News

Richard Amato at HATCH! FAIR in Hanoi

In September, IC²’s Richard Amato served as a judge and panel moderator at HATCH! FAIR, Vietnam’s largest entrepreneurial conference and start-up exhibition. The panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship within universities and featured several leading university professors and investors from Hanoi who are driving incubation and entrepreneurship for the students.

Richard’s participation was an outgrowth of his work at the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center. VCIC is one of seven similar centers funded by the World Bank in order to develop sustainable industries in developing nations by commercializing locally relevant technologies in the clean-tech/climate space. Richard and the IC² Institute have been actively engaged since 2015 in supporting CICs in four of the seven countries in the program: Vietnam, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Now in its second year, the Vietnam CIC has incubated 39 companies to date.

For more information:

Richard Amato at HATCH! FAIR 2017 in Hanoi

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Congrats to Toybrary Austin, winner of 2017 Celia Bell Award

FASTForward participant Liza Wilson, owner of Toybrary Austin, was the winner in the Startup category of the 2017 Celia Bell Entrepreneur Awards.

Watch Liza talk about her vision for Toybrary Austin and the value of a good mentor.

Toybrary Austin is one of the 19 local Austin businesses taking part in IC²’s FASTForward Austin entrepreneurship training program this fall.

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FASTForward welcomes 19 companies into 2017 program

The IC² Institute’s FASTForward program has welcomed a new group of 19 local Austin companies into the second year of its small-business entrepreneurship training program.

Participating business owners will spend 10 weeks working to grow their businesses with the help of IC² experts and an enthusiastic group of mentors from UT and the Austin community.

FASTForward 2017 companies and mentors

FASTForward was developed by the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and is supported by the Small Business Program of the City of Austin.

You can learn see the full roster of companies at fastforwardatx.org.

FASTForward 2017 company logos

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IC² Fellow Fred Phillips awarded Kondratieff Medal

Dr. Fred Phillips, Distinguished Professor at Yuan Ze University’s College of Management and Visiting Professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, received the 2017 N. D. Kondratieff Medal (Gold) from the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy issues the prize every three years to a scholar who has made signal contributions to the social sciences. The medal, like the N.D. Kondratieff Foundation that administers it, is named for a pioneering Russian economist (1892-1938) who by identifying the “long wave” economic cycles inspired the later work of Joseph Schumpeter and Simon Kuznets.

Phillips accepted the medal and delivered the laureate lecture on September 25 at a ceremony in Moscow.

Phillips earned the PhD at The University of Texas at Austin and has been an IC² Fellow since 1984. He has enjoyed a global career, teaching at UT Austin, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology, Maastricht School of Management, Yuan Ze University in Taiwan, and Stony Brook’s program in Korea. He is editor in chief of Elsevier’s 50-year-old international journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change, which has published approximately 300 works by Kondratieff scholars.

Fred Phillips can be reached at fred.phillips@stonybrook.edu.

Fred Phillips receives Kondratieff Medal

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New guide to resources for startups and innovators at UT Austin

The Herb Kelleher Center in the McCombs School of Business has compiled “A Guide to UT Austin’s Startup Ecosystem,” a directory of units, programs and organizations supporting innovation throughout the university.

A Guide to UT Austin's Startup Ecosystem

The guide notes UT Austin’s special position as a top-notch research institution in a hotbed for startups.

AUSTIN is the No. 1 city for startup activity.
The 2016 Kauffman Index

MCCOMBS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS has one of the top-ranked entrepreneurship programs in the world.
U.S. News and World Report, 2016

UT AUSTIN ranks No. 8 in the world for educating startup founders who successfully raise money for new ventures.
Business Insider, 2016

UT AUSTIN is No. 18 among public universities nationwide.
U.S. News & World Report, 2016

The guide is available for download here.

See pages 7-8 for the IC² Institute’s programs including the Austin Technology Incubator, Global Commercialization Group and Southwest I-Corps.

You may also be interested in the Austin Technology Incubator’s ATI Startup Library, with practical information for Austin startups including funding sources, incubators, community organizations, and more.

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Austin’s Entrepreneurial Genesis

Dr. Elsie Echeverri-Carroll, IC² Institute

With generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the IC² Institute has documented the evolution of Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We present a summary of our findings in an infographic and short report below. The infographic shows Austin’s entrepreneurial trend between 1990 and 2016 and presents the five parallel stages of Austin’s entrepreneurial genesis. The short report summarizes the genesis of Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

View the infographic
Read the report

entrepreneurial spawning - Tivoli

For more information

Austin Research

Publications

Related Research

Acknowledgments

Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is focused on education and entrepreneurship and is among the largest private foundations in the United States.
www.kauffman.org/who-we-are

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IC² Institute student and faculty engagement

So far this year, IC² has engaged with 87 students and 30 faculty in 11 colleges at UT Austin.

As an interdisciplinary research unit at The University of Texas at Austin, the IC² Institute is proud to work with students and faculty all across campus and all around the world.

