Over the past month and a half, I have had the pleasure of being a part of the brand new 1 Semester Startup class. The class is one aspect of the entrepreneurship initiative that has been driving activities and programs here at UT. 1 Semester Startup is a multidisciplinary group of students, instructors, and mentors who are coming together with the sole purpose of starting companies. There are 3 instructors, 22 mentors, and 77 students forming 20 startups this semseter. The ideas and technologies driving these startups run the gamut: from data mining software, a social fashion app, a car company, and my personal favorite: a novel isotope separation technology ( but I’m biased, that one is my company). These are my fellow Longhornpreneurs. A new species of entrepreneur bred out of the UT student community and nurtured by the university and community as a whole.
The instructors for the course, Joshua Baer (Computer Science), Johnny Butler (Business), and Bob Metcalfe (Electrical Engineering), have curated a stellar speaker list to educate a diverse group of students working on even more diverse companies on starting a startup. Last week we had Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean, give a presentation on Lean Startup Methodology. We also hosted Frank Moss, former CEO of Austin’s Tivoli and former director of the MIT Media Lab. Michael Dell will be coming to speak in November, a public event meant to generate excitement about entrepreneurship in the UT/Austin ecosystem.
The 1 Semester Startup class is just one of the e’ship initiatives being implemented on campus. Tomorrow there is going to be a leadership meetup between the student e’ship organizations, the involved faculty across all disciplines, UT programs like the Dell Social Innovation Competition, and community e’ship accelerators such as the Austin Technology Incubator. We will be discussing ways in which we can better work together to promote and support each other’s initiatives. Collaboration is the key to success!