Student entrepreneur group unveils results of summer program

Diego Cruz

UT student entrepreneurs presented the results of their eight-week-long summer business-building program at the Austin Technology Incubator on Tuesday.

The Student Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Launch is a program that gives entrepreneur groups connected to the UT community a chance to figure out what milestones need to be reached for their business plans to succeed, said Austin Technology Incubator assistant director Kyle Cox.

The incubator is part of the research arm of the University and has hosted this program for the past three years to provide entrepreneurial groups with industry mentors that act as advisers as well as a work environment within the incubator, Cox said.

“We give them a taste of the real world,” he said.

Of the five teams hosted this summer, three decided to go ahead with their idea, one decided to defer a decision until a future date and another decided not to continue their project.

Vecturalux was among the groups that decided to go forward, designing a project called ParaLux to deal with increasing bandwidth strain on wireless networks by increasing the effectiveness of signal detection in fiber-optic cables, said Vecturalux chief commercial officer and business administration graduate student Matthew Clayton.

“We will be able to provide a superior product and remain competitive in price,” Clayton said.

PHeir Health decided against continuing their project because it wouldn’t have been competitive with similar companies. They developed mobile medication administration software designed to oversee nurses and help reduce medication errors at nursing homes, which result in 30,000 injuries and 25,000 deaths annually, said team member and business administration graduate student Sidney Allen. However, they realized their product was not unique and would cost too much while generating too little profit, said team member Thomas Allen.

Starting a company while being a student is a unique opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of, said Q Beck, co-founder of Famigo, a company that has continued to operate after participating in a different incubator program in 2009.

Beck said students can receive a lot of help from people in the industry and can afford to be bolder in their enterprises because people in the industry won’t be too harsh on them.

He said that if students were committed to their projects and took advantage of any offer, then building a company would be better than accepting a job.

“Be in it for the long haul. It’s a long road but it’s great,” Beck said.