UT Entrepreneurs Place Third in SEC Symposium Competition

A team of Master of Business Administration students from UT’s Haslam College of Business placed third in an entrepreneurial pitch competition at the 2015 Southeastern Conference Symposium earlier this week in Atlanta.

SECsymposiumStudents Jake Rheude, Dustin Giltnane, and John Born presented GuruSkins.com, which was a 2015 Boyd Venture Challenge winner. GuruSkins.com brings together athletes and artists who design vinyl wraps for snowboards, wakeboards, surfboards, skis, and other sport boards. Athletes can use Guru Skins’ e-commerce store to browse submitted designs, read about the artists, and purchase a “skin” for their board.

The UT team competed against teams from the other thirteen SEC schools.

The competition was won by a team of Texas A&M University PhD students who created affordably priced high-mobility prosthetic devices using smart nanotechnology and next-generation materials for additive manufacturing (3-D printing). The second place award went to a team of University of Arkansas PhD students who developed a new economical design for solar panels.

The UT team consisted of Rheude, a second-year MBA student concentrating in supply chain and entrepreneurship and innovation, who is the company’s “founding guru”; Gilgnane, a second-year dual MBA-MS nuclear engineering student, who is the “operations guru”; and Born, a second-year MBA student concentrating in finance with international business, who is the “financial guru.”

The teams were presented their awards Monday by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

The SEC Symposium theme was “Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy.”