Startup Launch, a track within the Jindal School’s Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MSIE) degree program, has been named as one of four finalists for the 2014 Tech Titans of the Future, University Award by the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), the largest technology trade association in Texas.
Initiated in 2013, the Startup Launch Track is a competitive program for graduate students with promising business concepts who want to launch a venture while earning a MSIE degree. The new initiative helps budding entrepreneurs kick off their startups by offering them up to $25,000 in seed funds, plus office space in The Venture Development Center (VDC) at UT Dallas and support and mentoring from faculty and experienced entrepreneurs.
Students enrolled in the Startup Launch Track are expected to launch their businesses while still in school or within six months of graduation. The Startup Launch Track is separate from the Startup Launch courses, which any undergraduate or graduate student may take as an elective.
Four Jindal School graduate students — Matthew Hinson, Alejandro Jacobo, Matthew Krenik and Nichole Mossman — became the first students to enroll in the MSIE Startup Launch Track in fall 2013. Hinson and Jacobo won the university’s Business Idea Competition in the graduate category in December 2013 with their idea, Rollout. The business venture is a patent-pending electronic blueprint display device for the architecture, engineering and construction industries.
The Tech Titans of the Future, University Award recognizes a North Texas university that encourages students to choose careers in the fields of engineering and technology, according to the MTBC website.
“This award category spotlights DFW area higher educational institutions’ tech-related curricula and incentives to perpetuate tech-related knowledge transfer,” the website says.
The MTBC will announce Tech Titan winners in 11 categories at a black-tie gala August 22 at the Hotel InterContinental in Dallas.