capturing first place and $100,000 was FoodWise, which wants to boost the food industry’s sustainability and profitability with a software platform that helps restaurants predict food demand in real time using weather, past sales, and other external factors in order to minimize waste and maximize profitability.


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