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James Chance wins Fall 2018 TVLIC
James Chance and Dr. John Sibley Butler, Director of Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs, pose with the Fall 2018 “Texas Champion” ceremonial winner’s check.

AUSTIN, Texas – James Chance, MBA ’19 candidate exchange student from the London Business School, received first place in the Fall 2018 Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) on November 30, 2018, for his company, (website). proclaims to be the guardian of your online identity and personal data. The company provides working professionals and job seekers with the tools to take back control of their online brand and privacy.

“Winning TVLIC is a fantastic result, which couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been working on the idea since the spring of this year but TVLIC provides real validation of the idea and business model. The feedback from the judges over the course of the day was invaluable and the prize money will help continue development work to take our Proof of Concept into a fully working product in the coming months. The judges were tough but their questions covered a few angles that we hadn’t ever thought of. It’s such a rare opportunity to get feedback from some of the leaders of the Austin investment community at our relatively early stage and I can’t thank them enough for their time,” said James Chance, CEO and founder. He continued, “the format and organization of TVLIC compared to others I’ve been to were excellent. Having to think about how to describe your business in not only 30 minutes but 2 minutes as well is something I’ve never had to do! TVLIC is a fantastic opportunity to take a business that you’ve been working on over the course of your studies and present it to the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austin.”

In addition to taking home first place, received a cash prize of $10,000 and an opportunity to join JBTVL in New York City to close the Nasdaq. The other four finalists included Auto Labs in second place receiving $5,000, Bloom in third place receiving $2,000, Somerset Sparkling in fourth place receiving $1,000, and iFoodly in fifth place receiving $1,000. In addition to awarding the top five teams, TVLIC also awards teams for specialized honors such as the Wells Fargo Clean Technology Award, the James D. Pippin Veteran Award, and the E. Craig Nemec Elevator Challenge Award.

This year’s recipient of the $5,000 Wells Fargo Clean Technology Award is Locoal. Locoal provides a solution for the ongoing waste generated from commercial development, utilizing it for clean energy and the production of biochar, a byproduct with numerous applications for food security. Locoal’s unique technology converts commercial landscape waste into volatile greenhouse gases. Then, a traditional natural gas generator utilizes the fuel as a clean energy source for electricity.

Blacktop received the James D. Pippin Veteran Award of $1,000 given to the most promising startup in TVLIC with one or more veteran co-founders. Blacktop provides franchised, automotive dealers with the first business intelligence software developed to improve profitability through data aggregation, data mining and intelligent recommendations that plug profit leaks and maximize profit opportunities in new, used, fleet, finance, service, parts and body shop departments.

The E. Craig Nemec Elevator Challenge Award goes to three teams that competed in TVLIC and gave the best elevator pitch for their business in two minutes. This year’s winners were Locoal, CloXero and Each team will receive $1,000.

Hosted by Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, TVLIC is open to all graduate students at UT Austin seeking funding for new business ventures. This fall’s TVLIC had 19 startup companies in attendance from various disciplines such as business, law, engineering, and pharmacy. The competition follows a shark-tank style format where companies pitch their startups to a panel of experienced venture capital investors and entrepreneurs. Each team has 30 minutes to pitch to the judges. The winners of each semifinals division move on to compete in the finals to determine the Texas champion. In evaluating the student ventures, judges function as an investment group seeking to reach consensus on the business venture they would most likely fund. The Finals judges’ panel included Brad Bentz, ATX Seed Ventures: William Glasgow, Prime IX Investments; Aaron Perman, S3 Ventures; Scott Plantowsky, RSR Finance; Krishna Srinivasan, Live Oak Venture Partners and Nishi Viswanathan, Dell Medical School.

For more information on the competition or to learn more about TVL’s programs visit

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