Ten Start-ups to Pitch New Business Ideas at University of Texas Venture Expo

AUSTIN, Texas — Executive teams from 10 Texas Venture Labs (TVL) portfolio companies will pitch their ideas to investors at the upcoming Venture Expo Oct. 27. 

TVL taps the academic resources of The University of Texas at Austin to help entrepreneurs through company formation, venture backing and successful acquisition. Portfolio companies are chosen through an application screening process and are assisted through partnerships with Austin Technology Incubator, the UT Office of Technology Commercialization and the Central Texas Angel Network.

A group of TVL students from multiple graduate programs across the university, including the McCombs School of BusinessCockrell School of EngineeringSchool of Law and College of Natural Sciences, work side by side to assist the founding executives with various challenges and tasks common for startups.

"We were very lucky to be selected to participate in the Texas Venture Labs program," said Jeff Lujan, CEO of Digital Harmony Games. "The knowledge and expertise of the team and the amazing resources they afforded us have been invaluable as we seek investment funding."

The companies are equally divided into two categories: those in the early development stage — with a business plan, executive team and need for capital, and those in the funded stage — having a product, early round of funding and possibly customers that generate revenue.

Companies will pitch at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center from 1 to 5 p.m. Gary Kelly, chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines, will speak from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a networking reception to follow. The sessions are open to investors, entrepreneurs and academics, as space permits.

Early development stage companies include:

  • Vocal Media:  Advertising designed to target hard-to-reach, ethnic immigrant populations by using the dead-air time in international phone calls.
  • NanoHybrids:  Molecularly sensitive contrast agents that enable a new cancer detecting imaging tool, leading to highly advanced and personalized treatment strategies.
  • Zilker Motors:  High-efficiency, high-performance vehicles with the first product being the Z100, a 2-seat eco-sports commuter customer-completion car.
  • Tactical Information Systems: Large-scale, cloud-based biometric software applications; and secure hosting and management services for customizable biometric data systems.
  • Digital Harmony Games:  Gaming content delivered directly to consumers in the multibillion-dollar online and mobile gaming industry.

Funded stage companies include:

  • Akimbo:  Web-based banking solutions giving users the ability to transfer funds to and from other financial accounts, send and receive funds directly to and from other individuals and pay bills online.
  • Farmhouse Delivery:  All-local food delivery service offering weekly or biweekly bushels of local fruits and vegetables, and other locally sourced food.
  • RayDyne Energy: High-concentration solar photovoltaic panels coming to market in 2012, targeted to power utilities, power producers, commercial rooftops and producer/consumers.
  • Salient Pharmaceuticals:  Patent-pending, all-natural compound addressing chronic diarrhea, with demonstrated signals of efficacy in diarrhea from a wide range of causes, including chemotherapy.
  • Waldo Health:  Intuitive, fun-to-use chronic disease management program for elderly people who suffer from diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure.

More about Texas Venture Labs and Venture Expo.