Monthly Archives: March 2013

LEA Agent Application Is Now Open!

Good afternoon!

We, at the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency, are happy to announce that we’re beginning our annual recruitment process for membership. We’re entering our second year as an agency of student government whose goal is to enhance the presence of entrepreneurship on campus and bring all kinds of resources to students who want to learn more about the topic.

We began last semester as Nick Spiller, along with SG President Thor Lund and Vice President Wills Brown, formed our agency with backing from the student government and 20 members. Just a month ago, we hosted UT Entrepreneurship Week with greater success than we could have ever imagined in our first few months of operation, but we have incredible growth left ahead of us. As a result of the reception we’ve garnered from both the University and the general Austin startup community, we’re now looking to expand significantly. We’ll be considering applicants of all majors, ages, and talents, so if you’re interested in entrepreneurship and want to serve your fellow students, please visit the following link for the application – we would love to hear from you!


If you’d like to learn more about us, feel free to click around on this website, visit our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. And if you have any additional questions, you can always e-mail us at

Thanks, and best of luck!

Grant Heimer

Incoming Director

BETA Project: Business Education Transformation for America

Austin, TX: Nick Spiller, LEA Director 

In November 2011, thirteen leading business researchers from American public research universities, including UT-Austin’s Gary Cadenhead, convened at Florida International University. They met to discuss ideas of how to “create a sustained economic boom in successful commercialization of innovation at home and aboad…” The BETA report concludes that since America is faced with supply rivals with better manufacturing, lower labor costs and service quality, we must have a substantial comparative advantage in commercializing innovation. Meaning: America needs to continue to be the country that produces severely innovative and profitable companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.

What is commercializing innovation? CI is basically the process of taking knowledge and technology developed in university or government labs and launching companies to apply the technologies to society. Basically, getting good ideas out the door. University entrepreneurship. LEA promotes entrepreneurial culture and spirit, which is the key driver of innovation since we are the ones who assume the risk when commercializing innovation. Eco-systems try to put all the risk on the entrepreneur, then do everything they can to make sure the entrepreneur is successful.

Each of the BETA Project researchers put forth their best ideas for improving business education to teach the broad commercialization process instead of teaching business by component (finance, management, marketing, etc.). The best seven ideas were chosen and developed into a report during the November seminar in 2011. Below are the three we found most relevant to UT student entrepreneurs.

1. Required Commercializing Innovation Course: A stand alone course that required business school seniors to complete a commercializing innovation proposal to graduate. UT has courses like Longhorn Startup Labs and the Liberal Arts Entrepreneur that help students launch companies like this. However, making it mandatory would be an action to ensure all UT students are knowledgable of the CI process.

2. Create innovative angel/venture investor consortiums: With all the proposals coming through the required commercialization of innovation course there will be thousands of companies launched and proposals written. Why not invest in the best ones? Create competitions that offer prizes in exchange for equity, or not. The companies who get funded should be housed in a university incubator and nourished with talented mentors and other students.

3. House student ventures in university incubators: This provides a supportive community for student entrepreneurs, close to classes and their bedroom. At UT we have Longhorn Startup Camp at 1616 Guadalupe but during my time there LEA had indicated ways to improve the space. LEA wants to move entrepreneurship closer to the heart of campus. So we are launching, what we call, the Hatchery Project, where we will be working with UT Administration and IC2 to bring better space to our student entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, LEA wants to build community and culture around entrepreneurship on the 40 acres. We started to do that with UT Entrepreneurship Week and now with the Hatchery Project.

Horizon Fund SIC: UT-Austin nominees

We were privileged to assist the UT System and Dr. Bob Metcalfe in conducting the application process for the 2013 UT System Horizon Fund – Student Investment Competition. The Horizon Fund is an evergreen fund (returns are re-invested) meant to catalyze commercialization of technology. The fund is ran by the UT-System Offices of Technology Commercialization and doesn’t necessarily invest in student startups, except in their annual Student Investment Competition.

The competition is meant to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship across all 15 UT institutions and offers a prize of up to $100,000 seed capital to the winner. Each institution will select a nominee(s) to compete in the finals. Winners of other UT institution student investment competitions also qualify for the finals. On April 25th, each finalist will present to the Horizon Fund managers and an awards ceremony will follow where the winner will be announced.

