Texas Health CoLab, Texas Venture Labs partnership gives Austin health startups business advantages

Bethany Stork

A partnership between the Dell Medical School Texas Health CoLab and Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs will provide insight and expertise in health product innovation for Austin startups.

The CoLab provides resources for innovators to launch a company, commercialize inventions and collaborate with industry leaders, according to its website. Texas Venture Labs, held within the McCombs School of Business, x Austin-area startups with student teams from the University, according to its website. The partnership began in late September and aims to provide health startups with business expertise to help reduce health care costs and improve patient health, said Mellie Price, Texas Venture Labs director and CoLab managing director.

“We all know that health care is one of the biggest challenges we face right now, and the opportunity to innovate in it is enormous,” Price said. “This partnership is about creating the pathways, the onboarding ramps, to real-world entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students.”

Price said partnering with Texas Venture Labs was a natural step for Dell Medical School school to take. 

Luis Martins, chair of the Management Department at McCombs, said Texas Venture Labs is prepared to provide business management and entrepreneurial skills with a technology and cross-disciplinary view.

“This partnership helps us make sure that we bring in more health and health tech companies to the market and
expose our students to the unique challenges and opportunities that come with it so they can be well-positioned in terms of their career futures,” Martins said.

Finance sophomore William Nowlin said the partnership will benefit both parties by providing Texas Venture Labs students an opportunity to learn about health demands and how health startups can gain a competitive edge.

“The entrepreneurship collectives in McCombs are very strong, so hopefully the partnership helps put better medical equipment (from startups) on the
market,” Nowlin said.

Texas Venture Labs has previously partnered with the College of Fine Arts, College of Natural Sciences and School of Undergraduate Studies to provide business expertise to cross-disciplinary initiatives, Martins said. 

Price said the partnership is unique and allows talent within the University ecosystem a space to come together for the benefit of the business and
health markets.

“The intersection of science and technology for business creates very viable career paths for people who want to do science and work in the business world,” Price said. “Our ultimate goal is to connect the dots between science, technology and the business world.”