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On April 26, ten startups that are part of the “1 Semester Startup” program at the University of Texas will show off their new concepts to the world. The event is free for all to attend and will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium in Austin.
Here’s the event overview:
Undergraduate students experienced entrepreneurship first-hand, learning from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Austin. University of Texas students from many different departments including Computer Science, Engineering and Management started companies and were assisted with a semester-long program of startup acceleration: speakers, mentors, and supervised project work. Mentors are exceptional people who have successfully started one or more companies.
Each startup will get 6 minutes on stage and then you can go and talk to them afterwards. There will be numerous other leaders from the Austin entrepreneurial community in attendance as well.
In addition to the startup presentations, Dr. James Truchard will provide the keynote discussion. Dr. Truchard is the president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments.
Course instructor and founder/angel investor Joshua Baer has also requested help for next semester. He notes:
1. We need more mentors. Stop organizing your wine collection and get a better hobby — help young entrepreneurs!
2. We need 2 TA’s to help us run the class.
3. We need the best student entrepreneurs at UT Austin who want to get credit for working on their startup and mentored by Bob Metcalfe, myself, and many others.
I am not sure what the requirements to be a mentor are as I applied last semester but never heard back. If you are in Austin, this is a great opportunity to help students become the next great entrepreneurs!
If you are looking for a job at a startup located in Dallas, you should check out the RoundUp for Startups event later this month. The free startup recruiting event will be held on April 21, 2012 from 4-8 pm at Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas, Texas. The evening is broken up into two segments:
- 4-6 pm: social recruiting and networking
- 6-8 pm: a band will jam while attendees network over food and drinks
Over forty startups located in the Dallas area will be attending the event recruiting for over 100 positions. The organizers describe the event as, “…open to everyone that is interested in joining growing and young technology and startup companies, from recent graduates to seasoned professionals. If you are a software/hardware/network/equipment/test/QA engineer, software programmers/developer, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) specialist, web/mobile designer, system administrator, project manager, or technical designer, this is your chance for a great career move. If your speciality is sales and marketing or business development, and you want to work with the next great North Texas startup, this is your chance to get involved. If you have a passion for what you do and are looking for a fulfilling position at an exciting young company, don’t miss this event!”
As a Giants fan, I’ve been told I am banned from entering the city limits of Dallas. But for the few of you out there that aren’t Giants fans, this looks like a great opportunity to network and potentially grab a job at a Texas-based startup.
Now that SXSW is over and after you have spent a few days in Austin, you may want to continue to follow the tech startup happenings around the Austin area. Here are several resources that are worth checking out:
Update April 2012 – Check out the new Austin Startup List – it has a ranked list of Austin-based companies based on web traffic and other SEO and social media factors.
Silicon Hills – a blog covering technology news in Austin and San Antonio. The articles aren’t organized by date so you need to scroll to find other stories that might be newer than the first article.
Austin Startup – their tagline is, “Ditch the Valley. Run for the Hills.” Of all of the Austin resources I follow, theirs is the most regularly updated (nearly daily).
RISE has a full week of sessions next week – the sessions are located all around the city and are almost all free. Check out the sessions list and make sure you check out the sessions for each day (I’d guess there are 150-200 sessions).
Startup Weekend is coming back to Austin from March 30-April 1. The events will be held at HubAustin Coworking and costs $75-99. The final startup demos on Sunday evening are free to attend.
Below is a recap of the March 9, 2012 episode of the ABC show Shark Tank (episode 306). If you are unfamiliar with Shark Tank, the concept is simple – entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and the investors have to provide at least the amount the entrepreneur is seeking for a deal to be completed.
The sharks appearing on tonight’s episode are: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Damond John and Robert Herjavec.
Don’t forget to check out our previous Shark Tank recaps.
Pitch #1 – The Original Profender
Tony Devin brought his creation into the Shark Tank seeking $75k/15% of the company. The Original Profender is basically a mock human that can be raised up or down/left to right by a basketball coach to help players learn how to shoot over a defender. The price of the Original Profender is $499.95.
Unfortunately Tony left the tank without a deal.