Below are LEA’s three nominations for UT-Austin .

1. Beyonic: “Very knowledgeable and experienced team that seems to have identified a lucrative opportunity surrounding electronic payments in emerging markets.  They believe electronic payments for humanitarian organizations are just a launch point for a multitude of other services their technology can provide.”

2. “Operating as a 3-man, student run company.  This obviously isn’t an ideal situation for a start-up company. The co-founders are finishing up school and are poised for expansion.  Possible use of the HF-award includes hiring a salesman who knows the ins and outs of the education world.”

3. RideScout: “Posted to the App store on Feb 5th and wasn’t truly promoted until the beginning of SXSW, RideScout already has over 600 downloads.  Ryan Black says that approximately 50% of users have come back to the app more than once a day – indicating positive user experience.  He also says that technology has been a significant limiter in their growth.  The Horizon Fund award would allow them to hire a CTO and scale nationally.”

New UTEWeek Event by McCombs Entrepreneur Society


CEO and Co-founder of ProxToMe, Carlo Capello, is coming to UT on Tuesday (3/5/2013) at 4:30pm in UTC 4.112. ProxToMe is well respected in the tech startup community and considered one of Mashable’s 6 Apps You Don’t Want to Miss. Anyone is welcome to come listen to Carlo share his startup story and answer questions from you. Carlo is prepared to talk about: designing, creating and launching an app, raising angel money, making the tough decision to devote yourself 100% to your new venture, teaching entrepreneurship in school, doing business between Italy and Silicon Valley, and anything else you want to know.

Led by President Tom Coffey, McCombs Entrepreneurship Society (MES) is a group of MBA students dedicated to the practice, understanding and promotion of entrepreneurship. Email Tom ( with any questions about MES or the event!

SG Student Entrepreneur of the Year Nominees are…

When Student Government decided to invest in student entrepreneurship at UT-Austin, we thought one of the things SG should do for student entrepreneurs is recognize their achievements. Therefore, during UT Entrepreneurship Week we will recognize the first ever UT-Austin Student Government – Student Entrepreneur of the Year. This award will be given away at the Longhorn Entrepreneur Awards Dinner along with the first ever SG Alumni and Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year. The SG Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award to the student who exemplifies the characteristics of a mature entrepreneur like ability to form and lead a team, raise money and develop a product. Student Government looked to the Longhorn Startup Community for nominees and then chose these three student’s as finalist for SG Student Entrepreneur of the Year.


With InteractATXMaran Nelson is bringing nearly a hundred of the best and brightest entrepreneurs under 25 to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive 2013 to help expose and develop their entrepreneurial ambitions. To house her guests, Maran and her team sourced the UT-Austin student body to serve as community hosts for free. During SXSWi, InteractATX is hosting 5 of their own unofficial events during SXSWi and a 24/7 lounge for entrepreneurs in order to build community within the InteractATX program.


As founder of Clay.ioAustin Hallock has spent many nights at Longhorn Startup Camp over the past 14 months developing a platform for playing HTML5 games. To date, has 4500 users playing 160 games. Over the next year, Austin wants to grow to 15,000 members and 400 games. Want to know more? Go play some games at


As CEO of Lynx LaboratoriesChris Slaughter and his team have developed one of the world’s most advanced 3D cameras. Over the past year, Lynx Laboratories has won the Idea2Product Global Competition, been named a Dell Innovator for 2013 and executed a successful kick-starter campaign that has raised $74,000 with 15 days left.  This year Lynx expects to ship hundreds of cameras, announce new technology and commercial partnerships.

Bob Metcalfe to Kick-off UTEWeek Student Startup Expo

Increasingly supported for his mission to make UT-Austin’s entrepreneurs as supported and celebrated as it’s athletes, Dr. Bob Metcalfe has become the most avid faculty supporter of entrepreneurial activities at UT-Austin. As the Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise, Dr. Metcalfe has not only used the chair to create UT Entrepreneurship Week in partnership with the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency, he has also funded multiple other activities that promote entrepreneurship amongst the student body. To name a few, Dr. Metcalfe and the Murchison Chair have been catalytic in developing the Longhorn Startup Program, NCIIA Ambassador to UT-Austin position, the Longhorn Startup Showcase at SXSW, Technology Entrepreneurship Society and Idea2Product.


