2017 BizVenture Cohort

  • Lauren Welch

    Lauren Welch

    St. Edwards University
    Business Administration/Management Lauren Welch is a senior majoring in Business Administration and concentrating in Management at St. Edwards University. She is an alum of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and a co-founder of a global digital healthcare company. Lauren Welch grew up in south Austin. Her father, a recovering drug and alcohol addict, spent the majority of his adulthood incarcerated, and at the age of 16, she worked 40 hours a week to contribute to the family’s household income. Lauren created stability when there was none. With the guidance of teachers and mentors, she found a path that fit with her experiences and skill set.
  • Caitlin TramAnh Vu

    Caitlin TramAnh Vu

    Texas A&M University - College Station
    Agricultural Communications & Journalism Caitlin TramAnh Vu, preferably Tommy, is studying Agricultural Communications & Journalism at Texas A&M University. Having a wide array of interests, she hopes to pursue a career in Public Relations and/or Marketing Outreach. Tommy is also a member of the Corps of Cadets and holds many leadership roles in a multitude of innovative and diversity-oriented activities across the A&M university campus. She enjoys adventures with the Boy Scouts of America as a Venturer. In her free time, she enjoys teaching herself Spanish through a phone app.
  • Barbara E. Segura

    Barbara E. Segura

    Texas A&M University- Kingsville
    Accounting/Finance Barbara Segura is working towards becoming a Certified Accountant and will be graduating with a degree in Accounting with a minor in Finance, from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in May of 2019. Barbara started working as a field worker at the age of seventeen to help provide for her family. She worked in the fields two consecutive summers before she began taking summer courses, eventually leading into her college career. Throughout college, Barbara has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has been on the President's List at her university. She is an active member of the Accounting Society and the Hispanic Student Association at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She leads by example and will always do whatever it takes to get the job done by finding solutions that work for everyone involved. She continues to work hard to set a good example for her community and make her dreams come true. Barbara has always dreamed of creating her own business and plans to make her dream a reality.
  • Yecenia Rojas

    Yecenia Rojas

    Texas A&M University - College Station
    University Studies Business/Economics and Communication Yecenia Rojas is a junior at Texas A&M University majoring in University Studies Business with a double minor concentration in Economics and Communication. She is looking for opportunities in the entrepreneurial realm to help develop her leadership skills and to build her communication expertise. She enjoys opportunities such as Bizventure, because it pushes her out of her comfort zone and allows her to maximize her full potential.
  • Bradley Ritschel

    Bradley Ritschel

    The University of Texas at Dallas
    Mechanical Engineering/Electrical Engineering Brad Ritschel is a sophomore McDermott Scholar, one of the most selective merit awards in the nation, at The University of Texas at Dallas, double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. In 8th grade, he co-founded a Doo Wop quartet called “The Whiptones”. As bass singer and manager of the group, his entrepreneurial spirit drove the group to produce three albums that have sold thousands of tracks, resulting in appearances such as their performance of the national anthem at Citifield in New York City on New York Mets Opening Day in 2014. He also co-founded Myelife Solutions, a biotech startup that aims to treat multiple sclerosis through gene editing. Most recently, they pitched in the Seattle regional finals of the TigerLaunch pitch competition, and are currently conducting research in the Advanced Cellular Engineering Lab at UT Dallas. In the future, Bradley hopes to live at the intersection of entrepreneurship and engineering, using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
  • Erick A. Quintanilla

    Erick A. Quintanilla

    The University of Texas at Dallas
    Information Technology Systems/Marketing Erick Quintanilla is a sophomore studying Information Technology Systems and Marketing at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is involved in several activities including the Entrepreneurship Organization of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), and is part of the Davidson Management Honors Program. Erick owns a start-up company with a fellow peer, Tejasvee Aurovatsa, called Pawprint, which functions as a network that connects several adoption centers in order to facilitate the adoption process and reduce euthanasia. Erick enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, playing the ukulele, singing, and going out with friends.
  • Jessica G. Munoz

    Jessica G. Munoz

    The University of Texas at Dallas
    Marketing and Innovation/ Entrepreneurship Jessica Munoz is double majoring in Marketing and Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Dallas. While working with Bank of America, one of the top banks in the country, she learned how to meet and exceed sales quotas and strengthened her communication skills. Jessica continued to develop her customer service skills when she joined Chick-fil-A as a Marketing Director. While her time at Chik-fil-A she implemented impactful events that showcased the brands value to the community that they served. These experiences have transformed her into a passionate individual, inspired her to help all businesses learn how to market themselves and their products.
  • Juan A. Morin

