Texas Venture Labs Global Winner, Innoblative Designs, Closes Nasdaq in New York City
By Donnell Ocker Roy
On Friday, June 13, Innoblative Designs — winner of the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition (GVLIC) at The University of Texas at Austin — rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange. Innoblative Designs, a medical device startup from Northwestern University, is commercializing technology intended to improve the treatment of early stage breast cancer.
This marks the 12th year the winning GVLIC team and representatives from the McCombs School of Business have been invited to ring the Nasdaq closing bell. McCombs representatives on hand for the bell ringing included Dean Tom Gilligan; Texas Venture Labs Director Rob Adams and Program Manager Ann Whitt; Accenture Venture Partners Jaime Sutton, BBA '06, MBA '13, Aimy Steadman, MBA '13, and Andrew Zimbroff, Engineering Ph.D. '13; Senior Associate Dean of the MBA Program Eric Hirst; Assistant Dean of the MBA Program Tina Mabley, MBA '98, and MBA program staff Stacey Rudnick and Gabrielle Zandan; and Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Donnell Ocker Roy. Accenture and Wells Fargo, corporate supporters of the Texas Venture Labs Program, were represented by Andrew Vo, BBA '95 (Accenture), Alexis Perez (Accenture), Ashley Grosh (Wells Fargo Foundation), and Doug Mangum (Wells Fargo).
While Innoblative Designs rang the closing bell, the McCombs group and various company supporters cheered and clapped. The group then moved outside for photos in Times Square in front of the digital Nasdaq tower.
Along with the opportunity to ring the bell, as part of the package for winning GVLIC, Innoblative also received a $25,000 prize and a $25,000 launch program with the Austin Technology Incubator. The co-CEO of Innoblative, Tyler Wanke, said that winning the competition is a big deal; "it really is the Super Bowl of business plan competitions."
Jaime Sutton, one of the TVL Accenture Venture Partners, captured the excitement of the event. "As a McCombs MBA alumna, having the opportunity to close the Nasdaq with this group of individuals was amazing, and I was proud to be representing our University in such a big way," she said. "Experiencing the [Nasdaq] production studio and having your picture taken in Times Square is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!"
Dean Gilligan summed up the event, saying the Texas Venture Labs program has really captured the entrepreneurial culture at the McCombs School of Business and in Austin, Texas and that he has seen the participants' endeavors grow into scalable and profitable businesses.