Qualia Oto won the 2021 UT Dallas Big Idea Competition Research Commercialization Track, bringing in a large check for the company
Anurag Jain, Ross Perot, Jr., Qualia Oto President Walter Voit and CFO Benedict Voit, and UT Dallas President Richard Benson recognize the Qualia Oto win.
November 10, 2021 – Qualia Oto edged out competition to clinch the top prize of the 2021 UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Big Idea Competition. Winning the Research Commercialization Track awards the company $100,000 to advance its business development. Qualia Oto CFO Benedict Voit led the company through the competition, and he accepted the check at the ceremony last night.
“This is a great milestone for Qualia Oto,” Voit said. “Not only will this prize accelerate our ability to expand the company, through new equipment, hires, and expanded operations, but also it reassures investors of our great value and potential.”
Qualia Oto is currently undergoing its initial capital round which is expected to raise over $1.25 million by the end of the year. Voit believes a big win during the capital campaign will only foster additional interest and excitement.
Applications for the Big Idea Competition opened in September. Individuals were required to submit information regarding the company, its relation to the university, its potential, and how the award would drive future growth. Qualia Oto was selected to move to the second round which involved more in-depth interview processes. The university then selected Qualia Oto as one of the three finalists to pitch to a live panel of judges last week at Pegasus Park, followed by a brief Q&A.
Voit, who is leading Qualia Oto’s initial capital raise, was excited about this opportunity, although he did note it was very different than his current modus operandi. “I’ve been presenting our company to investors for months now, explaining our background and providing detailed information. These conversations are anywhere between 30-90 minutes,” he noted. “For the Big Idea Competition, I needed to pitch the company in under 5 minutes yet still in a manner that is engaging and exciting.”
Qualia Oto CEO Connie Manz joined Voit for the Q&A. “The panel was clearly impressed with the IP that is driving the company,” Manz noted, “and they were visibly excited about our technology’s ability to enhance the current market.”
While the funds won’t be available for use until the new year, Qualia Oto already has big plans. “Lab equipment and raw materials are pricey,” Manz added. “Being able to buy our own high-grade equipment will be a critical next step in company development.”
In addition, competition winnings will support the hire of a new Chief Technology Officer as well as assist in the completion of the company’s capital raise.
Beyond the award, the Big Idea Competition also provided a new public platform for Qualia Oto.
“This whole process, and the awards competition specifically, was a unique opportunity to showcase Qualia Oto to a much larger audience,” Voit said. “It was exciting to introduce the company to a wide range of individuals, from Ross Perot, Jr., to Richardson’s Mayor Paul Voelker, to UT Dallas administration, faculty, and current students, to community members.”