A Recap of UT Entrepreneurship Week 2017

Now in our 6th year, UT Entrepreneurship Week provides an SXSWi-style experience to students at UT Austin. From Monday, February 27 to Tuesday, March 7, thousands of students gained exposure to aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity on the 40 Acres.

Over the course of 5 days and 15+ events, Longhorns had the chance to learn from the founders of Favor Delivery, theSkimm, Houseparty, Rooster Teeth, an Olympic athlete, and many more. In addition, we launched UTEWeek’s very first Virtual Reality Lab, in partnership with Samsung VR and several local Austin VR companies, to encourage more students to explore virtual reality as a pathway for entrepreneurship.

A few highlights from our week of 15+ events…

Day 1: UT Entrepreneurship Week kicks off with women empowerment

Day 2: Houseparty/Meerkat Founder Ben Rubin talks to Fitz Tepper, Writer at TechCrunch

Day 3: The UTEWeek Virtual Reality Lab, featuring Samsung Gear VR

Day 3: Freshman Founders Demo Day — Twenty freshmen pitched their ventures for a chance to win a co-working membership at Capital Factory, the largest startup accelerator in Austin.

Day 4: theSkimm Co-Founders discuss how they turned their passion into a startup (moderated by LEA’s own Danielle Meyer!)

Check out all of the photos from UTEWeek right here.


Announcing the Winners for the Annual UT Entrepreneurship Awards

Each year, Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency hosts our annual UT Entrepreneurship Awards dinner to recognize the movers and shakers in the campus startup scene. This year we opened up voting to the student entrepreneurship community — over 200 people voted to select the 2016–2017 award winners.

Check out photos from the awards dinner here, courtesy of our friends at Longhorn Startup Lab.

  • Startup of the Year: Condecca and RapidDiligence
  • Founder of the Year: Nathalie Rovall, Snakeskn
  • Startup to Watch: Cervelio
  • Best Product: Airdrums
  • Best UT Representative: Susan Buckenmeyer for championing the new student startup co-working space
  • Best Professor: Dr. Harlan Beverly for teaching Lean Startup Essentials
  • Best Freshman Founder: Kiara Ringgenburg, Health Crave
  • Most Improved Freshman Founder: Nancy Pham, PhamNism
  • Best Mentor for Freshman Founders: Dr. Mark McDermott for his work with Arjun Menta, VAXCube

Gratitudes ❤

We are incredibly thankful for our partners, mentors, and friends who made the 6th Annual UT Entrepreneurship Week the best yet.

Longhorn Startup Seminar & Lab

Sam Wei-Lein (TA for Longhorn Startup Lab) and Clarissa Parulian (LEA)
  • Thanks to Josh Baer, former TA Sanchana Vasikaran, and current TA Sam Wei-Lin for working with LEA on a near weekly basis. We greatly appreciate all of the times you’ve gone out of your way to accomodate our announcements, surveys, and t-shirt passouts at the start of your classes, and have rearranged your schedules more than once to make time for us. We love working with y’all!

The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship

Payton Scott (LEA), Sheri Gonzalez (HKC), Clarissa Parulian (LEA), and Amber Tribble (LEA) checking in guests at the She Started It: Women In Entrepreneurship event
  • Thanks to Emanuel Ibarra for lending us your guidance, support, laughter, and awesome directors chairs :) You, Sheri, and Dr. Martins helped us put on the first segment dedicated to diversity & inclusion at UT Entrepreneurship Week. We’ve established an important precedent for the future.

John Arrow

John Arrow (Mutual Mobile), Zach Cook (GroupThreads), and Ben Doherty (Favor Delivery)
  • Each year before the Fall Startup Crawl, John Arrow takes our Freshmen Founders on a tour of the Mutual Mobile offices and shares his lessons learned with our students. He encourages us to think about things from a different perspective, and has inspired hundreds of new Longhorns to envision themselves as entrepreneurs. In addition, John served as the moderator for our first Dropout Panel at UTEWeek. Thank you for everything.

3 Day Startup

Freshman Founders, 3DS organizers, mentors, and LEA agents at the end of a successful FF 3DS.
  • Thanks to Cam Houser for supporting LEA’s Freshman Founders program. The winner of this year’s Freshman Founders Demo Day started his company at the special FF 3DS that Cam and his team set up for us in Fall 2016. This is just one example of the profound impact 3DS has had across the UT student body.

Genesis Program

The Genesis Program leadership team pictured with two founders from the portfolio companies they’ve funded, Ahmed Raza (RapidDiligence, left), and Eric Menees (Cervelio, third from right)
  • Thank you to Jacob Cordova, Clarke Raring, and the entire student leadership team for their dedication to helping student startups get off the ground. Shoutout to Jeff Auster and Katherine Allen, who are also founding members of the Genesis Program.

The Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation

Selvin Young (Owner, Custom Food Truck Builders), Sanya Richards-Ross (Executive Producer, Glam and Gold), and Drew Gressett (Founder, Hat Creek Burgers) return to the 40 Acres to discuss entrepreneurship with Daron K. Roberts, Founding Director of CSLi.
  • For the first time, Professor Daron K. Roberts helped us engage student athletes in the startup community. Big thanks to Charlie Adkins and Miles Andres for putting together the first event of its kind at UT Austin!

The Innovation Center in the Cockrell School of Engineering

Louise Epstein (Managing Director, Innovation Center) and Bob Metcalfe (Founder of Ethernet & Professor of Innovation) with Isaac Laseter in the center, winner of Freshman Founders Demo Day. Also pictured are judges Rick Orr (RealSavvy), Josh Alexander (Salesforce), JD Weinstein (WPP Ventures), & Daniel Miyares (Director of Freshman Founders)
  • Since LEA’s inception in 2012, our organization leaders have had the privilege of receiving mentorship and guidance from Bob Metcalfe and Louise Epstein. Bob and Louise, you have encouraged us to set ambitious goals, challenge our assumptions, and strive to serve the student body. We’ll never be able to express exactly how indebted we are to you for your time and support.

On behalf of the UTEWeek organizing team, thanks & hook ‘em!

Kelsi Kamin & Cage Johnson


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