A steppingstone to startup success – Information Heart

A steppingstone to startup success – Information Heart

Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
• Linsey Retcofsky :

A steppingstone to startup success – Information Heart
Zuriel Lopez (left) and Luz Lopez

For rising entrepreneurs at The College of Texas at Arlington, the Deep Dive program provided by the Heart for Entrepreneurship and Financial Innovation (CEEI) in partnership with TechFW gives a steppingstone to success.

Deep Dive, a sequence of entrepreneurial workshops led by Hayden Blackburn, government director of TechFW, is an eight-week accelerator program designed to provide pupil entrepreneurs the increase they should rework their concepts into worthwhile companies. Every week, members obtain hands-on coaching on matters starting from buyer discovery and enterprise fashions to monetary forecasting and pitch growth.

“Deep Dive isn’t only a crash course in find out how to begin a enterprise,” Blackburn stated. “It’s a program that provides younger entrepreneurs actual instruments they will use as they construct their concepts and convey them to market. They’re constructing their enterprise acumen, expertise and a basis in entrepreneurship.”

This system is a requirement for any particular person or crew advancing from section one to section two of MavPitch, a enterprise pitch competitors hosted by the Maverick Entrepreneur Program and Award Fund in partnership with the UTA Faculty of Enterprise and the Faculty of Engineering.

In response to this 12 months’s MavPitch winners, the additional time spent within the classroom was price it. Zuriel Lopez, junior data techniques main, pitched his concept for the WeWant app, an ice cream truck locator that establishes direct communication between ice cream truck drivers and their buyer base. The thought received Lopez a MavPitch grand prize of $25,000.

Lopez, who’s himself an ice cream truck driver, stated methods that he realized within the Deep Dive workshops helped enhance his ice cream gross sales by 17%.

“The Deep Dive academics have been wonderful. We realized lots, however nonetheless had lots of enjoyable,” Lopez stated. “With out the Deep Dive program, I wouldn’t have received the funding to assist my enterprise.”

Throughout Deep Dive, Luz Lopez, (’22 BFA, Artwork) acquired sensible recommendation that helped her full the paperwork she wanted to license her firm. Vicious Creatures is a web-based store the place Lopez sells unique Ok-Pop and rock music designs printed on gender-neutral clothes.

After learning the basics of profitable startups, Lopez superior to win a grand prize of $25,000 within the MavPitch competitors. She stated the one-on-one mentorship she acquired in Deep Dive helped her overcome insecurities about being the one feminine entrepreneur in this system.

“It was intimidating at first to be the one girl in this system,” Lopez stated, “however the CEEI leaders helped me lots and scheduled conferences with me to go over my marketing strategy.”

Xoriunstance Brown, CEEI operations director, stated that whereas Deep Dive gives many assets, the scholars’ success is a testomony to their dedication and self-motivation.

“The Deep Dive program is a protected area the place college students can be taught and deal with challenges as they observe for real-world enterprise situations,” Brown stated. “We offer the instruments they should succeed, however they’re those who’re doing the work. I’m frequently impressed by their initiative and ingenuity.”

The CEEI, led by Brown and Matt Clark, college director and assistant professor of observe within the Division of Artwork and Artwork Historical past, fosters a supportive ambiance for UTA college students, students and researchers as they drive to innovate, commercialize new applied sciences and pioneer new corporations that may influence North Texas communities and the worldwide financial system. The middle, positioned on the northeast fringe of campus, hosts UTA’s Blackstone LaunchPad, a collaborative community of mentors and assets for rising entrepreneurs.