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Week 10 came in hot. Teams spent Monday morning furiously revising and memorizing pitch scripts. That afternoon, we knocked out Pitch Practice #4 with pitch coaches Thomas DeSouza (Allegory Venture Partners), Melanie Jones (Marketing Interface), Keith Kreuer (RedHouse Associates), Jenny Li (Graylog), Michael Loup (GolfNet), Bryan McQuary (HATCH Pitch), Gayle Moran (RCEL), Beth O’Sullivan (RCEL), and Ray Simar (Rice University).

Tuesday morning, Rich Winley (GUI Global Products) gave us the scoop on his experience with the lean startup methodology. Later on, Tom Kraft (Rice Alliance) schooled us on why startups fail.
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Ziel Solutions develops wearable devices for reducing the risk of injury from physical activity. Their first product is a patent-pending sensory sleeve for baseball pitchers. Utilizing sensors that combine muscle and motion analysis, the sleeve provides real-time feedback about the major risk factors for injury — such as muscle fatigue and stress exerted on the arm.

Both electrical engineering undergraduates at Rice, Alex and Senthil met at a friend’s bonfire gone horribly wrong. Details spared, the victim was Senthil’s car. After the big rescue, they realized both of them were rising sophomores and working toward the same degree, so they quickly got to, as Alex phrased it, “turning cool ideas into even cooler realities.”
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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In his early years, Mike Evans, worked in a company's R&D department on a promising combustion technology. When his company decided to scrap the project, Mike Evans, along with a group of four colleagues, decided to salvage the project.

Just like in the infancy of any startup, there was hype and excitement, but Mike exercised caution with his team. His caution paid off: after the better part of a year, their company became profitable.
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The Bayou Startup Showcase is a celebration of entrepreneurship, the startup community of Houston, and the university accelerator programs that support them. Jointly hosted by OwlSpark and RED Labs, the Bayou Startup Showcase provides an opportunity for startup teams from both accelerator programs to showcase their businesses to the greater Houston community.
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500 registrants for Bayou Startup Showcase (and counting!)

132 customer interviews

60 sessions completed (this summer)

28 pitch practices

17 shirt designs

5 hot pepper pitches

2 fire alarms (thankfully, no fires)


Overheard at OwlSpark:

“It’s 12 miles away. That would take the pilgrims an entire day.”

“I took a day off work to help with pitch feedback.”

“How do I have five Internet Explorers open?”

“Yeah it’s English, letters are pronounced in different ways. That’s not a new concept.”

“Invest or I will arrest.”

“Don’t you feel like your teeth are losing their game? Cause you’re not eating anything?”

“What if everything was crowdsourced?”

“We are having a moment here and we don’t want to miss it.”


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Rodman Johnson '86  ·  Michael Kane '83  ·  John Spencer '94  ·  The Benificus Foundation

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