The UT Austin student company called Varuna won the Wells Fargo Clean Technology Award at the Fall 2017 Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) at The University of Texas at Austin on Dec. 1, 2017.
TVLIC featured 20 startup companies started by graduate students from programs at UT such as MBA, Masters of Science and Technology Commercialization, Electrical and Chemical Engineering, and Masters in Global Policy and Law. TVLIC is a bi-annual competition hosted by Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. The competition is open to all graduate students at UT Austin seeking funding for new business ventures where the students own 51% or more of the company.
The clean technology award is given to the company that the judges found to be the most potentially commercially viable (fundable) and that also had the greatest potential clean technology impact.
The winner, Varuna, removes the barriers to entry for hydroponic gardening with a system designed to reduce time and education constraints. Varuna’s mission is to deliver a highly intelligent, self-managing grow environment to a set of American consumers that are currently at a loss for options. The company’s technology will allow both individuals and businesses to acquire data, and practice cultivation quickly and easily. Varuna is led by Greg Schultz and Jason Carrier, MSTC 2018.
As the Wells Fargo Clean Technology winner, Varuna received a cash prize of $5,000.
Wells Fargo established the award with TVL through a grant to expand the clean technology track at TVLIC by attracting students from various disciplines with a focus on clean tech solutions. The track includes advancing technologies for the conventional oil and gas sector with emphasis on water reuse and conservation as well as enhancing the alternative energy space.