87 UT students from 11 colleges and schools participated in IC² programs in spring and summer 2017.

That number does not include some of our international activities such as our team teaching 21 students from 6 countries at the Peking University Globex Program, or the MCCT master’s program in technology commercialization led by IC² in Nuevo León, Mexico. All told, so far in 2017 the IC² Institute has engaged 198 students from UT and around the world in programs on four continents.

Further, we have actively collaborated in educational and research activities with 30 UT faculty members from nine colleges and schools around campus so far in 2017.

IC2 student engagement chart
IC2 faculty engagement chart
IC2 world engagement chart

Here are some of the specific ways students participated in IC² Institute programs this year.

  • Student researchers were active participants in the IC² Insight to Innovation research program. These awards stimulate research by tenured and tenure-track faculty across UT Austin and promote thought leadership in the disciplines informing entrepreneurship theory and practice. Students also participated at every level in other IC² research projects funded by the Kaufmann Foundation, the State of Texas, and the NSF.
  • Students participated in the 2017 Research in Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Challenge (REACH) summer program. In this program, 16 students were taught concepts related to technology commercialization, analyzing the market potential of a specific technology, and designing a social science research project to explore an aspect of commercialization of innovations. Six of these students furthered their research through site visits to Poland, Korea or India.
  • IC² Institute commercialization units – the Austin Technology Incubator and Global Commercialization Group – engaged students as interns to help innovators and startups turn their ideas into viable products and services.
  • Students investigated innovation and entrepreneurial policy and practice in Japan and Nepal in the LBJ School Policy Research Programs led by Drs. David Eaton and David Gibson.
  • Students served as entrepreneurial leads in NSF Innovation Corps Regional and National programs led by the Southwest I-Corps node housed in the IC² Institute and the Office of the Vice President of Research. The I-Corps program supports faculty innovators, entrepreneurial leads and community mentors as they investigate the commercial potential of a product or service emerging from NSF-sponsored research. These investigations yield new technology licensing or startup opportunities.
  • Student-led teams formed the core of the Austin Technology Incubator Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch program. SEAL is a two-month accelerator program which offers startups just emerging from universities and other research institutions across the country a market-driven approach to vet the viability of a scalable startup. The program provides industry-specific mentors to identify potential obstacles to scaling and insights on how to potentially overcome those issues. SEAL culminates in Decision Day, where teams announce a Go versus No-Go decision. This year’s program hosted participants from UT and six other universities through competitive Kaufmann Foundation funding.
  • Student provided support for administration and operational activities at the IC² Institute where they practice interpersonal skills, organizational activities and support Institute researchers.
  • MBA students from the McCombs School of Business met with Indian startups and entrepreneurship leaders in Delhi as part of their international MBA program. The meeting took place at the IC² Institute’s Nexus Startup Hub, a collaboration with the US Department of State. The student group was led by UT Austin Professor Kishore Gawande.

The IC² Institute is energized to engage deeply with The University of Texas at Austin to provide unique educational opportunities for students and faculty through our programs in Austin and around the world.

To be informed about future opportunities for UT students and faculty at the IC² Institute, please subscribe to our mailing list.

IC2 student quotes

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All systems go for student-led startups at ATI SEAL Decision Day

The Austin Technology Incubator’s 2017 SEAL program concluded yesterday with 14 out of 17 companies announcing a full Go decision at Decision Day, hosted at Austin’s Capital Factory.

SEAL Decision Day 2017SEAL (Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch) is a two-month accelerator program which provides startups just emerging from universities and other research institutions across the country a market-driven approach to vet the viability of a scalable startup. The program provides industry-specific mentors to identify potential obstacles to scaling and insights on how to potentially overcome those issues. SEAL culminates in Decision Day, where teams announce a Go versus No-Go decision. The program is led by Bart Bohn, a director at the Austin Technology Incubator, and Dr. David Altounian, a professor of entrepreneurship at St. Edward’s University and a partner at Capital Factory. Co-working space was provided on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin by the Blackstone Launchpad.

In SEAL’s 10th year it continues to be one of the few programs to primarily serve very early stage, predominantly student-led startups based on deeper engineering and science innovations. Historically, about a third of teams go on to raise funding to scale up their companies while about a third shut down at the conclusion or shortly afterwards. The No-Go decisions are equally celebrated as it takes special effort to recognize market-driven obstacles to an opportunity and realize that it is right not to pursue it.

SEAL Decision Day 2017In 2017, teams came from The University of Texas at Austin (7), Texas A&M (4), St. Edward’s University (2), The University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute, Clemson University, and Caltech. Of the 17 total teams, four gained funding traction during the program, three have revenue traction and several engaged new customers or partners. The participation of teams from beyond UT Austin was again this year made possible thanks to a two-year grant from the Kauffman Foundation.