Pitch #2 – Nardo’s Naturals
The Mastranardo Brothers were up next with their line of organic skincare products under the brand name Nardo’s Naturals. The brothers were seeking $75k/12% of Nardo’s Naturals. When asked about sales, they explained that they have $30k in sales since 2009. Kevin O’Leary said there is nothing proprietary about the products and he didn’t care for the packaging.
Barbara Corcoran offered $75k for 50% of the business with the contingency that the brothers change the company name. The brothers accepted the deal – oddly, the company still uses the same name today so maybe the deal never came to fruition or Barbara backed down from her contingency requirement.
Update – Pork Barrel BBQ
Pork Barrel BBQ was on season 1 and signed a deal with Barbara for $50k. In the update they opened their full service restaurant in Arlington, VA. The 2 founders noted that they are sold in many stores nationwide and have had over $1 million in sales since their Shark Tank appearance.
Pitch #3 – Rent-a-Grandma
Todd was the third entrepreneur to enter the tank with his concept, “Rent-A-Grandma”. He was seeking %150k for 20% of the service. The concept is that instead of hiring a teenager to babysit, you can rent a grandmother. Todd noted that he has had $25k in sales YTD. Unfortunately Todd left with no deal from the sharks.
Pitch #4 – Litter Body Jewelry
Last up were sisters Rachel Mann and Mackenzie Burdick with their homemade jewelry business, Litter. They were seeking $80k for 51% of their business. They sold $78k last year and are on track for $150k this year.
Damond offers $80k for 70% of Litter and he will allow the two women to buy back to their original requested amount listed above and he will also pay them salaries. Mark Cuban joins into Damond’s offer and says he will handle the website and Damond will handle the production.
Kevin O’Leary offers exactly what Rachel and Mackenzie wanted with $80k for 51%.
Rachel and Mackenzie shake hands with Damond and Mark for the deal above but at 70% of the company.
Below is a recap of the March 2, 2012 episode of the ABC show Shark Tank (episode 305). If you are unfamiliar with Shark Tank, the concept is simple – entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and the investors have to provide at least the amount the entrepreneur is seeking for a deal to be completed.
The sharks appearing on tonight’s episode are: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Damond John and Robert Herjavec.
Pitch #1 – Kisstixx
The first pitch of the evening came from Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo seeking $200k for 20% of their company. Kisstixx is a line of lip balms. The only offer came from Mark Cuban at $200k for 40% and the pair of entrepreneurs took the deal.
Last Season Update – Daisy Cakes
Kimberly Nelson pitched her Daisy Cakes and signed a deal with Barbara Corcoran. Since the show aired, Daisy Cakes has gone from 2000 total cakes in a year to $100k/month in sales. And Kimberly had to move the business to a much larger location.
Pitch #2 – The Smart Baker
Stephanie and Daniel Rensic came into the tank to pitch their kitchen product line called, The Smart Baker. They were seeking $75k/25%. The Smart Baker includes products like an apron with measurements on it to help when you need to cutup a recipe for smaller servings. Also included are their newest products — cupcake and tree towers.
Damond offered $75k/40%, Barbara offered the same but in addition she wants a 5% royalty on all sales until the $75k is paid back. Stephanie and Daniel countered at $100k/40% with 5% royalty but Barbara declined. After some discussion, The Smart Baker accepted Barbara’s original offer for $75k/40% with a 5% royalty.
Pitch #3 – Heat Helper
Lyle Chutey was up next with the Heat Helper. He was seeking $100k for 50% of his product. The Heat Helper is a unit that goes below an electric clothes dryer to recycle the hot air that comes out of the dryer to heat the laundry room. Unfortunately none of the sharks made Lyle an offer and he left the Shark Tank without an offer.
Pitch #4 – TEC
Last up into the tank was Scott Jordan with his product line TEC which stands for Technology Enabled Clothing. Scott was seeking $500k for 15% of TEC. You may have heard the name Scott Jordan before. Scott runs the company Scottevest which I believe is a line of vests that have compartments for gadgets. The deal Scott is seeking in the Shark Tank is for the technology/patents only, not a part of Scottevest. It’s interesting to note that the sharks talk about the products from Scottevest but never mention the name. Scott noted that the other business has $5.1 million in sales and is on track to hit $12 million in sales for “this year” (remember the show taped last year.