Dr. Metcalfe welcoming the Texas Cheerleaders to Longhorn Startup Labs Demo Day Fall 2013.

 Today (3/4/2013) at 7:00pm in the SAC Black Box Theatre, Dr. Metcalfe will talk about the importance of student entrepreneurship to kick off the UTEWeek Student Startup Expo. The expo will highlight fourteen companies started and ran by students on the 40 acres. All students and Austin community members are invited come out, grab dinner and interact one-on-one with UT’s hottest student startups.

Check out Dr. Metcalfe in the UTEWeek Teaser Video.

UTEWeek launches tonight with TES Member Inductions

New TES LogoStudent entrepreneurs will pitch their ventures at the SAC Black Box Theatre tonight starting at 5pm. Everyone who pitches will be offered membership in Cockrell School of Engineering’s Technology Entrepreneurship Society. Students from all colleges and majors are permitted to pitch projects but TES encourages their ventures to be technologically centered. If you are interested in pitching fill out the registration form on the TES website. You don’t have to pitch to attend and those who do join us will get free dinner thanks to the Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise.

UT Entrepreneurship Week will continue at Open Coffee (RSVP HERE) with the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency in the SAC Balcony Room B on Monday from 10:00am-11:30am. LEA will open our spring agent application and answer any questions about LEA’s future plans for development and growth. Free coffee is being donated by Briggo Coffee, who operates their coffee robot out of the FAC on-campus.

Learn about all events planned for UT Entrepreneurship Week 2013 here.

UTEWeek Student Startup Expo Roster

Vinsource, LLC ( is an online portal that allows restaurants to buy wine products directly from producers without using a wholesale intermediary. CEO: Andrew McMaster

QuorumBuy ( helps small businesses combine their purchases to get volume discounts they can’t get individually. CEO: Adam Guerra

FBNinc ( is retooling one of the largest networks of flash game portals to launch the next generation of casual games. CEO: Dave Stanwick

G-free in the City ( is a gluten-free lifestyle company aimed to both provide consumers with safe, truly gluten-free dining experiences and work directly with restaurants to enhance their offerings and reach this valuable and loyal market. CEO: Jamie Sutton

CrowdRx ( uses big data to help save lives. CEO: Tony Llongueras, COO: Justin Crites, CTO: Macario Lara

Stockd takes shopping off your to-do list. Forever. Sign up for Stockd, select the products you use, and Stockd will automatically deliver them before you run out. is a brand new service that takes the hassle out of grocery shopping. Using our website or app, users can order products and have them delivered right to their doorstop within an hour. Order It. Get It. Burp It.

Beyonic allows you to make payments to any mobile money network in East Africa. CTO: Luke Kyohere. is a late night delivery service that is a convenience store on wheels for students. Mathew, Arely and Jessica run the show.

Hook ‘em Groceries ( is a local online grocery delivery service, serving both on and off campus residence halls at the University of texas at Austin. Delivered products include food, beverages, basic office supplies, personal care items, laundry items and cleaning supplies. CTO: Daniel Goss

reQwip is a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying, renting and selling sports gear using a mobile and web app. CEO: Dan Driscoll

Predictable Data ( turns contact databases into powerful sales and marketing tools. Within minutes, improper capitalization, abbreviations, and formatting of: names, salutations, titles, addresses, and much more. We then fill in the missing data and other valuable information like gender and SIC/NAICS codes. CEO: Dwayne Smurdon

Seismos is a technology enabled services company that detects and interprets changes in underground oil and gas reservoirs in real time with unparalleled sensitivity. Seismos is focused on Enhance Oil Recovery (EOR) applications and can save the operator 50% in CO2 procurement costs through optimization of the CO2 reservoir and flow during oil recover. Co-founders: Devin Bedwell, Panos Adamopoulos and Stevan Slusher. is a place to play games that work on any device – phone, tablet, PC, calculator… well, maybe not that last one.  CEO: Austin Hallock

Lynx Laboratories makes 3D cameras using advanced computer vision technology to rapidly create proportional 3D images of scenes and objects.