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. Hoot.me: “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.”

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