Noumika Balaji
Mercury Staff

Co-founder of augmented reality platform for tourist attractions attended program to help develop young entrepreneurs

A UTD student startup was selected to participate in the Red Bull Launch Institute, a program Red Bull developed to support entrepreneurs.

Management and administrative sciences graduate Elaine Wang, who is the co-founder of Cthrough, was invited to participate at the program that “gives wings to entrepreneurs” at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin on behalf of her team, from March 8-10.

Along with Trusit Shah, a computer science graduate, Wang co-founded Cthrough, a technology company that provides an immersive augmented reality guidance to help visitors easily locate themselves at various tourist attractions.

“Currently, my co-founder and my other team members are working on building new experiences for Dallas,” Wang said. “They have given me the confidence to attend this event and showcase to other people our awesome technology.”

According to their website, the Red Bull Launch Institute shortlists and selects collegiate or seasoned entrepreneurs to help them gain exposure and knowledge on overcoming the barriers of access to resources, networks and funding.

“My team and I were invited to participate at the event and submit a 90-second video pitch as part of the selection process,” Wang said. “They selected six final teams and provided three days of training and networking.”

Participants in the program also came from Lehigh University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Princeton University and Duke University. Wang said it was a learning experience for her, as she listened to successful entrepreneurs who were invited to talk about their journeys at the event.

Following two days of training and networking, each team was asked to teach the attending audience on the third day, which was open to the public.

“Each team was given five minutes for their pitch, followed by a three-minute Q&A round, and then a conversation,” Wang said. “But we had to do this without any visual aid. It was challenging, but very interesting.”

Cthrough won second at the UTD Big Idea Competition in November 2016, and they are currently working on building experiences for Dallas.