The Global Venture Labs Investment Competition (Global VLIC), the longest-running investment competition for graduate student entrepreneurs, will hold its 30th annual competition May 2-4 at the ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
Often referred to as the “Super Bowl of world business plan competitions,” this year’s Global VLIC features 40 teams that gained admittance by either winning a qualifying U.S. or international competition or via the new open berth system.
“This event brings together innovative new ventures from around the world that have proved they are ‘investor ready’ based on their track record at other competitions,” said Rob Warren, assistant director of the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs.
Teams participating in this year’s three-day event will compete for the Global VLIC grand prize of $150,000 that includes $25,000 cash. Unlike other competitions, the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition focuses on providing cash prizes to the winners because, says Warren, “we believe this is a more effective means of supporting venture development than promises of investments that may not materialize.” Thanks to generous sponsorship by Wells Fargo, this year’s competition has a standalone $20,000 cash prize in the Wells Fargo Clean Energy Challenge.
More than 40 percent of this year’s teams come from outside the U.S. and represent such countries as Colombia, Thailand, India, Norway, France, Australia and Brazil. Teams from the U.S. represent such schools as Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Johns Hopkins and The University of Texas at Austin. The ventures being presented by these teams range from special effects pedals for electric guitars to a system for helping oil firms in the Permian Basin increase their output by maximizing the effectiveness of their carbon dioxide flooding systems.
On Thursday, May 2, the TVL Venture Expo will be held. This event features new ventures ready for commercialization and funding from the Austin community and across the university. Ventures from the three primary commercialization hubs at the university the Austin Technology Incubator, the Office of Technology Commercialization and the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs will be represented at the venture expo.