Every semester, UT Austin’s Longhorn Startup Program gives teams of aspiring student entrepreneurs from engineering, natural sciences and business the opportunity to pitch the companies they’ve developed throughout the semester to a packed house of investors, entrepreneurs and members of Austin’s thriving startup community.

On April 30, 13 student teams will pitch at Longhorn Startup Demo Day, following an interview between Cockrell School of Engineering professor of innovation Bob Metcalfe and founder and CEO of Dell Inc. Michael Dell. Dell will speak about his own startup journey and how his company continues to use startups to innovate.

The student teams that will present six-minute pitches will showcase innovative devices, software solutions, mobile apps and more.

This year’s list of featured Demo Day startups includes several that have been founded by or include Cockrell School students:

Gray Matter

In many sports, athletes run the risk of incurring major injuries. Gray Matter has engineered a new product that helps curb one of the most serious sports injuries — concussions.

Gray Matter’s G-FORCE Sports Mouthguard is an impact-sensing device that tracks and stores information about in-situ impacts to an athlete’s head. The Gray Matter team developed a microchip that can fit into a typical mouthguard and then designed their G-FORCE mouthguard with the chip built in. The G-FORCE is able to identify when concussions occur, send an alert to a mobile device through an app and track an athlete’s concussion history by storing data in the cloud.

Lyte Labs

For the hundreds of millions of people who suffer from diabetes, uncomfortable pricks of the finger to test blood glucose levels are factors of their everyday lives. Lyte Labs seeks to change that.

The startup is developing a wearable smart ring to eliminate the need for invasive blood testing. Using near-infrared spectroscopy, Lyte Labs’ smart ring could detect blood glucose through the skin without the prick of a needle. The data would be collected to support the user in his or her health and to give diabetics more specific information and readings in relation to their age or region.


Standardized test preparation can significantly affect the trajectory of young lives —but not all high school students have access to the same level of training. That’s where Prepify comes in.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of students in socio-economically disadvantaged communities, Prepify is a web application that will provide free SAT training content. Prepify’s free access and mobility will make it an ideal tool for families that may not have access to reliable transportation necessary to attend many SAT prep courses.


The current global push to encourage and boost STEM education can often come with a need for additional resources and access to materials. Aiming to make science education more accessible to underfunded institutions around the world, Sensus is creating a subscription-based software program with practical lessons that target the students who would be learning from it.

Schools would purchase the software and lease any equipment, such as tablets, which has subscription and leasing options that fit into the schools’ budgets. Groups of students will use devices to conduct experiments, guided step-by-step by the app, which will be prompted to ask questions to ensure students understand that lesson’s concepts. They are then able to immediately analyze and evaluate their results.


For those college-aged foodies who eat at odd hours and want to do so on a tight budget, it can be difficult to find the best deals. TasteBud, a location-based technology, aggregates area restaurant specials in real time, letting users know which eatery has the best deal for them in that moment.

The TasteBud app shows deals and discounts during off-peak hours, like the middle of the afternoon or right after the dinner rush. Users can also lock in the deals that they can use later by buying directly through the app.


About the Longhorn Startup Program

The Longhorn Startup Program started four years ago to cultivate a culture of innovation among undergraduate students and bring world-class entrepreneurial training to UT Austin. Metcalfe, along with Joshua Baer, co-founder of the Capital Factory in downtown Austin, and Ben Dyer, Cockrell School entrepreneur-in-residence, run the program and provide a for-credit business and entrepreneurship course for students. Longhorn Startup is part of the Cockrell School’s Innovation Center.

Throughout the semester, students create business plans, assemble multidisciplinary teams and launch their companies. They work with veteran entrepreneurs who volunteer as mentors. The Longhorn Startup Program also serves as a resource for UT Austin faculty entrepreneurs. For more information about Longhorn Startup, visit http://longhornstartup.com/.