While class isn’t in session yet at the University of Texas-Austin just yet, plenty of students are skipping on quality hang time with their friends to perfect their startups. From car washes, to drones, and even something sweet, here are some Austin student startups to watch in 2018.
Krew Rideshare (UT)
Outside of Greyhound, Amtrak and Vonlane, there aren’t a whole lot of options for long-distance travel. Not only that, but both Greyhound and Amtrak are notorious for delays and require passengers to commute to individual stations. Enter Krew, founded by Kush Singh and Tanuj Girish, both University of Texas freshmen. The app helps consumers request a ride, get a pickup at their door, and be dropped off wherever they need to go, while using an algorithm to help maximize time and the amount the riders need to pay. The team has already accrued thousands in revenue since their launch in late 2017, and has created partnership with inner-city companies to serve as a transportation mechanism for their employees. Not only that, but the company was able to acquire funding from the Genesis Program, a program that provides UT Austin students with early stage funding and mentorship.
Elite Sweets (UT)
Who doesn’t want to eat sweets without feeling guilty over the high fat and sugar content? Elite Sweets hopes to change the healthy dessert game with a high protein, high fiber donut. The “core four” founders, former UT football players Timothy Cole and Caleb Bluiett, and UT graduates Amir and Amin Bahari, bonded over a love of football and sweets, and their involvement in sports was key in getting UT Athletics to buy into the brand. Elite Sweets is backed by the Genesis Program, and continues to iterate new products and expand to new markets.
Drones of Prey (Longhorn Startup)
As drones become more popular, there is a fear that consumers with sinister mindsets may use drones for not-so-altruistic reasons. Drones of Prey, founded by McCombs MBA students Kevin Lenau and Michael Cohen, seeks to build a security platform using radio frequency identification, visual and audio recognition and physical capture system to seek out invading drones. (Sounds, kind of fun, doesn’t it?) Drones of Prey will use trap claws and capture wire to take down invading drones. The company was selected to the Longhorn Startup Lab for the 2018 year.
Ultimate Drill Book (Longhorn Startup)
Marching band is serious business in Texas, and thanks to UT Alum Luke Gall, Ultimate Drill Book was created to help directors and drill members alike succeed in marching band. The company is another member of the Longhorn Startup class of 2018 and already boasts top marching band clients around the country including the Phantom Regiment, The Cadets and the Bluecoats. Not only that, but UDB has four products currently on the market, the UDBapp, the Ultimate Drill Book (integrated with Pyware), Ultimate Dot Book, which puts learning in the marcher’s hands, and the Ultimate Director Book, which puts a director’s materials all in one place.
SeatPotato (Texas Venture Labs)
Ever go to a game that’s so good that you don’t want to leave your seat for something to eat? Enter SeatPotato, created by UT MBA students Brandon Schreiner, MBA ’18, Ankit Baid, MBA ’18, and Todd Morrissey, MBA ’18. With SeatPotato’s technology, spectators can get merchandise and menu orders delivered directly to their seat- no more missing key moments (or halftime sideshows) of a game. The company has some extra funding to work with as well- they were the winners of the 2017 Fall Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition, which came with a cash prize of $10,000.
NuWash Car Wash (Longhorn Startup)
A Longhorn Startup alumni company, NuWash Car Wash is revolutionizing the way drivers get their car washed. Founded by 2017 UT graduate Walker Drewett, NuWash Car Wash brings professional car washers to the driver, wherever they are, at whatever time they desire. The washes are reasonably priced, and are performed by professional washers.
49er Miner (Longhorn Startup)
You didn’t think we’d get this far without mentioning crypto companies did you? 49er Miner helps introduce crypto mining to the masses. Three products, the Ore, the Pickaxe and the Miner offer consumers the ability to mine cryptocurrencies like etherum, Zcash, dash and Monero, while also having the capability to run virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift. Users can also store and track the performance of their coins through 49er Miner’s iOS and Android apps. The company was founded by recent UT graduate Mark Kilaghbian and is another member of the Longhorn Startup Class of 2018.