Launched in 2018, Aggie PITCH is the only university-wide business plan pitch competition at Texas A&M. This high-energy contest serves as a platform to display the exceptional startups currently being developed by Texas A&M current and former students. Ventures that compete at Aggie PITCH receive excellent exposure to possible investors, mentors, partners and more. In addition, Aggie PITCH serves as a networking event that allows all members of the Aggie entrepreneurial ecosystem to make connections and show support for each other.
Each year, Aggie PITCH awards thousands of dollars in prize money to competition winners. In addition, ventures that compete at Aggie PITCH become part of an exclusive group of startup founders who are eligible to represent Texas A&M at national and global entrepreneurial competitions.
Startups at all stages and from all industries are invited to compete at Aggie PITCH! Whether you’re launching a fintech venture or have invented an exciting new consumer product, don’t miss your chance to compete at Aggie PITCH.
Aggie PITCH is open to the public, and we invite you to join us on competition day to watch the pitches, build your network and enjoy the energy and excitement that comes with being part of the Aggie entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Applications Open Online: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023
- Application Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
- Finalists Notified: TBD
- Professional Pitch Coaching Session: Elevator Pitch Finalists (Mandatory): week of March 20-24, 2023
- Professional Pitch Coaching Session: Full Pitch Finalists (Mandatory): week of March 20-24, 2023
- Aggie PITCH (Competition Day): Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Any student currently registered at a Texas A&M University System institution or a former student that has graduated from a Texas A&M University System institution is eligible to apply. A list of those universities can be found here. Students and graduates from all degree and professional programs at these institutions are eligible.
Applicants can apply as an individual or as a team but must have at least ONE member that meets the current or former student criteria. Additional team members can be specified in the application and can be current or former students of a Texas A&M University System Institution or individuals that do not have any affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. However, only current or former students of a Texas A&M University System institution will be allowed to participate in the competition or receive prize money.
If a team consists of both current and former students, only one application should be submitted. To determine whether to apply as a current or former student, identify the Startup Lead and submit based on their status at the time of application. The Startup Lead must have a major role in founding/operating the startup and not solely by serving as an advisor, mentor, employee or consultant.
In addition to the criteria above, former student applicants may only apply with startup ventures that have raised less than $1M in external funding AND generated less than $250,000 in total revenue.
Company formation is not a requirement to apply. Startups in the concept phase and from all industries are encouraged to apply.
An online application is required in order to be considered for participation in Aggie PITCH. The application will include background and other information on the applicant’s startup or business venture, such as:
- Business summary
- Business Model
- Target Market/Size
- Customers – Current/Potential
In addition to the written components of the application, applicants must also submit a 60 second elevator pitch video. Not all team members have to appear in the video and applicants may use their best judgement/creativity when determining the content of the video. However, it should serve as a compelling and informative verbal representation of the information presented in the written application.
In developing both the written application and video, applicants should review the statement below regarding confidentiality as it is the full responsibility of the applicant to ensure there is no unwanted disclosure of proprietary information throughout the application and competition process.
Following the application deadline, all complete applications will undergo screening by experienced entrepreneurs, business professionals, and other experts that are part of the McFerrin Center Mentor Network. The scores determined during screening will be used to identify a select group of finalists that will be invited to participate in the competition. The criteria used to evaluate applications can be found on the JUDGES tab. More details on finalist requirements and the competition format can be found on the COMPETITION tab.
Aggie PITCH features three competition tracks – Full Pitches for current students, Full Pitches for former students and Elevator Pitches. The McFerrin Center invites experienced business experts to review all complete applications and score the online entries to select a group of finalists for each of these tracks. If selected as a finalist, the Startup Lead and any other eligible team members that intend to participate in the competition must commit to attending a 1-hour mandatory pitch coaching session prior to the competition day, as well as to attending the competition in-person.
Both current and former student Full Pitch finalists will present their business, product, or service to the audience and a select group of anonymous judges that are successful entrepreneurs and investors. Full Pitch finalists are allowed 5 minutes for their pitch, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Full pitch finalists will be allowed to use a presentation or other audio-visual equipment. Printed materials, samples, and/or prototypes are also permitted. The competitors with the top scores submitted by the judges are awarded cash prizes.
Additional finalists are selected to compete in the Elevator Pitch round during the Aggie PITCH event. Elevator Pitch finalists will be allowed 1 minute to deliver their pitch, without any Q&A or the use of any presentation materials or audio-visual equipment. Printed materials, samples, and/or prototypes will be permitted. The Elevator Pitch round includes both current and former students and is scored by the audience at large, with the top pitches also being awarded cash prizes.
