NuMat Technology Wins 2012 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition
May 7, 2012
Austin, Texas — NuMat Technologies from Northwestern University beat out 37 teams from top MBA programs around the world to claim the grand prize at the 29th annual Global Venture Labs Investment Competition held at The University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, May 5. NuMat Technologies designs and creates high-performance materials to store clean fuels and produce them on a large scale for industry.
NuMat Technologies was awarded the top prize after the two-day competition that featured 15 international MBA teams and 22 teams from the leading MBA programs around the U.S. Finals-round judges were William Glasgow, Prime IX Investments; Phil Speros, Halsa Pharmaceuticals; Mike Dodd, Austin Ventures, and Thomas Pickens III, Astrotech Corporation.
NuMat Technologies’ COO Tabrez Ebrahim received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. “It feels really good to be an alum—Austin’s my favorite place.” Ebrahim also worked with cleantech startups at the Austin Technology Incubator, which has helped 200-plus startups raise over $1 billion in investor capital.
The NuMat team won a $135,000 package including Austin Technology Incubator office space, mentoring and consulting services; a full-page ad in Inc. magazine; consulting with the McCombs entrepreneurship faculty worth $25,000; and cash. The winning team will also close the NASDAQ Stock Market on July 27th.
A team from Thammasat University in Thailand won the first-ever $10,000 Wells Fargo Clean Energy prize. Their startup Paramaxx has a proprietary technology that can extract valuable natural minerals such as magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus from industrial waste.
NuMat Technologies was one of two teams that reached the Saturday-afternoon finals round of four teams via the Wild Card Challenge. The other was Ischiban from the University of Cincinnati, a medical device startup company that develops comprehensive diagnostic and monitoring systems for emergency, mobile and long-term applications to aid in the assessment of neurological status for conditions like stroke.
Athena Laboratories, which was first runner-up, is the first team from McCombs’ Masters of Science in Technology (MSTC) program to make it to the Global Venture Labs finals. Athena CEO Ravine Woods said, “We’re super excited and very proud to be in the finals.” Athena Laboratories is a medical device company whose FemtoSmooth™ laser technology can treat cellulite in a minimally invasive, less painful manner.
Rounding out the finals was Sustainable Agriculture Solutions (SAS) from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. SAS will produce an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer incorporating a patented nanotechnology called CDS® that protects crop nutrients, saving in fertilizer cost, increasing productivity and safeguarding the environment.
The Global Investment Venture Labs 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.
Begun at the University of Texas at Austin by MBA students in 1984, the Venture Labs Investment Competition is the oldest new venture competition in the world, and it provides MBA student teams with a chance to simulate the real world process of raising venture capital.
The competition was sponsored by Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs. An interdisciplinary education and research initiative, Venture Labs promotes new venture creation at The University of Texas at Austin through education and mentoring, market and business plan validation, team-building and networking and direct links to resources and funding.