One of the great things about going to b-school at UT is the school really puts its money where its mouth is regarding entrepreneurship.
This Spring term, I’ve been fortunate to get involved with Texas Venture Labs (TVL), a relatively new entrant on the startup scene. Founded last Spring after several years in a ‘skunkworks’ format, TVL exists to help startups accelerate their development curve and get funded/revenues/growth faster. A group of 16 business, law, natural science, and engineering graduate students provide VC-like oversight and support to a hand-picked portfolio of startups. The 16 of us were chosen through a rigorous application process and learn the basics of how to promote new venture creation through hands-on experience. The companies get our intellectual horsepower, market and business plan validation, and access to UT’s vast network of talent and investors. We get an amazing learning experience.
Our first official class was last night, and we learned what ‘deals’ – or companies – we’ll be working with this semester. We got to pref our deals, and I got my first choice of SpectraPhase, a medical device company that’s trying to provide real-time blood glucose level monitoring to hospitals nationwide. I don’t know much about the product right now, other than that the current option – pricking a finger of an ICU patient every 15 minutes – is painful, costly, and inaccurate. Sounds like a perfect niche to fill right? Well, that’s what we’ll have to help SpectraPhase figure out.
|AT&T Conference Center, just south of The Tower|
The perks of the class are innumerable – we can sit in on investor pitches (to get funding), act as flies on the wall on board meeting calls, and have meetings with CEOs who are living and breathing this stuff. It doesn’t hurt either that we have our own office space in the beautiful AT&T Conference Center just south of campus.
I’ll keep this blog updated on some of my experiences with SpectraPhase and other startups throughout this term.
For more info on Texas Venture Labs, visit the TVL website or contact me and I’ll do the best I can to answer any questions you have.