This Saturday, the Texas Shark Tank will hear innovative proposals from students on their pitch day at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. TST is an annual entrepreneurship competition hosted by the University Securities Investment Team and Texas Convergent.
Story by Emanuela Schneider
Like the television show, “Shark Tank,” the event gives UT students the opportunity to pitch a business idea to a panel of real investors and entrepreneurs. This is the second year that the competition has been hosted on campus. The group of judges, also known as “the sharks," include UT alumni, professors and entrepreneurs who founded their own projects.
The competition started off with a two week incubation period during which students took workshops and worked on their projects. This year, TST received over 50 project idea submissions and accepted 25 of them. The winning teams will receive assistance to further their business ideas. This assistance includes memberships to co-working spaces and free services from Deco, a design organization on campus, to help design logos and mockups.
USIT vice president Joseph Lee explained the beginnings of TST. His team recognized “an absence of a link between investors and students with ideas.” They started TST to help students fund their ideas and grow UT’s startup community.
Lee says that his attraction to the event is its powerful impact. “Austin is a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation but UT Austin isn't fully integrated into this new world,” Lee says. “Hopefully, we'll be the next Silicon Valley, but a better version because of Tex-Mex.”