Biotechnology Company Visolis Wins Global Venture Labs Investment Competition

AUSTIN, Texas - Visolis from the Indian School of Business beat out 39 teams from top graduate programs around the world to claim the grand prize at the 30th annual Global Venture Labs Investment Competition held at The University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, May 4. Visolis is developing the next generation of biocatalysts that can convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals and fuels at a price point competitive with petroleum based processes

The Visolis team, Akshat Pipersenia, Amrita Dutta, Aditya Jain, Ashish Kohli and Deepak Dugar, won a $75,000 package including office space at the Austin Technology Incubator, mentoring and consulting services; consulting with the McCombs entrepreneurship faculty worth $25,000; and cash. The winning team will also ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ OMX Stock Exchange on June 11, 2013.

Seismos, who won the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition in February, won the $20,000 Wells Fargo Clean Energy prize, part of the competition for a second year. Seismos, founded by graduate students from the Master’s of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) program at The McCombs School of Business, provides real-time measurements of oil and gas flows for enhanced oil recovery.  Judges for the Wells Fargo Clean Energy Track at the competition included Chad CochranRomie Basra and Puon Penn from Wells Fargo; Spencer Swayze from Ceres, Inc.; Dan Sharplin from Fat Tire Partners; and Alan Bickerstaff from Andrews Kurth LLP. 

The first runners-up of this year’s competition were Dan Kleinbaum and Luke Kyohere of Beyonic Technologies.  Beyonic, from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, has developed a mobile payment platform for use in the developing world.

Rounding out the finals were AGcerez, from the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Thailand and BriteSeed, from Northwestern University in Chicago.  AGcerez produces L’amai®, the world’s first longan-extracted probiotic sweetener.  Team members are Peera Sopitpongstorn, Waannasiri Aramwattananont, Danusorn Sitdhirasdr, Suchai Buranavalahok and Surasit Sachdev.  BriteSeed offers SafeSnips, a patent-pending technology that integrates with minimally invasive surgical tools to prevent accidental cuts into blood vessels. Team members are Paul Fehrenbacher and Jonathan Gunn.

Visolis was awarded the top prize after the three-day competition that featured 14 international teams and teams from 26 leading graduate programs around the U.S. Finals-round judges were Sabrina Parsons, Palo Alto Software, William Glasgow, Prime IX Investments; Stu Clark, investor and entrepreneur; and Phil Speros, Halsa Pharmaceuticals.

The Global Venture Labs Investment Competition simulates the real-world process of raising venture capital. It is a unique partnership that brings together graduate students and business leaders. The judges function as an investment group seeking to reach consensus on the business venture they would most likely fund. The quality of the idea, the strength of the management team and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written plan and oral presentation all influence the judges’ decisions. 

Below is a complete list of all award winners for the 2013 Global VLIC:

Global Venture Labs Investment Competition Champion
Visolis, Indian School of Business (India)

Global VLIC Finalists
First Runner-up, Beyonic Technologies, The University of Texas at Austin
Second Runner-up, AGcerez, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration (Thailand)
Second Runner-up, Briteseed, Northwestern University

Wells Fargo Clean Energy Award 
Seismos, The University of Texas at Austin

Global VLIC Semifinalists
American Water Recycling, The University of Texas at El Paso
Bearing Analytics, Purdue University
Cryoocyte, Harvard Business School
LeLux,  Sasin Graduate Institute of Administration (Thailand)
Nutri Food, Thammasat University (Thailand)
Seismos, The University of Texas at Austin

Wild Card Challenge Awards First Runner-up
VOC Diagnosis, University of Louisville 
Ori, Brigham Young University

Wild Card Challenge Awards Honorable Mention
Ecosurface, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)
WISEMAT, Thammasat University (Thailand)
Campus Tax and Financial Aid Services, Kennesaw State University
Medical Informatics, Rice University

E. Craig Nemec Achievement Challenge Awards
EEme, Carnegie Mellon University
CommSense, Purdue University
OmniSom Solutions, Johns Hopkins University
Neural Analytics, UCLA
Solaris, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)
Red Duck Ketchup, University of Oregon

Venture Fellows Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Beyonic Technologies, The University of Texas of Texas at Austin

Mystery Judge Competition
Medical Informatics, Rice University

About the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition

The Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, held at The University of Texas at Austin, is an annual, graduate student-centric event designed for new ventures from around the world, to obtain funding and feedback from investors and successful entrepreneurs. 

About the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs

The Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) is an entrepreneurship initiative that serves The University of Texas at Austin as well as the local entrepreneur and investor communities. TVL is home to the Texas Venture Labs Accelerator, a startup accelerator pairing graduate students pursuing degrees in business, law, engineering and the natural sciences with startup companies; the Venture Labs Investment Competition, composed of the annual Texas and Global competitions; and New Venture Creation, a hands-on course in which students develop and refine their business ideas.

For more information, contact:  Ramiro Palma, Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs, Accenture Venture Partner