A startup that competed in the annual MBA Venture Challenge at Mays Business School in February was recently admitted to Startup Aggieland as a client company. It joined the campus-based accelerator program’s Lifestyle group, exclusive for early-stage ventures that generate revenue.
ResponderX is a team of technical, non-technical and emergency service providers who are dedicated to engineering safety solutions for firefighters across the nation. Volunteer firefighter Andrew Jarrett formed the company team to promote the use of TaskForceTracker, his patent-pending technology consisting of small device attaches to the top of firefighter helmets and is able to provide critical information such as location and condition of the personnel on the scene.
He said he was inspired to create TaskForce technology to save lives after two local firemen lost their lives during a Feb. 2013 rescue at the Knights of Colombus hall. “Someone got lost in the fire and we had to go search for him,” Jarrett recalled. “When the dust settled, we realized that the guy they came to rescue was very close to an external door to the back building. That’s when it came to me that there is a better way to do this.”
ResponderX founders Jarrett and Jerry Lozano participated in the annual MBA Venture Challenge through Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in February 2016. Over an intensive two-week period, they worked with two Texas A&M MBA students whose task was to complete an in-depth analysis of the business and market segment of Jarrett’s startup company, ResponderX.
“Armed with the research provided to ResponderX by the MBA team, we were able to approach serious investors for the first time with a truly accurate depiction of our business valuation and well-documented market research,” said Jarrett.
The information helped Jarrett raise almost $200,000 in funding.
“The MBA Venture Challenge may have been one of the single most important things to happen to our startup in the past year,” Jarrett explained. “The research, projections, and recommendations provided to me by the student team we were partnered with were priceless, and we continue to use the materials they created to help us in our projections to this day.”
As a client company of Startup Aggieland, ResponderX has been assigned three mentors:
- Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Nathan Day, a retired founding CTO of SoftLayer and Texas A&M former student who lives near Austin;
- Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Kralyevich, a VP UX for Amazon in Seattle and a Texas A&M former student;
- Dave Manzer, an Aggie mentor for Startup Aggieland who owns Manzer Communications in Austin;
- Shelly Brenckman, a student co-founder and marketing coordinator as well as manager of the CNVE Mentor Network and Startup Aggieland’s Dormcubator.
Burnt gear from the firefighters who died in February 2013 is used to demonstrate how important safety is on the fireground.