Student entrepreneurs win $100,000 for water recycling startup

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POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 12:13pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 8:33pm

American Water Recycling, a UTEP student startup company, won the $100,000 UT Horizon Fund Student Investment Competition May 2 at The University of Texas System headquarters in Austin, UTEP officials announced.

The company, which uses the latest materials and technology to provide environmentally sound water recycling options at affordable prices, beat out 16 competitors who represented other UT System schools.

Eva Deemer, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering, led the AWR team. Her teammates are Diego Capeletti, an M.B.A. student, and Alex Pastor, a junior economics major.
There was no rest for the team, which has advanced into the semifinal round of the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, considered the Super Bowl of investment competitions. While they did not win, AWR was among 45 teams competing from top universities in the United States and around the world, said Aaron Cervantes, coordinator of UTEP's Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce.

"I feel we have a pretty good chance of winning [the global competition]," Cervantes said.

The global competition includes awards in excess of $150,000 in cash and in-kind services.
The AWR team initially qualified for the UT Horizon Fund competition by winning the regional Paso del Norte Venture Competition March 9 at UTEP. 

"We are on the verge of something big. This is not a joke technology. The sky is the limit," Deemer said. 

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