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Success Stories

In the last ten years, new ventures nurtured in the entrepreneurial environment at the McCombs School of Business have raised over $300 million

Explore the details of how each of these companies utilized Texas Venture Labs by clicking on their picture and reading a short case study.

BigFoot  eVapt FocalPop Halsa

MacuClear  Phurnace Qcue uShip

Venture Labs Investment Competition Company Updates

Learn more about the progress of some of the top finishers in prior years' competitions

Exigence Technologies

2014, University of Manitoba
Exigence Technologies is a fast-acting anti-microbial that is effective against drug-resistant pathogens. Their compound can be permanently bound to textiles to create garments that are anti-microbial for life. They have raised $410k in equity funding and over $1m in total funding. They have six employees, numerous contractors and interest from several customers. Additionally, they currently have nine R&D projects underway.

Innoblative Designs

2014 Global Champion, Northwestern University
Innoblative produces a medical device that improves the way surgeons ablate. They have been named one of the Top 15 Chicago Startups for 2015 by Chicago Inno and are currently looking for $300k to close a $1-1.2m round of funding. They have grown their leadership team and are on track to preform pre-clinical trials this summer.


2014 Wild Card Honorable Mention, Georgia Institute of Technology
LymphaTech is developing a medical device that can diagnose lymphedema using near-infrared sensors. They have raised more than $100k to date through a mix of equity and grant funding. They have one employee and will be hiring two more this summer. They recently completed their first prototype and have begun preliminary clinical trials of their device.


2014 Third Runner-up, University of Notre Dame
NanDio detects oral HPV cancer prior to the appearance of visible symptoms using tools operated by a dentist. They have raised $85K in seed funding and are halfway done with a $1.5m-$2m Series A fund raise. Their commercial prototype is well underway and has pivoted to a new focus on pancreatic cancer.


2014, Georgia Institute of Technology
ProsumerGrid is a scalable, decentralized energy services platform that allows customers with smart energy systems to interface more easily with utilities. They are currently finalizing a $240k contract to develop a multi-scale decentralized demo of transmission and distribution coordination and have a number of verbal commitments from potential customers. Additionally, they are applying for a number of grants including a $150k DOE SBIR grant and three ARPA-E proposals ($5m).


2014, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Zostel is India’s first chain of backpacker hostels and now has 80 employees and two completed funding rounds. They have 68 hotels and hostels in India.

Holi Technologies

2013, EMLYON Business School
Holi creates smart lighting solutions that connect to smartphones. They currently have two products including a light bulb that changes color temperature over time to replicate natural light throughout the day. Holi has six employees and is currently closing their first round of funding ($2m to $2.5m). They have two products on shelves in seven countries including Apple stores in Europe.

Dattus (formerly Bearing Analytics)

2013 Semifinalist, Purdue University
Dattus creates sensors for industrial manufacturing systems that provide fast, more accurate data with higher resolution. They leverage this improved data to create predictive analytics that reduce manufacturing downtime. Dattus has gone on to win $170k in funds from competitions as well as an additional $700k from a seed investment round. Dattus is currently building a development facility in India in which to relocate.


2013, University of Michigan
Focus currently has six full-time employees and has raised about $1.5m in equity funding. Their first commercial application is slated to launch soon on the Pebble smart watch. Their application will be able to track gym movements using accelerometers in wearable devices.

Red Duck Foods

2013 Nemec Challenge Division II Winner, University of Oregon
Red Duck launched their initial product line, Red Duck Ketchup (three flavors) in May 2013.  Since then, they have achieved placement in over 230 stores in 11 states and have sold over 35,000 jars of ketchup.    They have also expanded their offerings to include more flavors and alternate packing options for bulk/foodservice and single-serve varieties of Red Duck Ketchup.  Red Duck has three full time employees and is in the process of hiring additional team members.  They raised around $250k in 2013 ($25k via Kickstarter, the rest in a small angel round).


2013 Semifinalist and Wells Fargo Clean Energy Winner, University of Texas at Austin
Seismos provides real-time fluid-flow monitoring inside oil reservoirs. They recently closed a $4m round of funding. They are currently housed in the Austin Technology Incubator.

Boston Mountain Biotech

2012 BBVA Challenge Winner, University of Arkansas
Boston Mountain Biotech (BMB) is a contract research organization in Fayetteville, AR that helps customers perform biological research related to protein expression. BMB moved into a lab and opened for business on June 1, 2013.  The two founders have hired their first employee and raised $500k of debt funding. Currently, BMB is looking to raise a $2M round of equity funding. Their first US patent was awarded January 2015 and they have pending applications in the US, Europe and Canada.

Kentucky Chia

2012 Division I Outstanding Presentation Winner, University of Louisville
Kentucky Chia sells US-sourced chia seeds for consumption by people and animals as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. They have grown to three employees and are currently in the process of raising equity financing. In their first year of sales last year, they did $100k in revenue.

Siam Organic

2011Thompson & Knight Challenge Division II Honorable Mention, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University
Siam Organic sells organic food products at the retail level. They have grown to eight employees and are still 100% self-funded, though they are currently raising their first round of outside funding.  They have launched two products in the domestic market and are now in the process of developing a third.


2011, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
Sqore creates online skill challenges that allow students to compete to prove their competency in a number of subjects and to connect those students with job and education opportunities. In 2014, Sqore had $2.5m in sales and built up a network of 2,500 universities worldwide totaling 15m students. They have 40 employees and have raised $3.5m in seed funding. They just launched a new platform in April.

V-Chain Solutions

2011 Division VIII Outstanding Market Winner, Kennesaw State University
V-Chain Solutions teaches students supply chain management through the use of a computer game. They moved to Austin, TX following GVLIC and have experienced a tremendous amount of growth.  They have raised $1.2m and grown their team to 13 people, with plans to grow to 30 before year end.  They have more than $500,000 in their sales pipeline and are currently positioning for launches in Mexico, India and Ethiopia through channel partner agreements.  Since the competition, they have pivoted to focus on education.  V-Chain Solutions is currently part of the Capital Factory incubator and is seeking to raise $1.8m. More than 1,100 students have entered the pipeline for sales which is 200% higher than predicted.