DisrupTexas Undergraduate Pitch Competition: 2021 Recap

From left: Luis Martins, Amaan Dosani, Mansi Parikh, Vin Chatterjee, Amod Daherkar, Matt Thomas, Abha Devine, Pavitra Kumar, Noah Mathai, Srikar Sadhu, and Michael Tucci

On October 23, 2021, the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center hosted DisrupTexas 2021, an annual pitch competition for undergraduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. During this pitch competition, student founders had a chance to build relationships through networking with seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals, hear expert feedback on their pitches, and further develop their business strategies. This “shark-tank style” pitch competition also provided founders the ability to win over $35,000 in cash and prizes to support the building of their startups.

This year, we had 16 undergraduate teams in the semi-final round, of which four teams made it to the finals. There were four divisions in the semi-final round, with four teams in each division. In the semi-finals, each team presented their 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges. These pitches were judged based on the problem, solution, and overall presentation of their startup. The presentation was then followed by a 10-minute Q&A where judges could hone in on specific aspects of the presentation and provide feedback. After deliberations concluded for each division of the semi-finals, four teams were selected to advance to the final round. These teams were Psykhe, WalkThru, Sensibed, and TipX.

The four finalist teams presented to a panel of judges as well as to a larger, public audience. Alongside standard judge questioning, audience members were able to submit and ask questions virtually to the teams, as well as vote on an Audience Choice Award.

From left: Matt Thomas, Psykhe team: Mansi Parikh and Vin Chatterjee, Abha Devine, and Michael Tucci

Psykhe won the competition, securing $8,000 in non-dilutive funding for their startup. TipX came in second place, followed by Walkthru and Sensibed in third and fourth. Psykhe also won the Audience Choice Award.

Throughout this competition, student founders were able to pitch and foster their ideas in a growth environment, as well as retain valuable feedback from members of the entrepreneur community. Special thanks to all the judges, students, and staff that helped make this event happen and for supporting our Longhorn entrepreneurs. If you are a UT student and want to take your idea to the next level, make sure to check out programming at uthkec.com.

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Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center

Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center

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At HKEC, we’re all about igniting world changing ideas and preparing UT Austin student founders with the tools for startup success. herbkellehercenter.com