In developing their pitch and presentation materials, finalists should again keep in mind that it is their full responsibility to protect all proprietary and confidential information.
The McFerrin Center hand-selects individuals from our network of mentors, successful entrepreneurs and Texas A&M University Faculty to review and score all complete applications, as well as to serve as judges for the competition day.
The criteria below will be used to evaluate and score applications for the purposes of identifying competition finalists, as well as by judges to determine which finalists will be awarded cash prizes. Recognizing that early-stage startups can be in very different phases of planning or development, both applicants and finalists will be evaluated on a relational scale, taking into consideration these criteria in the context of their specific stage of development.
- Is the startup addressing a significant problem?
- Is there evidence that customers will be willing to pay for their solution?
- Is the problem big enough to build a company around? What is the size of the addressable market?
- Will the solution/technology work? Is there evidence that the solution/technology is feasible and will actually solve the problem (e.g., lab results, field trials)?
- What is the competitive landscape? How are these problems being dealt with today, and does this startup have a significant, sustainable competitive differentiation?
- Is there any intellectual property (IP) or other defensible advantage? What is the status of IP ownership? Does the startup have access to a license or option to commercialize the IP? Are there other startups pursuing this market with similar IP?
- Is this team coachable? Would this be a team I could invest in and work with?
- Does the startup understand key milestones that need to be reached in developing this business?
2022 Current Student Full Pitch:
1st Place Winner ($7,500) | Flux Works LLC | Bryton Praslicka ’24, Daniel Zamarron ‘22
2nd Place Winner ($5,000) | Teale | Narendra Vishnumolakala ’22, Connor Ust ’22
3rd Place Winner ($3,500) | Flow-Pax | Haley Clark ‘23
2022 Former Student Full Pitch:
1st Place Winner ($7,500) | Wide Afternoon, LLC (Ovie) | Stacie Thompson ‘02
2nd Place Winner ($5,000) | ClaraTech | Clara Orlean ‘20
3rd Place Winner ($3,500) | SageSpectra | Madi Heck ’21, Mark Golla ‘22
2022 Elevator Pitch:
1st Place Winner ($1,500) | South Texas Security Gates | Carson Neal ‘22
2nd Place Winner ($1,000) | Imperium | Donald Bowen ‘25
3rd Place Winner ($750) | Unravl Hair | Zanbria Asante ‘18
2021 Current Student Full Pitch:
1st Place Winner | Phage Biosciences | Lila Ross ’20, ’21
2nd Place Winner | AI-Ris | Uthej Vattipalli ’22
3rd Place Winner | Olera, Inc. | Logan DuBose ’22
2021 Former Student Full Pitch:
1st Place Winner | Datalogz | Logan Havern ’19
2nd Place Winner | HelioWave Technologies LLC | Adrian Guzman ’08, ’12, ’19
3rd Place Winner | Divergene | Paola Correa, PhD ’15
2021 Elevator Pitch:
1st Place Winner | Real Rejuvenations LLC | R’riel Smith ’20
2nd Place Winner | Lazarus | Ben Omonira ’20
3rd Place Winner | Exosphere Fitness | Connor Pogue ’16, ’18
1st, LCLIP, Ahad Azimuddin ‘20
2nd, Zanbazan, Nargis Mougey ‘19
3rd, PolyLabs, Shree Arunkumar ‘21, Jacob Good ‘20, Mohamed Harhash ‘20, Daniel Prasca-Chamorro ‘20, Whitney Souery ‘20
4th, Lazarus, Elise Hackney ‘20, Ben Omonira ‘20, Seth Reine ‘20
5th, SKYPaws LLC, Brianna Boyle ‘16, Stephanie Young ‘21
1st, Bezoar Laboratories, Grace Tsai ‘16, Ryan Springer ‘18
2nd, Botryonyx LLC, Daniel Browne ‘17
3rd, SafeSpace Metal Detector Danial Kordi ‘18
4th, Swing Sleeve Michael Batsell ‘17, Ian Cash ‘17, Andres Crucetta Nieto ‘18, Mozheng Hu, Sara Van Kalker ‘18
5th, Teachr.com, Ram Panda ‘21, Jessica Skrobarczykca ‘18, Nathan Tupa ‘21, Anthony Vazhapilly ‘19