Nick Spiller

UT Student Entrepreneurship Conference Speakers Announced

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

On September 15th the Technology Entrepreneurship Society and Scientific Entrepreneurship Society are teaming up to co-host the first ever UT Student Entrepreneurship Conference to provide the student body with exposure to the startup community at UT. The event will consist of 2 panels, a student startup showcase and free lunch thanks to the Austin Small Business Development Program. We have recruited the best faculty, staff and private sector startup experts to share opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students on-campus and around Austin. Have a startup idea? Don’t know where to start? This conference is meant for you.

RSVP at and see how UT-Austin will help make your dreams a reality.

UT Faculty and Staff Panel (morning)

Dr. Bob Metcalfe is the UT Professor of Innovation and Chair of Free Enterprise. He co-teaches the 1 Semester Startup Camp and was instrumental in the allocation of Longhorn Startup Camp. He is most notably known for inventing the Ethernet cord and founding 3Com, the startup that made Ethernet the industry standard. He spent the last 10 years as a Venture Capitalist at Polaris Ventures in Boston, MA. He also is the faculty sponsor of Technology Entrepreneurship Society and the NCIIA ambassador.

Dr. Gary Gadenhead is the director of the Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization Program in McCombs Graduate School of Business. Previously he served as the director of the MOOT CORP program where he grew the competition from 11 to 40 universities. He also served on the screening panel of the Central Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund supported by the governor’s office.

Isaac Barchas has been the director of the Austin Technology Incubator since 2006 and has developed the team that has grown ATI 3x. Previously he spent 8 years with McKinsley and Company where he focused on business building in industries such as biotechnology, software, wireless telecoms and internet retail. He is also an active board member for the Pecan Street Project, Austin Technology Council and the Central Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

Kyle Cox is the Austin Technology Incubator’s co-director of wireless technologies and lead advisor for ATI-University startups at Longhorn Startup Camp. He has 10 years experience starting and growing companies in New York as a Venture Capitalist, Chairman, CEO and consultant. His job at UT is to build on the success of entrepreneurial programs on-campus like the ATI-Seal Program, the “Innovation to Intellectual Property” course, Idea2Product Global Competition, Texas Venture Labs, 3 Day Startup and 1 Semester Startup.

Kate Brooks is the director of the Liberal Arts Career Services at UT-Austin and co-founder of the Liberal Arts Entrepreneurship course started in 2012. The purpose of the class is to allow liberal arts major explore the practice of entrepreneurship by developing their own business idea into a business plan. She is also the author of  “You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” and contains expertise in many other career planning areas.

Christina White is the director of the Longhorn Grand Challenges Scholars Program at UT, which is a curricular and extra-curricular program with five components designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges.

Austin Business Leader Panel (afternoon)

Rudy Garza is the founder and general managing partner of G-51 Capital in Austin where he works with some of Central Texas’ premier technology startups. In 2011 he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Texas Exes Association and is a lifetime honorary trustee of the Dell’s Childrens Medical Center in Austin. The startup seed was planted in Rudy’s career by UT technology commercialization pioneer George Kozmetsky during Rudy’s time as an MBA student at UT.

Josh Baer is the founder and managing director at Capital Factory in downtown Austin. He started his first company, SkyLink, from his dorm room at Carnegie Mellon and has been involved in a massive array of technology startups as entrepreneur, investor, advisor and mentor. He also co-teaches the 1 Semester Startup Class at UT.

Dan Graham is the founder and CEO of, which he started in college with his friends while trying to sell web development services to companies. Dan is an active supporter of the Longhorn Startup Community. He has served as mentor for many 1 Semester Startup companies and supports the entrepreneurship student organizations on-campus.

Noah Kagan is the founder and ‘Chief Sumo’ of AppSumo based out of Austin. He has spent time with companies like Microsoft, Intel and was a critical developer of Facebook from 2005-2006. He has been involved in many other projects including Entrepreneur27, which is an organization that produced events for young technology entrepreneurs to socialize and learn.

Carol Thompson is an entrepreneur, economic development strategist, mentor and business advisor. Carol served as CEO of a five-store ComputerLand franchise, co-founded HireTech and Thompson Executive Search. She has served on 30 boards including the Dallas Federal Reserve board and was Chairman of the Austin Chamber of Commerce board. She now runs the Thompson Group in Austin.

An Austin Chamber of Commerce Representative will also sit on the panel to discuss their activities and interest in the university startup space. The Austin Chamber is a non-profit, membership driven organization with 2,400+ business enterprises, civic groups, educational institutions and individuals. Their mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for their members.

Remember to RSVP at

  1. […] Austin Small Business Development Program. Participants were able to ask questions and network with a variety of entrepreneurship experts from UT faculty and staff to Austin business […]

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