AUSTIN, Texas—Chipotle Group, an MBA team with plans to commercialize a unique electronic chemical sensor technology, beat out four other teams on Thursday, Feb. 5, to win the Texas round of MOOT CORP, the new venture competition hosted annually at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
As winners of the Texas round, Chipotle qualifies to receive $100,000 in investment funding, a year’s office space in the Austin Technology Incubator and advancement to the Global MOOT CORP® finals in Austin this May.
Chipotle’s chemical sensor technology, a biosensor for wastewater applications, was developed several years ago by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
This is the second time that a team of MBAs attempting to commercialize an aspect of the biosensor has won the Texas round of MOOT CORP®. In 1998, a team built a winning business plan around the same technology, but their venture faltered when the students ran into obstacles with licensing.
Over the last two years, the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization has worked on licensing issues and pursued other efforts to smooth the process of bringing campus-developed technologies to market. Through its work, the university now has a backlog of 80 technologies that would-be entrepreneurs can review for commercialization.
Campus-wide efforts, such as the recent Idea to Product technology competition, have further aided the initiative, bringing together students from business, engineering, law and science for entrepreneurial joint-ventures
This year for the first time in MOOT CORP’s 21-year history, a majority of finalists in the campus-round (four out of five) competed with technologies developed at The University of Texas at Austin.
Second-place this year went to LoDrag with a plan for using a university-developed technology to reduce the viscous drag on submerged surfaces such as ship hulls. With LoDrag, ships will go faster or at the same speed and burn less fuel.
First-place Chipotle will receive the $100,000 prize as a convertible bridge loan, intended to tide over the venture until it attracts seed funding. To qualify for the loan, the winning team must be committed to launching its venture, which Chipotle says it is prepared to do.
In addition to the free year in the Austin Technology Incubator and spot in the global MOOT CORP® Competition, Chipotle wins legal services from Haynes and Boone, plus a wealth of industry and venture capital contacts. The second-place team receives three months office space from Haynes and Boone.
For more information contact: The MBA students on the Chipotle team can be reached through Dr. Gary Cadenhead, director of MOOT CORP®, 512-471-5289, or through Ann Whitt, associate director, 512-232-6597, 512-699-7444 (mobile).