H-E-B School of Business and Administration (HEBSBA) Startup Challenge Competition Finalists

On Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 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.

The 2023 UIW HEBSBA Startup Challenge Competition winners are:

  • 1st place $8,000 2Hydro Hero (students from the UIW Campus Bajio in Irapuato, Mexico)
  • 2nd place $2,500 RGV Freeze Dried Treats
  • 3rd place $1,000 GYV

Mentors for this year’s competition include:

  • Desmund King, Co-Founder, Assymbly Sport LLC
  • Joyce Deuley, Director of Research & Innovation, Zpryme
  • Brad Bowen, Owner Operator, Texas Medical Screening & CSI Health
  • Joshua Sanchez, CEO, FloatMe
  • John M. Taboada, Intellectual Property Attorney, Taboada Law Firm
  • Mariangela Zavala, Director of Partnerships, Geekdom
  • Bo Carrington, Coach / Consultant, C12
  • James Casey, Esq., CPP, Research Attorney and Data Protection
  • Dr. Okan Calagyan, Associate Professor of Engineering, UIW
  • Dr. Tomas Rosales, Visiting Professor, UNAM 
  • Dr. Sarah Prifitera, UIW Fashion Studies Professor 

Judges for the final competition were:

  • La Juana Chambers Lawson, Founder & CEO of Tacit Growth Strategies
  • Chris Edelen, Owner & CEO at Safe Showers LLC 
  • Dr. Reid Fisher, UIW MS in Athletic Training Director
  • Amy Lynn Johnson, Founder of The Dog Guide  

We want to thank all of our mentors and judges for sharing their expertise and time with our students.

About this Event

The 2023 UIW HEBSBA Startup Challenge theme is “Impact, Innovation, & Sustainability.” The competition will be held during the fall semester. Participants will complete three preparation workshops and work with a mentor. Students successfully completing the workshops will earn a Business Opportunity Assessment certificate of completion. UIW students, faculty, and staff from all programs and campuses are eligible to participate.

The H-E-B School of Business and Administration (HEBSBA) is committed to holding a successful challenge to highlight and reward the dedication of entrepreneurs at the University of the Incarnate Word. The 2023 Startup Challenge Competition is sponsored by the HEBSBA and the Beckendorf Family Center for Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship (BEC).

Teams must register electronically, including a description of their startup idea, from August 14 until the September 15 registration deadline using the following link: SCC Registration Form.

A review committee then screens submissions. The teams selected will be added to the 2023 Startup Challenge Competition in Canvas to confirm and acknowledge the rules and their participation. Participants will attend a face-to-face Kickoff networking event on September 22 resulting in each team being paired with a mentor.

Participants are also required to participate in three preparation workshops (via Canvas, asynchronously online) and will earn the Business Opportunity Assessment certificate by submitting all deliverables by October 27.

  • Workshop 1: This workshop will cover opportunity recognition, defining and validating your ideas, design thinking, business model innovation, customer discovery research, and marketing strategy.
  • Workshop 2: This workshop will cover financial analysis for startups, cost analysis, margin, burn, and volume (MBV) for the business model, pricing, and finding funding.
  • Workshop 3: This workshop will cover preparation for becoming an entrepreneur (establishing a personal/professional network, setting up operations/start-up, legal issues, creating and managing a team, ethical issues, and creating a mission statement.
  • Participants who successfully complete the three workshops for the competition and submit the required deliverables will earn their Business Opportunity Assessment certificate.

The final deliverable for Phase 1 will be a Business Model Canvas developed within the workshops and in consultation with the team mentor.

By November 3 teams who will advance to Phase 2 of SCC will be announced.

The teams with successful submissions of the Business Model Canvas and confirmation of progression in the competition will begin gathering relevant data to continue to develop their startup idea. They will continue to meet with their mentors.

By November 20, an executive summary of each team’s business plan is due, uploaded to Canvas.

The final presentations will be on December 1, 2023. All teams will present their final projects in person to a group of judges and audience members. The competition is open to the UIW community. Each team will make a 10-minute presentation to the judges. The judges will then have 5 minutes to pose questions to the participants. At the end of the presentations, the judges will deliberate for up to 20 minutes, and the winners of the SCC will be announced.

$13,000 of startup prize money will be awarded

  • 1st place - $8,000
  • 2nd place - $2,500
  • 3rd place - $1,000

The event is sponsored by the Beckendorf Center for Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship, The University of the Incarnate Word and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.

The Startup Challenge is open to all UIW students – undergraduate and graduate – regardless of major or program of study. UIW faculty and/or staff may join a student team. Cross-disciplinary teams are encouraged.

Please review the guidelines within the registration form to learn more about who can participate in the challenge and the requirements for business ideas.

