Tag: entrepeneurship

The 2017 Texas Venture Labs Scholarship Competition!

We’re excited to announce the winners of the 2017 TVL Scholarship Competition! The Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at The University of Texas at Austin is a campus-wide initiative to accelerate start-ups in taking their innovations to market. In coordination with the McCombs School of Business, they have created the TVL Scholarship, a unique program for entrepreneurial students interested in attending the McCombs business school.

This year’s TVL Scholarship Competition Semi-Finals & Finals were held on February 24th, 2017. Nineteen presenters gave their pitch to a panel of judges in hopes of winning the scholarship.

Congratulations to the 2017 TVL Scholarship Winners!

Angelise Hadley, for EmbraceBox – the unique DIY subscription box geared towards girls with curly or textured hair to build a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Tom Jackson, for Locus Tracking – a company that enables smartphone users to control their phone with their eyes.

First Runner-Up was awarded to John Grellner for Talos training and Second Runner-Up was awarded to Peter Loukas for Commissary Network.

Pictured left to right: Tina Mabley (Assistant Dean of the Texas MBA program), Tom Jackson, Angelise Hadley and Rob Adams (Director of Texas Venture Labs)

Each TVL Scholarship is worth up to $174,000 and includes

  • $10,000 per year scholarship, as well as in-state tuition (for a total of $25,000 per year scholarship value).
  • Consideration for admission of your company into the TVL Accelerator upon graduation.
  • Consideration for a post-graduate position as a Venture Partner worth $50,000.
  • Continued support from Texas Venture Labs throughout the development of your company.

More Entrepreneurial Opportunities at McCombs

The McCombs School of Business offers many unique resources in Austin – one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. Learn more about TVL or check out these other resources:

To learn more about the Texas Venture Lab and our initiatives, visit our website or Twitter account

Build Your Entrepreneurial Skill Set with Texas Venture Labs

The McCombs School of Business and the Texas MBA Program are currently ranked 6th in the nation for entrepreneurship and offer many unique resources in one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. One of the best resources for aspiring entrepreneurs at McCombs is Texas Venture Labs.

 Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) is a campus-wide initiative to accelerate startups in taking their innovations to market in order to transform graduate students into entrepreneurs and business leaders. As a Texas MBA, you’ll have access to the many resources that TVL has to offer. From pairing up with local startups for a semester-long consulting project, to having the opportunity to compete in the annual Investment Competition, TVL can help you build the skills that you need to turn your ideas into a successful business venture.

TVL Resources Available to Texas MBA Students Include:

TVL Practicum:10171785_840654695950380_6985666880085173658_n

Texas MBA students admitted to the TVL Practicum program have the opportunity to participate in a semester-long consulting project with local Austin startups. You’ll gain real-world experience by providing research and consulting services to aid startups in taking their products to market and making funding decisions.

New Venture Creation:

The New Venture Creation course introduces students to the concepts and issues involved in evaluating and creating a new business venture.  By the end of the course, you will be able to evaluate business opportunities as an entrepreneur or investor for startups and established companies.

TVL Scholarship Competition:

In coordination with the McCombs School of Business, TVL has created the TVL Scholarship, a unique program for entrepreneurial students interested in attending business school. It is a competitive scholarship that is awarded each February. The winner of the TVL Scholarship also receives consideration for admission of their company into the TVL Accelerator upon graduation, consideration for a post-graduate position as a Venture Partner, as well as continued support from TVL throughout the development of their company.

Scholarships were awarded to two first-place winners at this year’s competition:

  • Josh Berrington, for Q’ello – a plant-based milk that is completely traceable and delivered right to your door.
  • William Wilder, for Wilder Systems – a business that supplies automated tools to the aerospace industry to improve productivity and quality.
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2016 TVL Scholarship winners Josh Berrington (left) and William Wilder (right)

Venture Partner Position:

The Venture Partner (VP) position gives graduate students the opportunity to work on their startups the first year after graduation. Graduates work for TVL in a full-time position and receive salaries and benefits while working on their own ventures. VP Companies currently in operation include EquipBoard, a website that connects fans with celebrities’ gear, Escapaide, a mobile concierge service for hotels, GFree in the City, a gluten-free consulting service, UrbanDish, a sustainable food focused fast casual restaurant, and BeatBox Beverages, an alcoholic beverage manufacturer.

TVL Investment Competition:

The Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) is designed to mimic the real-world process of raising venture capital. Students from The University of Texas at Austin present their ideas for new businesses and receive invaluable feedback from entrepreneurs and investors. Many TVLIC competitors go on to launch their businesses. Successful competitors have included uShip, Ordoro and Qcue.

