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Tech students chosen as Delta Entrepreneur Network Fellows

January 12, 2017

 

STARLA GATSON
News Editor | sjg021@latech.edu

 

 

Aspiring entrepreneurs met at Louisiana Tech to vie for the opportunity to become Delta Entrepreneur Network  Fellows during the DEN Delta Challenge Competition.

 

 

The competition was a three-minute pitch competition in which teams presented their business ventures to the Delta Regional Authority.

 

 

Kathy Wyatt, director of Tech’s Technology Business Development Center, said the DRA selected four teams to present their business pitches at the competition.

 

 

“The Delta Regional Authority hosts the competition in six states around the south,” Wyatt said. “Entrepreneurs interested in competing submit a written summary of their business venture through an online portal. From those submissions, the DRA selects a certain number of individuals to make a presentation.”

 

 

Wyatt said Tech was well represented at the competition; three of the four competing teams were composed of students or alumni of the university.

 

 

“We had students compete and perform incredibly well,” she said. “Of the teams that pitched, three were selected as DEN Fellows. Of those three, there were two that were from Tech: Reflection Correction and Sreenivasa Sanakam.”

 

 

DEN Fellows were awarded access to business development resources, an introduction to networking opportunities and an invitation to pitch their ideas at the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March.

 

 

Sanakam, a biochemical engineering Ph.D candidate, is the founder of BetaFlix, a product designed to help students learn and apply trade skills including welding, nursing and plumbing by using 3D training platforms.

 

 

“BetaFlix provides educators and employers a unique animated video in a visual-interactive format, which allows visual learning, helps users clearly understand very intricate and detailed steps in processes and procedures and can be utilized anywhere or anytime,” he said.

 

 

Sanakam said attending the competition helped him enhance his entrepreneur skills and improve his business model.

 

 

“The DRA competition gave further validation to the niche BetaFlix has chosen,” he said. “The networking and implementation strategy to reach end users was further refined.”

 

 

Erin Maxson, a senior marketing major, is a member of the Reflection Correction team.

 

 

“We are working on a new car mirror system technology that uses facial tracking to eliminate all blind spots,” she said. “I am the only business major on the team, so I pitch during competitions and do the marketing and business side of things.”

 

 

Maxson said this was her first time attending this competition, and said it was a valuable and memorable experience that allowed her to connect with professionals in the business world.

 

 

“The overall experience is one I will never forget,” she said. “It was a great opportunity that has given us many contacts within the industries we are seeking out. This was far beyond anything we expected to do this year and we are proud to have had the opportunity to pitch for the Delta Regional Authority at this competition.”

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