Startup Launch Projects Enter the Marketplace
Nicole Mossman MS'15
Entrepreneurial alumni who received grants from the Naveen Jindal School of Management recently presented their new companies to Texas Instruments executives.
Matt Hinson MBA’13 MS’15 and Alejandro Jacobo MS’13 MBA’15 introduced Rollout, a comprehensive, portable product for accessing blueprints, and Nicole Mossman MS’15 presented EverThread, a custom-fabric design company.
TI provided seed money for the JSOM Startup Launch grants that Hinson, Jacobo and Mossman received while they were still students. Steve Lyle, director of university and engineering workforce development programs at Texas Instruments, was among those who listened to the presentations.
“I really think this presentation should motivate other companies to make an investment like we did,” Lyle said. “From a TI perspective, this investment was money well spent.”
Matt Hinson MBA'13 MS'15 (left) and Alejandro Jacobo MS'13 MBA'15 introduced their company Rollout to Texas Instruments executives.
Hinson, Jacobo and Mossman had to satisfy a panel of JSOM professors to receive the startup funds. Mossman, who used her grant for IT development of EverThread, is on her fourth startup, which includes one that reached $10 million in sales. Hinson and Jacobo have garnered the construction industry’s attention and heavy investment for Rollout. Its software package is in beta testing.
All three earned a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship at the Jindal School and have received multiple awards related to startups, business ideas and launches. They are now working on iterations of their original ideas.
“Both of these groups have pivoted from their original product,” said Dr. Joseph Picken, founder and academic director of the UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “They will tell you they’ve learned something from the academic process.”
“The JSOM Startup Launch Track provides up to $25,000 in funding, but the amount is tied to completion of milestones associated with the business they are validating or launching,” said Madison Pedigo, director of UT Dallas’ innovation and entrepreneurship program.
Rollout and EverThread both met all the milestones and received $25,000.
Rollout plans to offer a comprehensive, portable product for architects and builders that will allow up-to-the-minute changes in blueprints to be accessed by all members of a design-build team.
EverThread connects designers who want customized fabric with suppliers who will print high-end fabric in small quantities. Mossman’s goal is to offer the service in retail settings — giving just about anyone access to highly personalized fabrics.
This story was reported and written by freelance contributor Jeanne Spreier.
Track for Entrepreneurs Nurtures Business Ideas
In just two years, the Startup Launch Track within the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship (MSIE) has ushered two viable businesses into the Dallas-area economy and was named a finalist in the Metroplex Technology Business Council’s 2014 Tech Titans of the Future, University Award.
Any undergraduate or graduate student at The University of Texas at Dallas may take Startup Launch classes, but MSIE students must apply to be admitted to the Startup Launch Track. Applicants must present a business concept to four JSOM professors, and those with accepted concepts are eligible for up to $25,000 in seed money along with mentoring and office space on the UT Dallas campus.
Students in the Startup Launch Track are expected to open their business either while completing their MSIE degree or within six months of graduation. The academics of the Startup Launch Track give aspiring entrepreneurs the business skills — from finance to marketing — for turning a sound business idea into reality.
Erica Yaeger, Jindal School assistant dean for development and alumni relations, said the process was designed to be deliberate.
“We don’t just cut them a check,” Yaeger said.
Yaeger said that Rollout and EverThread, the first two products to receive Startup Launch funding, were created by students with established records of bringing companies to market who had returned to school specifically to gain entrepreneurial skills.
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