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The 2016 TVL Investment Competition Winners from the Texas MSTC Program

Other entrepreneurial resources at McCombs include:

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Key, Texas MBA ’16

Despite having just walked the stage two months ago, recent Texas MBA graduate Justin Key is already well on his way to leaving his mark on the tech world. Prior to his time at McCombs, Justin entered the Texas Venture Labs Scholarship Competition with the idea for an app that would allow friends to compete against each other while watching Netflix by answering trivia questions pertaining to a specific show or movie. His idea won first place and after being accepted to McCombs as a part of the Class of 2016, Justin was able to make Plot Guru a reality. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAR4AAAAJDRmZGE5Zjc3LWI1YjctNGViYi1hMGZhLTJmOGQ3ZjUwZmRkOAHe and the rest of the Plot Guru team launched the app in November 2015 and have already had tremendous success. In order to continue to develop his entertainment tech skills, Justin recently made the move to Seattle, WA to embark on a new exciting adventure and join the team at Amazon.

We recently caught up with him to see what he’s been up to since graduation and to learn about his reasons  #WhyMcCombs.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA and why did you choose McCombs?

After six years in consulting I was ready for a change. I had been working on a startup idea on the side for some time, and was looking for a program where I could pursue a top-tier graduate education while also pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. I found the experiential opportunities at McCombs to be just what I was looking for. After visiting the campus and getting a sense for the student culture I was hooked – no pun intended!

What were you doing before you came to McCombs for your MBA?

I was a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers for about six years. I spent the latter three years based in their Zurich, Switzerland office, and was based in Washington, D.C. prior to that.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside of the classroom — you learned while completing your MBA?

Two things: The value of hands-on experience and the importance of networking. Both are instrumental in getting a job and succeeding once you’re there.

How has your McCombs MBA experience helped shape your success?

The Texas MBA Program gave me the opportunity to explore new career paths, including entrepreneurship, while I was still in school. The classroom experience was important, but the opportunities that McCombs gave me outside the classroom really helped prepare me for the next stage in my career.

Tell us a little bit about Plot Guru. How did you come up with the idea for it?

Plot Guru is all about making the television-viewing experience more interactive. Our app syncs with the show you’re viewing online and sends you games and trivia in real-time based on what you’re watching on-screen. The idea for Plot Guru started during a weekly gathering of friends to watch one of our favorite shows. Before the episode started we would always compete to see who could guess what would happen next in the show. At some point my wife suggested, “What if we made a game out of this?” The rest is history.

What is your role at Amazon and what will you be working on?

AmazonVideoDirect_200I recently started a new job as a Sr. Product Manager at Amazon. I’m working on a new platform called Amazon Video Direct, which is a self-service program for content creators, such as independent film makers, to make their content available to stream online through Amazon Video. I’m really excited to use my experience in strategy, technology and entertainment to help small film producers get their content in front of millions of viewers on Amazon Video.

What else have you been up to since you graduated from McCombs, outside of work?

I’ve been pretty busy with the move up to Seattle, starting the new job and continuing to work on Plot Guru in my spare time. Besides all that, I always make time for travel. In the past couple months I’ve visited seven states and two countries!

What advice do you have for future Texas MBAs?

Figure out what you’re interested in and get as much hands-on experience in that area as possible! Take on MBA+ projects, fellowships, internships, and independent studies. You’ll never have a better chance to try out new things like you will during your time at McCombs.

E-Ship at McCombs: The 2016 TVL Scholarship Competition!

The Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at The University of Texas at Austin is a campus-wide initiative to accelerate start-ups in taking their innovations to market. In coordination with the McCombs School of Business, they have created the TVL Scholarship, a unique program for entrepreneurial students interested in attending business school.

This year’s TVL Scholarship Competition Semi-Finals & Finals were held on February 19th. Fourteen presenters gave their pitch to a panel of judges in hopes of winning the scholarship.

Congratulations to the 2016 TVL Scholarship Winners!

Full scholarships were awarded to two first-place winners:

Josh Berrington, for Q’ello – a plant-based milk that is completely traceable and delivered right to your door. (pictured left)

William Wilder, for Wilder Systems – a business that supplies automated tools to the aerospace industry to improve productivity and quality. (pictured right)

First Runner-Up was awarded to Beth Hood,  for Tekton Industries, LLC and Second Runner-Up was awarded to Mahesh Murali for Falcon Technology.

Each TVL Scholarship is worth up to $174,000 and includes:
  •  $10,000 per year scholarship, as well as in-state tuition (for a total of $25,000 per year scholarship value).
  •  Consideration for admission of your company into the TVL Accelerator upon graduation.
  • Consideration for a post-graduate position as a Venture Partner worth $50,000.
  • Continued support from Texas Venture Labs throughout the development of your company.

More Entrepreneurial Opportunities at McCombs

The McCombs School of Business, ranked #6 for entrepreneurship, offers many unique resources in one of America’s most innovative cities to prepare students for new business ventures. Learn more about TVL or check out these other resources:

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