Mark Cuban went off about “dumbass patents” regarding “putting a wire through a piece of clothing”. The same offer came from both Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary – $500k for 15% of the “other” business. Scott left the tank to call Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Scott turned down the offers and left the tank saying, “I don’t need you”.
The latest installment of the ABC reality show Shark Tank hit the airwaves last night. You can read my full recap of the episode and all of my series recaps. Rick Hopper was the last entrepreneur on last night’s episode and he presented his creation, ReadeRest. The product is a magnetic clip for a shirt that holds a pair of eyeglasses.
Rick was seeking an investment of $150k for 15% of the company. Eventually he shook hands on a deal with QVC’s Lori Greiner for $150k for 65% of the company.
One of the interesting questions that surrounds Shark Tank is how long does it take from the filming of the show until the episode airs. Clearly there is some significant time between tape and air because the eyeglass holders have been on QVC since October 2011. My guess is that last night’s episode taped in the early summer of 2011.
This morning Lori presented the eyeglass holders, now called “Set of 3 Magnetic Glasses Holders by Lori Greiner” and the QVC host noted that about 15,000 orders were placed this morning alone. The item has 136 reviews and is “customer top rated”. Rick mentioned selling the holders for $10-20 each — QVC is selling a package of 3 for $25 including shipping.
Rick mentioned that he made all of the holders himself – Lori said this morning on QVC that the item is now made in a warehouse.
If you want to see how Lori presented the eyeglasses holder on QVC, click here then click the Videos link.
Lori talks up her QVC relationship on Shark Tank so it is good for prospective entrepreneurs to see her take a product from the television show to actually selling on QVC.
Below is a recap of the February 24, 2012 episode of the ABC show Shark Tank (episode 304). If you are unfamiliar with Shark Tank, the concept is simple – entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and the investors have to provide at least the amount the entrepreneur is seeking for a deal to be completed.
Tonight Barbara Corcoran was replaced by QVC product creator Lori Greiner. Other sharks include: Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Damond John and Robert Herjavec.
Pitch #1 – Five Minute Furniture
Up first was inventor Jared Joyce presenting Five Minute Furniture. The basic idea is that Jared’s “special joint system” allows you to put together furniture like storage cubes or bookcases in 5-minutes. Jared was seeking $250k for 25% of the company, valuing the company at $1 million. The investment would be only for Five Minute Furniture not for all of the 79 other products Jared is currently working on.
Damond, Robert and Mark were not interested in investing. Lori Greiner and Kevin O’Leary offered $250k combined for 100% of the company and the patents and Jared would not be a part of the company. Jared turned down the deal and left the Shark Tank without a deal.
Update – Man Candle
The Man Candle didn’t grab a deal from the sharks last season. The founder was able to secure funding elsewhere and since the show aired, his sales have gone from $70k/year to $250k/year. The Man Candle candles are in 500 retail stores across America.
Pitch #2 – The Painted Pretzel
Raven Thomas was up next with The Painted Pretzel. The product is a line of chocolate-covered pretzels. Raven was seeking $100k for 25% of the company. Raven noted that she had $75k in sales over the past year plus $140k worth of orders she was unable to fill.
Mark Cuban offered 100k for 25% of the company and Raven accepted. Mark noted that he wants to push the pretzels at Mavericks games and at the Landmark Theatres.
Pitch #3 – Esso Watches
Ryan Naylor was up next with Esso Watches seeking $35k for 20% investment. The watch is made out of silicon with negative ions. Ryan is a SEO expert and uses the power of search to get customers to his website. Mark Cuban quickly called the watch a, “scam and joke”. Unfortunately Ryan was unable to secure a deal with any of the sharks.
Pitch #4 – ReadeRest
Last up was Rick Hopper with his invention ReadeRest, a magnetic clip for a shirt that holds a pair of eyeglasses.Rick charges $10-20 for ReadeRest. Rick was seeking $150k for 15% of the company.
Lori offered Rick for $150k for 65% of the company. Rick countered at 49% of the company, Lori declined that counter. Rick took Lori’s deal and walked out with $150k for 65% of ReadeRest.