Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) is The University of Texas at Austin’s selective summer accelerator that picks the most promising emerging UT startups (undergrad, grad, and occasionally faculty teams) and helps them confront their next market-driven milestone. SEAL started in 2009 with the goal of empowering student entrepreneurs to vet their ideas, test the waters, learn the tips and tricks of entrepreneurship, and try their hands at obtaining funding.
The nine-week program provides:
- Mentorship: Participants learn from industry and/or field experts who offer guidance and insight on industry-specific deal killers.
- Lunch and Learns: Tutorial sessions provide key knowledge areas needed to build a scalable business including market sizing, financial forecasting, and intellectual property strategies.
- Fundraising Pitch Development: Teams pitch their projects on the first day, develop and improve the plan throughout the program, and present the business pitch on Decision Day.
- D-Day: The program culminates with a Decision Day where based on individual research and expert advice, teams decide whether their project can survive the real world or not.
- Relationships: Participants get to know other entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors from the broader Austin startup ecosystem.
Over the last 11 years, 33% of companies went onto to raise funding, while 33% shut down around the end of the program. (The No-Go decisions are equally celebrated as it takes special effort to recognize market-driven obstacles to an opportunity and realize that it is right not to pursue it.) To date, SEAL alumni companies have raised $100M and generated over $400M in valuation. Notable alum include Favor (acquired by HEB), M87 (acquired by XCOM), Lynx Laboratories (acquired by Occipital), Accordion Health (acquired by Evolent Health), Flo Recruit, Elite Sweets, Ordoro, and EQO to name a few.
Since 2009, SEAL has been run by Austin Technology Incubator – UT’s deep tech incubator and LaunchPad’s sister organization. Starting in 2019, LaunchPad staff now heads SEAL in continued partnership with ATI.
SEAL 2020 is happening June 4 – Aug. 6. The application deadline is May 1.
SEAL Class of 2019
ElecTrip – Electric vehicle transportation city to city.
HiPR Innovations – Smart cushion, designed to fit any wheelchair, that dynamically alleviates areas of high pressure to reduce the risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Picko – Food delivery for college campuses.
Plexus – Provides a communication and location services platform that is reliable in limited cell environments.
Pocket Innovations – Medical device company aiming to eliminate the occurrence of pocket hematoma post pacemaker implantation.
Swayy – Clothing aggregator that creates curated shopping experiences.
Wheelist – Automotive listing company helping dealerships more effectively and efficiently list their cars for sale online.
Amigo Analytics – Provides predictive analytics to help B2B sales organizations sell more with less effort.
LoCoal – Diverting organic waste from landfills to generate renewable clean energy while capturing carbon in value added products known as biochar.
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