UIW HEBSBA Startup Challenge Competition

2023 H-E-B School of Business & Administration (HEBSBA) Startup Challenge Competition

On Friday, Dec. 1, from 1-3 p.m., the 2023 UIW HEBSBA Startup Challenge Final Competition organized by Dr. Jose Moreno and Dr. Teresa Harrison, co-directors of the Beckendorf Family Center for Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship, took place with five finalists competing for prizes.

Learn More

Investing in student entrepreneurs at UIW

The Startup Challenge at the H-E-B School of Business and Administration invests in the entrepreneurial aspirations of students at the University of the Incarnate Word.

The 13-week competition, held each fall semester, allows students to develop a business model from idea to actualization. The winning team is awarded $8,000 in seed money. The second-place winner will receive $2,500, and the third-place winner will receive $1000.


Cultivating Big Ideas

We are looking for students with new and creative solutions to real-world problems that support economic growth. This competition is specifically looking for ideas that:

  • Solve social problems on a global scale (health care, healthy food, electricity).
  • Offer value and wealth creation for people living below the poverty line in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Explore international or cross-border opportunities.
  • Offer and sell products/services to businesses rather than individual consumers.

Big ideas require a wide knowledge base. That is why the Startup Challenge encourages participants to build their teams with students with diverse areas of expertise. Marketing students teamed with engineering, or pharmacy students paired with communication arts – these teams can achieve more together than they could as individuals.

LU'UM | 2020

Valeria Ramos Curiel, Diana Jazmin Casas Del Angel and Santiago Meza – a team of students from UIW Campus Bajío in Mexico – won first place and $10,000 in the 2020 Startup Challenge. LU'UM transforms recycled rubber material from car tires and shoe soles into a flooring product for use in a myriad of applications, including schools, gyms and restaurants.

Read More About LU'UM

Journey Poles | 2019

Noah Silvas and Yolanda Martinez won first place in the 2019 Startup Challenge for their startup known as Journey Poles, which manufactures unique and colorful IV poles for use in children’s hospitals and health care facilities.

Read More About Journey Poles

Sinzuca Chocolates | 2018

Mohammed Al-Nasser, Yolanda Martinez, Matthew Silvas and Noah Silvas took home first place in the 2018 Startup Challenge with Sinzuca Chocolates – a health-conscious chocolate product infused with superfoods.

Learn More About Sinzuca


Professional Mentoring

students meet mentors for Startup Challenge

Each team is assigned a mentor to serve as a professional source of feedback and advice throughout the challenge. Mentors are local business leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in their respective fields.

The mentor relationship is vital to the success of each team. Each mentor will share a practical point of view on the team's business idea based on his or her experience and knowledge. Each team will be assigned a mentor by challenge administrators based on the expertise of each mentor as it relates to the team's business idea.

In addition to professional mentors, the faculty of the H-E-B School of Business and Administration provides guidance to students as they work to develop their business models. Workshops are held throughout the competition to allow participants to learn design-thinking skills including brainstorming, team building, networking and business model innovation.

Learn more about Startup Challenge mentors