    Juan A. Morin

    The University of Texas at Dallas
    Finance Juan Morin is a first generation college undergraduate originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. He is a senior studying Finance and is graduating in December from The University of Texas at Dallas Magna Cum Laude honors. Juan has served as both the Treasurer and External Affairs Director for his university’s ALPFA chapter (Association of Latino Professionals For America) in addition to being a member of the Professional Program in Finance, an elite and highly selective organization on campus for finance students. Professionally, he has completed an accounting internship with McKesson, a securities operations internship with Goldman Sachs, and an on-going investment banking mergers & acquisitions internship with Commerce Street Capital. He’s an aspiring entrepreneur with interests in finance, technology, transportation, and industry disrupting ideas.
  • Jonathan Moreno

    Jonathan Moreno

    Texas Christian University
    Computer Information Technology Jonathan Moreno was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX and is attending Texas Christian University majoring in Computer Information Technology (CITE). Jonathan believes in people working diligently towards their goals, regardless of the obstacles they may face. His goal is to become a serial entrepreneur. He is tech savvy and the majority of what he knows is self-taught. When he is not in school he teaches Android Programming at The University of Texas at Arlington Division for Enterprise Development Continuing Education. His passion is technology but his muse is mobile development. He also enjoys reading, learning, and teaching.
  • Christopher R. Luca

    Christopher R. Luca

    Southwestern University
    Business Administration Chris Luca is a senior at Southwestern University and will be graduating with a Business Administration degree in May of 2018. During his college career, Chris has taken on leadership roles in Pi Kappa Alpha, such as Membership Chair, Social Director, and President of the fraternity. Chris is passionate about entrepreneurship, and has worked diligently since high school to hone his business skills. His professional experience includes retail banking with a local credit union, conducting research as an assistant with an insurance company, and conducted market research as an assistant with the office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the City of Austin. Chris is currently Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for SaveTireClub and believes that SaveTireClub can become a nationwide enterprise with additional investment, leadership, and strategic marketplace partners.
  • Donte D. Houston

    Donte D. Houston

    Southwestern University
    Philosophy/Race and Ethnicity Studies Donte Houston is a strong entrepreneurship professional graduated Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Philosophy from Southwestern University. Marine Veteran and experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in government administration, Donte Houston is skilled in intelligence analysis, government, intelligence, operational planning, and tactics.
  • Ana L. Flores Monarrez

    Ana L. Flores Monarrez

    The University of Texas at Austin
    Marketing/Finance As a Marketing major with a minor in Finance at The University of Texas at Austin, Ana Flores Monarrez takes pride in being known as a non-traditional business student because of her experiences working with different organizations such as: start-ups, law firms, grassroots-organizing groups, and non-profits. Ana was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in Baytown, Texas since the age of eleven. Her main goal is to be able to give back to the community, especially disadvantaged communities that lack access to higher education. This is the main reason why she is invested in the social entrepreneurship sector, which combines aspects of nonprofit and private businesses to solve social issues.
  • Everton Ferreira de Melo

    Everton Ferreira de Melo

    Tarrant County College
    Film/Business Everton Melo is a Brazilian international student at Tarrant County College (TCC) in Fort Worth, Texas. Pursuing a degree in Film and a minor in Business, Everton is currently working towards an Associate degree. During his first year of college in the U.S., he has had the opportunity to work on a couple of filmmaking projects. This year, Everton has produced and directed two short-films called: Waters of Life and Deception. The opportunity to direct these films was a platform for Everton to show his leadership skills.
  • David A. Contreras

    David A. Contreras

    The University of Texas at Austin
    Marketing/Arts Management and Administration David Contreras is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a degree in Marketing, with a minor in Arts Management and Administration as well as a Certificate in Global Management. He graduated Valedictorian of Del Valle High School in El Paso, Texas in 2015. His upbringing in El Paso is something that he is proud of and he believes, throughout the good and bad, that it has played a crucial part in shaping him into the individual he is today. He is proud of his culture and embraces his identity as a Chicano. He strives to live by his values of social justice, leadership, and enabling change. Ultimately, his goal is to be able to find a career that will allow him to continue to embrace his passion for the arts and practice his values.
  • Brian Bynum

    Brian Bynum

    Texas A&M University - College Station
    Business/Finance Brian Bynum is a senior at Texas A&M University - Central Texas, pursuing degrees in Management and Finance. He has served five years in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and worked for Barnes & Noble booksellers as a barista for two years while attending school. He has high hopes and aspirations to open a specialty coffee and beer bar to serve his area.
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