  • Students may only participate in teams of 2-5 people. Individual submissions are not allowed.
  • Students are restricted to participation on a single team to avoid conflicts of interest between business ideas and lack of commitment to one particular business idea.
  • A team may consist of students enrolled at UIW, as well as faculty and staff employed by UIW. UIW faculty and staff are eligible only in the following scenarios:
    • If the UIW faculty or staff member is the founder or originator of the idea, and/or
    • If the intellectual property of the startup in question is owned by the UIW faculty or staff member.
  • The list of team members registered at the start of the competition may be modified during the competition until October 27. If a team member is dismissed from or voluntarily quits the team and the remaining team comprises less than two members, that team is no longer eligible to participate and will be dropped from the competition unless an additional member is added before the deadline above.
  • The proposed business idea must be wholly owned by the participating students for the duration of the competition and may not infringe upon the copyright or other intellectual property right of any third party.
  • Prior UIW Business Plan Competition or New Venture Startup Competition award winners are not eligible to enter the same business plan or a spinoff of that plan. However, teams or team members that have received a previous prize or funds from UIW can compete if their business idea submission to the Startup Challenge is completely different from their prior competition submissions.
  • Competition administrators make the final determination of eligibility.

Prize Awards for the Winning Teams

The following requirements apply to the winning teams and must be followed in order to receive the $8,000, $2,500, or $1,000 in seed money, for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, respectively.

  • The team is required to use a portion of the seed money to register a legal entity name or register a name for your business.
  • The team must use the seed money to implement the intention of the original business plan presented to the judges of the competition.
  • Any changes to the original intent of the startup must align well with the mission of the original business plan presented to the judges of the Startup Challenge.

Legal Considerations for Participation

Participants are required to adhere to the terms, conditions, and guidelines of the 2023 Startup Challenge Competition. Once teams have been cleared to participate based on their registration submission, all members will complete an acknowledgement of the rules and guidelines (in Canvas).

Rights Reserved

UIW reserves the right to change the General Rules and Eligibility to Participate at any time, in its sole discretion, and to suspend or cancel the Startup Challenge or any entrant's participation in the competition should unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond UIW’s control, affect the administration, security or proper play of the competition. No responsibility is assumed and entrants waive all claims for lost, late or misdirected entries, or for technical malfunctions or problems, the website or any combination, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer resulting from any causes. Entrants who violate the Startup Challenge rules, tamper with the operation of the competition or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to the Startup Challenge, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in UIW’s sole discretion), are subject to disqualification from the competition. Sponsors reserve the right to remove and disqualify any entrant whose eligibility is in question.

Release and Waiver

By entering, participants, without limitation, release and hold harmless UIW, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind in connection with the Startup Challenge; including intellectual property and/or lost business opportunities damages. By entering this competition, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in the rules or in the competition itself.

Students retain the rights to the plans regarding its use prior to and following the contest. The plans may not contain any knowingly false information about the background, experience or education of the team or the performance of the venture’s proposed or existing products/services.

The winning team members may be required to submit a completed W-9 form.

This Agreement and competition shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas and exclusive venue shall be in Bexar County, Texas.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

This Startup Challenge honors the confidentiality of all participants' business ideas and proposals. Business ideas, overviews and plans will not be copied for any purposes other than use in this competition.

All submitted information is deemed the property of the participating teams. All judges and staff are working professionals and investors who routinely evaluate business plans and understand the need for confidentiality and sensitivity of the materials being presented to them. However, they do not sign any non-disclosure agreements to participate in this competition. Teams are strongly encouraged NOT to provide any specifics or details that are considered to be intellectual property or the key to intellectual property. There will be no penalty in judging when a question or issue is not fully addressed because of concerns over confidentiality.

Student presentations are open to the public. Students are encouraged to use discretion when sharing technical information about their products and services in public venues to help protect any intellectual property rights they might have.

As a competitor, you are responsible to protect any information concerning your business that you share with mentors, team members and fellow participants of the competition. UIW takes no responsibility for unwanted disclosure in these instances. Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the teams participating in the competition.

Publicity Release

Participant irrevocably consents to and authorizes UIW, its officers and employees to photograph, publish, exhibit, reproduce, edit, modify, distribute, display or otherwise use or reuse the participant’s image, voice and/or likeness, with or without the product or presentation, in all markets, media or technology, as long as there is no intent to use the image, voice and/or likeness in a disparaging manner. University may exercise any of these rights itself or through any successors, licensees or other parties, commercial or nonprofit.

Participant waives any right of review or inspection and agrees and understands that UIW shall be without liability to participant for any distortion or illusionary effect resulting from the publication or dissemination of any likeness, audio recording or other image.

Participant understands that UIW exclusively owns all rights to these images and recordings irrespective of the form in which they are produced or used, and authorizes UIW to use the items, at any time in perpetuity without further compensation or permission.