The Maverick Business Pitch Competition encourages students to explore and express their business ideas.


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.


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 who 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.
DO YOU... Dream of starting your own company? Have the idea and the know-how? Need funding?
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE Compete for up to $40,000 in venture development funds.

Enter Your Submission


Video Submission Deadline - Friday, April 26th, 2024  - Three-minute video presentation

Semifinalists Announced - Monday, April 29th, 2024

Phase I Finale - Thursday, May 9th, 2024 – Live Presentation Round

Phase 2 Finale - 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

David Nguyen

Vice President

Wells Fargo Technology Banking Group

Judge - David Nguyen

About David: David Nguyen serves as the Vice President within the Wells Fargo Technology Banking Group. He possesses a wealth of knowledge in supporting companies spanning diverse technology sectors, encompassing software, hardware, fintech, and technology-enabled services. David's expertise includes debt financing, treasury management, e-receivables, investment banking, asset management, and asset-based lending. His insightful perspectives and strategic counsel have played a pivotal role in empowering technology entrepreneurs to realize their business objectives.

Joel Knutowski

Franchise Owner

SuperGreen Solutions of Fort Worth

Judge - Joel Knutowski

About Joel: Joel Knutowski is the franchise owner of SuperGreen Solutions of Fort Worth, a solar, EV charging, LED lighting, and home efficiency solutions provider. Joel is a well-rounded business leader with extensive experience in the energy solutions and electrical equipment marketplace. His accomplishments include a successful track record in leadership, value-driven sales, sales team assembly, executive engagement, sales channel management, product management, business development, and marketing. Joel's specialties encompass strategic planning, resource allocation, P&L management, cross-functional team leadership, market and competitive analysis, process enhancement implementation, and new product development and introduction.

Srini Gorty

Founder & CEO

Leap Metrics

Judge - Srini Gorty

About Srini: Srini Gorty is a serial entrepreneur known for his remarkable ability to establish, nurture, and scale multiple SaaS software businesses over two decades. He is the Founder and CEO of Leap Metrics, a company specializing in healthcare analytics and care management SaaS software. Srini's vision is to accelerate the transition of healthcare toward value-based care, enhancing data accessibility and actionable insights for payers and providers of all sizes.

Ryan Jones

Vice President of Commercial Lending

Simmons Bank

Judge - Ryan Jones

About Ryan: Ryan Jones serves as the Vice President of Commercial Lending at Simmons Bank. Ryan has been an accomplished commercial banker in North Texas, specializing in serving small and middle-market businesses and real estate ventures since 2010. He currently serves on the board of Alliance Lending Corp, an SBA 504 Certified Development Company, where he can realize his passion for nurturing small businesses. Ryan resides in Mansfield with his wife and two children and enjoys hobbies such as traveling, reading, chess, and fitness.

Jim Grundy

CEO & Founder

Sisu Energy LLC

Judge - Jim Grundy

About Jim: Jim Grundy the CEO and Founder of Sisu Energy LLC, leads one of the nation's fastest-growing all-pneumatic frac sand hauling companies. Since 2018, his company has generated over $100 million in revenue without relying on significant financial leverage. Jim epitomizes the new generation of entrepreneurs by utilizing smart technologies and implementing his "PPP" (Praise, Promote, and Pay) initiatives. His achievements have garnered significant media attention, appearing on prominent outlets like Fox Business, CNN, USA Today, and Telemundo.