By Meredith White, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

COLLEGE STATION, JUNE 14, 2021 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its fourth annual Aggie PITCH on the evening of June 13, 2021. Aggie PITCH is open to all current and former students of the Texas A&M University System and seeks to identify the best Aggie business pitch. 20 startups were selected as finalists to compete for $35,000 in prize money across three divisions: current student full pitch, Former student full pitch, and elevator pitch. This is the first year that Former students were eligible to compete at Aggie PITCH. Each founder competing in a full-pitch division was allotted 10 minutes to give a pitch and answer questions on their business. A panel of anonymous judges made up of investors, successful entrepreneurs, and professionals was hidden among the crowd and selected the winners of the current and Former student pitch divisions. In addition, 9 current and Former student teams gave a 1-minute elevator pitch. Elevator pitch winners were selected by audience vote. The 2021 finalists boasted impressive entrepreneurial endeavors that included medical devices, novel SaaS ventures, and innovative consumer products. At the end of the night, the top startup pitches were announced and awarded significant cash prizes.

Lila Ross ’21, co-founder of Phage Biosciences, won 1st place and $7,500 in the current student full-pitch division. Phage Biosciences provides custom engineered solutions for fighting and controlling disease-causing bacteria. Due to the overuse of antibiotics, many bacteria have become resistant. Phage Biosciences wants to solve this massive public health crisis with their custom tailocins, which are antimicrobial proteins that punch a hole in a bacteria cell, effectively killing it. Ross, who traveled back to campus from out of state to participate in Aggie PITCH, said “Hearing all of the ideas and stuff I would have never thought of was a really unique experience, and so was getting to connect with people who share the same passions as you.”

Blake Petty ’98, Executive Director of the McFerrin Center commented, “The world doesn’t need more great ideas, it needs problem solvers. With Aggie PITCH returning in person, and now including Former students, the selfless service of fellow Aggies is able to thrive in the community that founded it and once again provide the community-based system that leads to the success of many entrepreneurs.”

2021 Aggie PITCH Winners

Current Student Division

1st Place ($7,500): Phage Biosciences| Lila Ross ’20, ’21

2nd Place ($5,000): Al-Ris| Uthej Vattipalli ’22

3rd Place ($3,500): Olera, Inc. | Logan DuBose ’22 


Former Student Division

1st Place ($7,500): Datalogz | Logan Havern ’19

2nd Place ($5,000): HelioWave Technologies LLC | Adrian Guzman ’08, ’12, ’19

3rd Place ($3,500): Divergene | Paola Correa, PhD ’15


Elevator Pitch Division

1st Place ($1,500): Real Rejuvenations LLC | R’riel Smith ’20

2nd Place ($1,000): Lazarus | Benjamin Omonira ’20

3rd Place ($750): Exosphere Fitness | Connor Pogue ’16, ’18

A full listing of the 2021 Aggie PITCH winners can be found at


Media contact: Shanna Spencer, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, (979) 458-8631,