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Texas A&M New Ventures Competition Winners' Circle Legacy Prize graphic.
The Texas A&M New Ventures Competition announces a new cash award for 2022, the Winners' Circle Legacy Prize. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

With the goal of ensuring that innovative technology- and science-based ideas become a reality, the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition (TNVC) is entering its eighth year with a new cash award, the Winners’ Circle Legacy Prize.

In its first seven years, the competition successfully generated and awarded $2.4 million in seed funding to support Texas-based companies with high growth potential. These funds have helped more than 40 finalists execute their ideas and advance product development. Now, these winners want to contribute a portion of their success to fellow entrepreneurs competing in the 2022 competition this May.

Chris Scotti, Daniel Powell, and Bala Haridas
Spark Medical was the winner of the 2019 Texas A&M New Ventures Competition. From left: Chris Scotti, chair of the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition; Daniel Powell, CEO of Spark Medical; and Dr. Balakrishna Haridas, professor of practice in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University. | Image: Dr. Joya Mannan/Texas A&M Engineering

“As a past competitor and direct beneficiary of the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition’s generosity, it is Spark Biomedical’s pleasure to give back to the community that gave so much to us,” said Daniel Powell, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Spark Biomedical. “TNVC is building a special community of entrepreneurs and innovators that we are proud to be part of.”

Powell won the 2019 competition and spearheaded the initiative to pool funds together among previous winners. With eight companies contributing in total, the Winners’ Circle Legacy Prize offers an added opportunity for finalists to win seed funding — in the form of cash — beyond the main prize pool for the development of new or advanced technology.

The 2022 Winners’ Circle Legacy Prize includes sizable sponsorships from GAITIQ, Elemental Coatings, Ictero Medical, Koda Health, M&S Biotics, SANO Chemicals, Spark Biomedical and Starling Medical.

“We are so proud of this new award, not only because of its direct impact on the companies the cash will help at a time when they need it most, but also because it speaks to the impact of the competition itself,” said Chris Scotti, director of new ventures at Texas A&M Innovation Partners and chair of the TNVC committee. “These companies benefitted from and believe in TNVC to the extent they are willing to write checks back to a new generation of Texas’ best startups, and this is only the beginning. As our pool of winners and their companies grow, we believe the award will grow as well, feeding a continuous cycle of innovation and entrepreneurship so important to our society.”

TNVC was founded in 2015 to promote the commercialization of emerging technology and provide a pathway for entrepreneurs to successfully complete the journey from concept to marketplace. Led by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Office of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Texas A&M Innovation Partners, The Texas A&M University System and generous sponsors, the competition continues to nurture the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by attracting a wide variety of technology innovations and companies that span the state of Texas.

Twenty companies — representing industry within the health care, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and cybersecurity market segments — will compete for a finalist position at the two-day, in-person competition. The total prize pool is expected to exceed $500,000. Each company will have the chance to earn one of six awards for the main prize, one of five for the elevator pitch and a host of other prizes, including the Winners' Circle Legacy Prize, where winners are selected by the sponsors.

To learn more about the Teas A&M New Ventures Competition and the opportunity to become a sponsor, visit the Texas A&M New Ventures website.