Student success app among 8 winners of Texas Tech’s virtual challenge

Eight winners receive a $25,000 grant and one year of mentoring and access to co-working space after the university's first virtual edition of the challenge.
Engineers at work
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Texas Tech University on Thursday announced the selection of eight startups for its fourth accelerator program, which was held virtually for the first time this year.

The companies — which range from a medical startup that uses machine learning technology to a brewery — each received a $25,000 grant from the university’s innovation hub after competing in a virtual competition hosted Wednesday. The competition is traditionally not hosted virtually, but was moved online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so proud of all the startup finalists, the judges and the Innovation Hub team implementing our first virtual competition. It went off without a hitch,” Kimberly Gramm, associate vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship at the university, said in a press release. “All the finalists competed at an impressive, high level.”

The $200,000 in funding awarded, which is part of a partnership between the university’s innovation hub and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, is devoted to incubating businesses in West Texas. In addition to funding, each startup receives one year of access to a co-working space, as well as education and team mentoring during the yearlong program.


The winners include four teams of community members, three teams of students and one team of faculty. 

Student teams:

  • Captivist, an app to inform customers about the social and environmental impact of products
  • Confocal TechMed, diagnostic software that uses machine learning to interpret imagery of skin lesions captured by microscope
  • CritiColl LLC, an app for professors designed to promote academic success for students

Faculty team:

  • PCOS Innovations LLC, a research-based app to help women diagnosed with Polcycstic Ovary Syndrome that includes nutrition tools, videos and links to other resources

Community teams:

  • Campus Live, a media company dedicated to informing college fans of the things happening at universities
  • Good Line Beer, a “hybrid” production brewery and taproom in Lubbock, Texas
  • Valkon, a wearable-device subscription service that rewards users with points that can be used for discounts at retail stores
  • Therapoints, an app that helps people with cognitive difficulties regain function of their fingers
Jake Williams

Written by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is a Staff Reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop. At StateScoop, he covers the information technology issues and events at state and local governments across the nation. In the past, he has covered the United States Postal Service, the White House, Congress, cabinet-level departments and emerging technologies in the unmanned aircraft systems field for FedScoop. Before FedScoop, Jake was a contributing writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has had work published in the Huffington Post and several regional newspapers and websites in Pennsylvania. A northeastern Pennsylvania native, Jake graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or IUP, in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. At IUP, Jake was the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Penn, and the president of the university chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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