Startup Aggieland Team gets Big Bucks for Big Idea

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

COLLEGE STATION, Texas A team of entrepreneurs at Texas A&M University's Startup Aggieland were given some major cash to help finance their latest idea.

The three-man team goes by the name of Gazoo, and they said their idea is going to change an industry.

"We are a disruptive cloud technology that is going to change the way people buy and sell software," said Chris McDonald with Gazoo.

The team said because of pending patents, they can't disclose what that disruptive cloud technology is all about just yet, but it should be ready for release by the end of summer 2014.

After the team was accepted into the program, they entered into a Startup Aggieland pitch contest, and had about one minute to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. The team didn't win, but they did catch the attention of DJ Monteilh and Bryan Bulte with Seed Sumo, a seed accelerator company in Bryan that gives money and intensive training to startups like Gazoo.

Seed Sumo usually invests around $20K to 50K to seed new business ideas, but in Gazoo's case, the company funded $500,000.

"This was absolutely worth putting in the extra money," said Monteilh.

The Gazoo team said they wouldn't be where they are now without Startup Aggieland.

Startup Aggieland is a university and donor based incubator, accelerator for students at Texas A&M University. The program accepts around 30 students per semester with ideas ranging from coffee shops to encryption platforms. The program offers them office space, seed funding, access to attorneys and just about everything else they'll need to give their idea wings to fly.

"We're looking for students who have good ideas, who are willing to work hard and have discipline," said Don Lewis with Startup Aggieland. "And who are really wanting to make something of their idea."

Lewis said he hopes the program will help keep a valuable commodity in town.

"Most of my life has been spent here in Bryan, College Station," said Lewis. "So I have a real affinity for making sure we don't export our greatest resource, which is often times, our students,"

For more information on Startup Aggieland or Seed Sumo, click on the links added to this story.

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