The research connection

This year for the first time ATI SEAL became a living laboratory for the study of student entrepreneurship. Five faculty researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, Clemson University and The University of Texas at San Antonio investigated aspects of entrepreneurship theory and practice by engaging with the teams during the program. The IC² Institute supported five student researchers to deploy the studies and will support their subsequent work over the coming year.

Dr. Clay Spinuzzi of the UT Austin College of Liberal Arts used the SEAL program as an opportunity extend his long-standing research on the rhetoric of entrepreneurship by studying the developing communication skills of student startups. “Working with the SEAL teams was fascinating,” he said. “Over the course of the summer, we saw how the teams sharpened their arguments, identified their target markets, developed their product designs, and adjusted their business models so that they could turn their good ideas into viable firms with convincing pitches.”

The companies

Blueberri
Creating the hotel experience of tomorrow

ClearCam
Intraoperative disposable laparoscope lens cleaner

DataSense
A UV Fluorescent dental cavity detector probe

EQO
Molecular solutions for environmental problems

Hauoli
Motion tracking for VR/AR, gaming, and smart appliances

iDOMS
Specializing in digital oil field management

ILS
Providing a new way to image cellular structures

LT2
Creating a friction-less world

Molecular Artificial Retina
A treatment to restore sight in dry macular degeneration patients

NoTow
User-friendly parking marketplace

ProteanSeq
Changing proteomics one peptide at a time

Ryze
The personal relationship manager

Sandbox Semiconductors
Accelerating manufacturing process development

ShowerStream
Smarter showers for hotels

Thermascape
Next generation heat transfer enhancement additives

Xelpha Health
A simplified EMR built for providers by providers

Yotta Solar
SolarLEAF-Reliable energy storage that simply scales to your needs

Press coverage

From VR tracking to smart showers, these 6 Austin startups are all-in on their ideas, Austin Business Journal 8/2/2017

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IC² signs MOU with Indian state of Maharashtra

The IC² Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the State of Maharashtra Skill Development Society and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to set up a world-class innovation ecosystem in the state of Maharashtra, India, and to boost grassroots innovations to benefit the people of the state.

This agreement follows the notable success of the IC² Institute’s XLr8 program in Andhra Pradesh and Nexus Startup Hub @ the American Center in New Delhi. The program seeks to develop an innovation ecosystem in Maharashtra that will drive the creation of new technology startups, jobs, and expanded economic impact in the state. The focus of the program is both high-tech and grassroots innovations with critical societal impact. It is envisioned to develop Maharashtra as an innovation hub of global repute, with a focus on enhancing the quality of life of its rural livelihood by increasing productivity in agriculture and allied activities and through accelerating innovations and startups.

Finally, expanded opportunities for research collaborations between The University of Texas at Austin and leading research institutions in India located in Maharashtra are expected to emerge to support development of new technology-based innovations, formation of startup enterprises and engagement in the incubation system set up by the program.

News coverage:

IC² Institute signs MOU with Maharashta and FICCI

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FASTForward program seeks mentors for Austin small businesses

The IC² Institute’s FASTForward program invites volunteer mentors from the Austin business community to help Austin entrepreneurs take their small businesses to the next level.

What is FASTForward?

The FASTForward program is a small business growth initiative developed and led by the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and supported by the City of Austin. It consists of 10 sessions of intensive training.

The program is offered to small businesses headquartered in Austin with existing products and services that hope to accelerate their growth by embracing innovation, i.e., who are ready to utilize new technology, offer novel business models, pursue fresh markets, and create enhanced value for their enterprise. The City’s Small Business Program is subsidizing much of the cost to make FASTForward available to 20 innovative businesses selected through an application and interview process. The next session of the program begins September 12, 2017.

FASTForward program information for mentors

The FASTForward program seeks to accelerate the commercial potential for a new [second] cohort of 20 traditional Austin-based enterprises led by a diverse set of entrepreneurs. This 10-week program takes place September through November 2017. Mentors are requested to attend one social event each month to interact with the entrepreneurs. FASTForward entrepreneurs will make quick pitches to mentors for feedback, advice and possible collaboration. The goal for the entrepreneurs is to engage with at least one new mentor at each event to help them as they build a more market-ready commercialization strategy. Mentors are also invited to attend monthly ‘aftercare’ social/community events with FASTForward companies continuing into 2018. At these events the entrepreneurs will report on their activities, progress and engage with a scheduled presenter for wisdom and assistance. The community mentoring events for Cohort 2 are scheduled on 9/28, 10/19, and 11/16 at the IC² Institute, from 6:00-8:00pm.

Information session for mentors on Wednesday, August 16

If you are interested in sharing your expertise with Austin small businesses, please come to our mentor information session on Wednesday, August 16 from 6 to 7:00 PM at the IC² Institute, 2815 San Gabriel St., Austin, TX 78705. Free parking is available.

To participate as a mentor please contact:

Coral Franke
IC² Institute, UT Austin
coral@ic2.utexas.edu
(512) 475-8947

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