Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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October 31, 2023 | Tom Ballard

U News | UGA student start-up wins “Southeastern Conference Student Pitch Competition”

UVA is launching a new, cross-University entrepreneurship initiative to advance its “Great and Good” 2030 strategic plan and to make it easier for students, faculty, staff, alumni and investors to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

From the University of Georgia:

For the second year in a row, a student start-up from the University of Georgia Entrepreneurship Program has won the “Southeastern Conference Student Pitch Competition.” Matt Tesvich, a Terry College of Business Management Information Systems major, topped the 13-team contest, bringing home first place and $10,000 for his odorless sock brand Ox Sox. The previous winner was graduate student Vanessa Sachs’s sweat-friendly makeup line named SWAKE that took first place at the competition hosted by Louisiana State University’s E. J. Ourso College of Business.

This year’s contest brought entrepreneurs from 13 SEC universities to UGA’s Studio 225 to pitch their student start-ups to panels of judges invited from across the Southeast. Flock Analytics, which recently won the Fall edition of the “Vol Court Speaker Series and Pitch Competition,” represented the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

From North Carolina State University:

Chancellor Randy Woodson received the 2023 Leadership Award from the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) for driving the success and impact of University’s Centennial Campus. AURP is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization representing research parks and innovation districts.

The Centennial Campus is home to more than 70 industry and government organizations who work alongside an equal number of academic departments and centers. Over the last five years, these partners have hired more than 2,000 North Carolina State students and invested $120 million in university research. Key recruitments during Woodson’s tenure include Eastman Chemical Company, the National Security Agency, and Under Armour.

From the University of Virginia:

Qnovia Inc., a Richmond start-up focused on smoking cessation technology, has entered into a drug-development partnership with the University of Virginia’s (UVA) School of Medicine to advance new inhaled-drug candidates for treating bacterial infections of the lungs.

More specifically, the start-up will work with School of Medicine investigators Dr. Molly Hughes and Dr. Matthew Crawford to combine Qnovia’s RespiRxTM inhaled drug delivery platform and UVA’s proprietary portfolio of antimicrobial peptides to kill antibiotic-resistant and biodefense bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections. As a result of this agreement, Qnovia will add two new assets to its development pipeline: QN-05 for the treatment of pneumonia and QN-06 for the treatment of pulmonary infection for individuals exposed to the biodefense agent B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

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And Yet Another from UVA:

UVA is launching a new, cross-University entrepreneurship initiative to advance its “Great and Good” 2030 strategic plan and to make it easier for students, faculty, staff, alumni and investors to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Leading the new effort is Mike Lenox, the Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business and the newly appointed Special Adviser to the Provost on entrepreneurship.

According to the announcement, the goal is to coordinate and amplify the entrepreneurship activities across UVA. The University will provide resources including developing entrepreneurship leaves for faculty; a fund to help translate technology and physical science research into marketable products; funding for programming and staff; and eventually, a central gathering space.

From Southern Illinois University:

A unique entrepreneurship training program for veterans, active-duty service members, and their spouses is coming to Carbondale and Cairo courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC).

Named “Boots to Business (B2B) Reboot,” the new program is co-hosted by the Illinois APEX Accelerator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in partnership with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIU and the Illinois SBDC at Shawnee Community College. The free, comprehensive entrepreneurial education and training program gives participants the skills, information, and resources they need to become entrepreneurs and launch or develop a business.

From Lehigh University:

The Bethlehem, PA-based university has named a Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship who will lead entrepreneurship strategy and practice within the framework of Lehigh’s new strategic plan, Inspiring the Future MakersLisa Getzler, Executive Director of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation, will serve in the new role. In an email announcing her appointment, Provost Nathan Urban noted that this new position signifies that he intends to “enhance entrepreneurial training and practice across the entire Lehigh campus – both for venture creation and mindset development.”


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