Recap Rewind: DisrupTexas Undergrad Pitch Competition Finals 2022
Written by Monica Garza
On Thursday, October 27th, 2022, four student founded startup teams from The University of Texas at Austin pitched their business concepts to a panel of judges in competition for $35,000 in cash and prizes at the 2022 DisrupTexas Undergrad Pitch Competition Finals.
DisrupTexas is an annual pitch competition for undergraduate students at UT Austin hosted by the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center. DisrupTexas is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for experiential learning and a chance for student teams to pitch their startups in competition for cash and prizes. DisrupTexas seeks to create a legacy of successful student entrepreneurs and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to innovate and attain their full potential. During the competition, students have the opportunity to hone their business strategy, get professional feedback on their pitches, and form lasting relationships with mentors in the Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The evening began with HKEC Director Luis Martins giving the welcome address to kick start the 2022 DisrupTexas Pitch Competition Finals. Deliberating this year’s pitch competition was a prominent judge’s panel consisting of Blake Settle, Founder and CEO of Rev Gum; Brian Cruver, Founder and Executive Chairman of AlertMedia; Carol Frank, Managing Director of BirdsEye Advisory Group; and Rajini Kodialam, Co-Founder of Focus Financial Partners.
First up to pitch were Alyssa Le, Janani Gopal, and Paulina Chee with Locket, a one-stop site that takes gynecologist-approved curriculum and converts it into easy-to-understand educational content for teens. Next, Hudson Gould pitched his concept, Renew Robotics, which is speeding up industrial composting with the C1 — a smart composter that takes hours instead of years to degrade waste. Siddharth Thakur and James Mahon represented Paradigm Robotics, a wirelessly controlled, obstacle-climbing tracked robot that can be deployed in burning buildings to efficiently search for and locate human life. The last entrepreneur to pitch his concept was Aryan Bansal with his startup, Disolv Energy, which combines biodegradable materials with solid-state technology to solve toxic battery waste with next-generation battery technology.
After a difficult deliberation period, HKEC Director Dr. Luis Martins revealed the judges’ decisions. He announced that after careful consideration, Siddharth Thakur and James Mahon with Paradigm Robotics would take home the 1st place title with $8,000. Hudson Gould with Renew Robotics came in 2nd place with $4,000, Aryan Bansal with Disolv Energy in 3rd place with $2,000, and Alyssa Le, Janani Gopal and Paulina Chee with Locket in 4th place with $1,000. The audience choice was Renew Robotics, which earned Hudson Gould an extra $100 for his venture.
The Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center extends a massive thank you to all participants, judges, HKEC workers, and attendees that helped make this year’s DisrupTexas Pitch Competition such a success, and best of wishes to all entrepreneurs in their outstanding ventures.