Eight teams were selected through an innovative virtual competition.
The Texas Tech University Innovation Hub at Research Park announced the list of eight startup companies, judged by investors and accepted into the 2020 Texas Tech Accelerator program after a virtual competition hosted on Wednesday (April 1). Four community members, three student teams, and one faculty team received a much-needed total of $200,000 to launch their business in West Texas.
"This was an excellent Texas Tech Accelerator Virtual Competition experiment," said Kimberly Gramm, associate vice president of innovation & entrepreneurship. "I am so proud of all the startup finalists, the judges and the Innovation Hub team implementing our first virtual competition. It went off without a hitch – the technology worked brilliantly, and all the finalists competed at an impressive, high level. With the help of our partner, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, $200,000 is being awarded in support of creating new West Texas startups."
The Texas Tech Accelerator program is designed to help faculty, students and other entrepreneurs in the region launch startup companies or discover licensing opportunities based on proven ideas, inventions or intellectual property from university technologies. The startups gain access to initial seed-funding support, each receiving a $25,000 grant, co-working space, education and team mentoring during the yearlong process.
The 2020 Texas Tech Accelerator, Cohort 4 includes:
• Campus Live: A multi-platform collegiate media company with the goal of informing and engaging college fans of the exciting things happening at the schools they love. Team: Marcus Pauda and Regan Hestand, Texas Tech alumni and community members.
• Captivist: An app providing customers detailed information and analysis of social and environmental impact to make informed purchasing decisions pertaining to the quality, environmental and sociological and health of a product. Team: Joyous Njoku, Texas Tech student; Chris Cooper, community member; and Kristen Evans, Texas Tech student.
• Confocal TechMed: A diagnostic software technology utilizing machine learning with novel criteria that reads and interprets imagery captured in real time by a confocal microscope of an in vivo lesion on the surface of the skin. Team: Jasmin Rahesh, John Ciubuc, Ebrahim Payberah and Rohan Annand, all Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) students.
• CritiColl LLC: An app solution that provides a stress-saving platform for professors with tools to promote academic success for students. Team: Matheus Pagotti, Texas Tech student; Pedro Marafiotti, Texas Tech student; and Felipe Melz, community member.
• Good Line Beer: A hybrid production brewery and taproom focusing on providing equally high-quality beers and taproom experience for the fine thirsty folks in Lubbock. Team: Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips, community members.
• PCOS Innovations LLC: A research-based app solution to help women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that provides a nutrition guide, grocery list, recipes, BMI tracker, motivational videos and resources for support. Team: Dr. Jennifer Phy, TTUHSC faculty member.
• Valkon: A wearable-device subscription business that rewards youth exercise with points that can be used for discounts at nationwide retail stores. Team: Lee Lisemby, community member.
• Therapoints: An app that aids in the cognition of fine motor control, this treatment method helps people with cognitive difficulties regain functional capacity in their fingers. Team: Sierra Singleton, Texas Tech alumna and community member.