Welcome to MavPitch
The Maverick Entrepreneur Program and Award Fund was established to encourage UTA students to explore and express their business ideas in a friendly and encouraging environment. The program was launched in fall 2018 and consists of two phases. During Phase I, all UTA students are invited to submit a three-minute video pitch of a new venture idea. These submissions are evaluated and the highest caliber videos are then invited to present a six-minute pitch to a panel of judges who select the ultimate award recipients. The “winners” are then invited to participate in Phase II which involves mentoring, coaching, and access to other resources and the opportunity to participate in a second pitch competition.
Dream of starting your own company?
Have the idea and the know-how?
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE
Compete for up to $40,000 in venture development funds.
MAVERICK BUSINESS PITCH COMPETITION
The Maverick Business Pitch Competition encourages students to explore and express their business ideas. It is open to all UTA undergraduate and graduate students who can compete alone or in teams of up to four.
Individuals/teams will submit a three-minute video describing their business idea. A panel of judges will review the video pitches and select those that will be invited to present a live six-minute pitch for a chance to win up to $15,000 in venture development funds and much more in future semesters.
RULES, FORMAT AND FAQ
Video Submission Deadline - Friday, April 30th, 2021 - Three-minute video presentation
Semifinalists Announced - Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Phase I Finale - May 8th, 2021 - Live Presentation Round
Phase 2 Finale - August 2021 Specific Date TBA - Live Presentation Round
*Dates subject to change.
Frank Ridout, a Dallas-based college student and entrepreneur, was recently chosen as a winner in The University of Texas at Arlington’s MavPitch competition, awarding him a $15,000 grant to grow Frankly Good, a sustainable vegan cookie company.
The Maverick Entrepreneur Program and Award Fund
The Maverick Entrepreneur Program and Award Fund recognized eight outstanding student entrepreneurs at the virtual 2019/2020 Phase II MavPitch on August 13th. A total of $180,000 in development funds was awarded. The awardees are presented below along with brief descriptions of their business ideas and award amounts.
Patturn is a software company that empowers retailers to improve their returns processing capabilities. Our software captures a part of the reverse logistics supply chain cycle that is a key driver of profitability in the industry. Retailers will be able to improve their disposition strategies, and ultimately, add value to their returns and minimize waste. ($25,000 - Dennis Hoang)
uStaff is a modern, more streamlined method of utilizing temporary talent in your business. As business foot traffic expands and contracts throughout the year, the need for temporary work increases and decreases in an ever-changing capacity. U-Staff keeps you a click away from filling your temporary needs on a day to day basis without the long-term commitment. The app also allows those in need of part-time cash to find a quick, easily accessible job while helping businesses cover their short-term requirements. ($25,000 - Tiellen and Brian Boulanger)
Frankly Good produces 100% plant-based cookies, brittle, muffins, and other sweet treats. We use organic and non-GMO ingredients in everything we make, supporting local farmers and other regional suppliers whenever we can. Lowering our carbon footprint is also very important to us, so we work to be as sustainable and green-friendly as possible – even in our packaging and operations. All of our biodegradable cellophane bags and paper labels are made from sugar cane and we use either biodegradable raffia ties or reusable clips on top for closures. We bake our goodies on PFOA and PTFE-free pans, reusable silicone mats, and biodegradable, quilon-free parchment paper to keep chemicals out of our products and out of you. Although initially targeting farmers markets in the DFW area, we recently transitioned to online sales and wholesale channels. ($25,000 - Andrew Ridout)
Ethereal Flow is a new biotech, medical device company founded in March 2020 by a group of Bioengineers from UT Arlington. Ethereal Flow specializes in developing cutting edge medical devices for alternative medical therapeutics and diagnostics for a range of medical diseases. We currently are moving towards patenting our first device which is an innovative microfluidic system that can create targeted drug carriers for cancer therapy in a fraction of the time of most commercial machines. This device will be small enough to fit in one's pocket, yet hold the same capabilities as larger, more expensive equipment used by big pharmaceutical companies. Our mission is to provide the public with affordable medical devices so everyone has the opportunity to conduct research on several different biomedical challenges. ($25,000 - Ali Haider Mohamedi))
TinkaBox is small startup born from a desire to give kids a true joy of engineering by providing practical solutions to their everyday problems, in a package of surprises, delivered straight to their doorstep. We ourselves are a group of passionate engineering students, makers, and educators who have experimented with many STEM kits on the market, only to be disappointed with finding projects that fail to be useful in our daily lives. This kick-started our mission of creating projects that we truly wanted to use in our daily lives. Fast forward a few months later, we realized that our engineering projects are a great tool for empowering kids, and adults alike to solve practical engineering problems in their lives. Our startup focuses on creating quality practical STEM projects designed specifically to empower students of all ages to become creators of technology. ($25,000 - Brice Durbin and Phyo Sone)
Cordis Health is creating a portable ECG machine that can save and send ECG traces of patients to cardiologists in rural communities for evaluation. Our cloud-based real-time monitoring solution for patients with cardiac conditions, or those recovering from cardiac events, will be monitored using electrode modules, which will parse and transmit the data to an AI-powered cloud. Machine learning algorithms will then be used to analyze the EKG patterns, cross-reference them with a pre-existing dataset, and send the raw and analyzed data to the patient’s cardiologist for review. ($20,000 -Victoria Messerschmidt)
