McCombs Ends Global Venture Competition to Focus Exclusively on Texas Startups
October 6, 2015 — The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin announced today that it has ended the global version of its student startup investment competition.
The Global Venture Labs Investment Competition had been running for 32 years, and was a pioneer of investment competitions that are now ubiquitous around the world. Prior to being called the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition it was known as the Moot Corp™ Competition. The Texas only version of the competition will continue as the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition.
Current competition organizer and director of the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL), Rob Adams explained that the global competition was no longer necessary since many schools and regions now have their own competitions. In addition, students can be better served with a stronger focus on Texas startups and the many great investor-ready ideas coming out of The University of Texas at Austin.
“The global competition was a great tradition, and we have enjoyed hosting student teams from all over the world, but we are seeing a much higher percentage of investor-ready companies coming out of our other pioneering Texas Venture Lab programs,” said Adams. “The market opportunity has shifted to the local level and we are responding to that change.”
Over the past five years, Texas Venture Labs has worked with 115 companies in the early stages of development, all in the Austin area, with an astounding 41 percent of the companies raising investment funds. In addition to these companies raising more than $330 million in total dollars over the last five years, more than 300 graduate students from academic disciplines across the university have had real world, hands-on experience helping these companies get funded.
“Ultimately our job isn’t to prepare students for a competition, but to give them an applied education on how to get operating companies off the ground”, said Adams. “This is a smarter investment of our teaching, entrepreneurial and mentoring expertise, allowing us to focus our acceleration efforts on companies within The University of Texas and in the Austin startup community that are prepared to make the leap to commercialization.”
Texas students will continue to present their business plans in the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition – a competition that has helped launch companies such as uShip, Ordoro, Dish Society, Bigfoot Networks, and many others. The most recent example is BeatBox Beverages, founded by Texas MBA students whom secured a $1 million investment from entrepreneur Mark Cuban during an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
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