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Universities Team Up with the Rackspace Startup Program

Since its founding in 1989, The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a nonprofit unit of The University of Texas at Austin has been dedicated to adding value to technology startups. Over the years, ATI has evolved its incubation model as Austin’s tech economy has grown and developed focusing on Information Technology, Wireless Telecommunications, Bioscience and Clean Energy Technology. In just over 20 years of existence, ATI has worked with over 200 companies, helping raise close to $750 million in investor capital. Within the past three years of the “Great Recession,” ATI has incubated over 50 companies and helped them raise over $70 million which stimulated over $300 million in exit value for the ATI alumni companies.

Each summer, ATI hosts the Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch SEAL program, a two month accelerator for five select UT Austin student-led startups. The Rackspace Startup Program was invited to experience the early stage pitches from four of the five participating teams in the 3rd Annual SEAL program. “This 2011 SEAL class is extraordinary in terms of their technical sophistication and focus on solving specific, well-defined problems with technology-based breakthroughs.” Said Kyle Cox, the new ATI – On Campus Assistant Director.

The summer 2011 SEAL program includes an interesting mix of startup ventures. Vectralux is an optical transceiver vendor that enhances signal performance over multimode fiber. There could be a future for this device within Rackspace Hosting data centers. The ranching industry might have a new avenue for eliminating the manure problem via Azotergon whose concept is a novel waste treatment process that generates high-value nitrogen compounds. MedMa has a SaaS solution to help nursing homes prevent medication errors. Gyms and health clubs could benefit from The Body Browser which offers a 3D body surface scanning technology. And the fifth SEAL team was Virtegrity, a security software startup tackling the difficult virtualization market.

Bart Bohn, ATI IT/Wireless Director, Co-Founder of 3 Day Startup and Founding Director of the SEAL program said, “The continuing evolution of the SEAL program is critical to sustaining the momentum of student-led innovation and entrepreneurship.” And UT Austin continues its momentum of student-led innovation with the increased interest in entrepreneurship spurred on by several new programs like the Idea to Product Competition (I2P), the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition, 3 Day Startup and the Hatchery Class.

Check out this video as Bart Bohn talks in depth about ATI.

These are the University initiatives that the Rackspace Startup Program loves to team up with…we can’t wait to meet more and participate in every way we can. Many thanks to UT Austin and ATI for the invitation to experience the 3rd Annual SEAL program hands on and best of luck to this summer’s SEAL teams. If you’re University has a qualifying Technology or Entrepreneurial startup program in place, let us know at the Rackspace Startup Program by contacting Jeff Lamboy at jeff.lamboy@rackspace .com.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by John McKenna.

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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