Gel Zone has developed a device that actively enforces hand hygiene at the point of entry for the medical industry. The device, Gel Zone Controller, uses motion sensors to detect entry into a patient’s room or other areas and emits an alarm if the individual crossing the invisible threshold fails to comply with hand hygiene protocols. The healthcare industry is the initial target market because of the prevalence of healthcare-acquired infections but the device should be appealing to other applications where hand hygiene is a factor. ($20,000 - Tyler Foust)
Curate is an app that will generate recipes for users based on responses to a series of questions. The app provides users with a personalized homepage that evolves over time as it provides recipes based on factors such as meal preference, skill level, and availability of kitchen utensils. In addition, the app will provide trending recipes, dietary tips, and grocer coupons. Revenue will be generated through advertisement, affiliate redirect percentages, and premium subscriptions. ($15,000 - Matthew Do)
Jeff McGee, Evelyn Torres-Gomez, Srini Gorty, and Tyler Foust
Brian and Tiellen Boulanger, Dick Moeller, Jeff McGee, and Rusty Mensch
Nick Barber, Jeff McGee, Victoria Messerschmidt, and Evelyn Torres-Gomez
Brice Durbin and Phyo Sone, Jeff McGee, Andrew Ridout, and Ali Haider Mohamedi
Nick Barber – Nick is the Founder and CEO of UMoveFree.com, an online apartment finding service. UMoveFree.com is one of the largest residential rental brokerage (apartment locating) companies in the country, with thousands of rental transactions brokered each month in leases worth more than $200 Million in annualized rental income. UMoveFree.com boasts revenues in excess of $11 million and employs a staff of more than 100 working from its corporate office in Irving/Las Colinas, Texas. Nick graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and received the College of Business 2014 Early Career Achievement Alumni Award.
Srini Gorty – Srini is a Founding Partner of Verge Ventures and has over 25 years of experience in architecting enterprise software applications using distributed computing environments. He successfully founded, grew, and exited multiple software companies including Evavi, an enterprise supply chain software company, SteadyServ, an inventory and order management system for the beverage industry, Leap Metrics, an enterprise spend management solution and Connected Analytics, an enterprise user experience, and behavioral analytics software business. He was also the Co-CEO of Patronpath, an online ordering, and marketing solution for restaurants that he successfully exited in 2016. Srini holds an MS in Computer Science from the University of Houston and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
Russell “Rusty” Mensch – Rusty is President and CEO of CFD International, LLC, the leader in helicopter armament systems. His career with CFD International began as the IT Manager and Production Technician in 2004. During his tenure in senior leadership positions, Rusty has transformed the company culture from “reactive” to “proactive” through leadership training, simplifying and streamlining workflows, and creating a custom middleware to supplement the ERP software. He has successfully negotiated and executed large contracts with the Department of Defense, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. He managed the acquisition of a fiber composite manufacturing business and assimilated the advanced composite materials and techniques into new product designs. In 2016, he directed a corporate restructuring resulting in a lean and profitable business. Rusty graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree.
F.H. (Dick) Moeller – Dick’s career spans more than 50 years of successful executive and entrepreneurial leadership in a variety of public and private companies, startups, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and community advisory boards. He currently serves as founding Principal of Enovate Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs, founders, companies, and organizations to achieve their full potential with strategic planning, mentoring/coaching, market strategy, governance design, and board services. Dick earned an MBA (’70) from Harvard University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering (’67) with Honors from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Jeff Smith – Jeff is an entrepreneur, innovator, and visionary. He was the co-founder of several technology companies including one of the first internet service providers (OnRamp/Verio) and four in the emerging Internet of Things (SensorLogic, Geomoto, Ublip, and QuantumIOT). Jeff has a B.S. in Engineering from Trinity University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from The University of Texas at Arlington. At UTA, Jeff was the Project Manager on the winning team of the AUVS First International Flying Robot Competition in 1991. Jeff has over 25 patents. In 2006 Jeff received The International Community award from the Ewing B. Kaufmann Foundation. This award recognized his social entrepreneurship mission in Honduras. Jeff is a Distinguished Alumni at The University of Texas at Arlington and is currently the Managing Partner of QuantumIOT.
Evelyn Torres-Gomez – Evelyn serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Solaris Technologies Services, an award-winning global telecommunications manufacturing company that provides innovative mobile tower solutions, also known as Cellular-on-Wheels and Garrett Security Solutions throughout the Americas. She has received numerous accolades including the Dallas Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award, an Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the year finalist, Dallas Hispanic Chamber “Excellence in Quality” award, and SMU’s COX Business “Top 100 companies in Dallas,” 2016-2021 Dallas 500: “The most powerful business leaders in DFW - Innovative Technology”, The DCEO “Outstanding Latino Business Award.” as well as the STEP award in manufacturing in 2018. Evelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas as well as an Associate degree in Marketing from Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas.