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 the fall of 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.

Do you...

Dream of starting your own company?
Have the idea and the know-how?
Need funding?


Compete for up to $40,000 in venture development funds.

Video Submission Deadline - Monday, May 1st, 2023


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.



Video Submission Deadline - Monday, May 1st, 2023 - Three-minute video presentation

Semifinalists Announced - Friday, May 5th, 2023

Phase I Finale - Thursday, May 11th, 2023 – Live Presentation Round

Phase 2 Finale - August 2023 Specific Date TBA – Live Presentation Round

*Dates are subject to change.

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Frankly Good

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 Judges

MavPitch Judges Part 1
Jeff McGee, Evelyn Torres-Gomez, Srini Gorty, and Tyler Foust

MavPitch Judges Part 2
Brian and Tiellen Boulanger, Dick Moeller, Jeff McGee, and Rusty Mensch

MavPitch Judges Part 3
Nick Barber, Jeff McGee, Victoria Messerschmidt, and Evelyn Torres-Gomez

MavPitch Judges Part 4
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.

MavPitch - The Maverick Entrepreneur Program and Award Fund

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.