SEC Pitch Competition
14 universities, 3 finalists, 1 champion
The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the 2018 SEC Student Pitch Competition, a daylong “pitch-off” for the 14 schools in the SEC. The competition is meant to evaluate the quality of each team’s pitch and the investment viability of its business concept. Each SEC school also provided an expert alumnus judge to keep the competition fair and fierce. This unique event displays the entrepreneurial talent found across the Southeastern Conference. Each competitor is first and foremost a student, balancing the expectations of college life while working to launch a business.
Botryonyx represented Texas A&M this year. They took second prize at the inaugural Aggie Pitch competition in May 2018 with their secret weapon and namesake botryococcus braunii. This under-estimated algae turns waste water and carbon emissions into fuel and animal feed. The team is spearheaded by Dan Browne, a Ph.D. student studying biochemistry. He took his $12,000 in prize money from Aggie Pitch and used it to sponsor several senior capstone projects within the College of Engineering. His team now consists of almost a dozen current students with majors ranging from business to mechanical engineering. A crowd cheered on the top three finalists Oct. 8 at Kyle Field.
In August 2018, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship revealed some exciting changes taking place at Startup Aggieland, the student business incubator that serves Texas A&M. The programs and curriculum offered at Startup Aggieland will now center around a multi-phase “entrepreneurial journey.” Students and clients of Startup Aggieland will work with staff members to learn about the three phases: Explore, Pursue, or Launch. Included in the three phases are a first-of-its-kind pre-accelerator program, Startup Runway, and the Startup Aggieland Business Incubator, which will provide validated early-stage ventures with the resources necessary to formally launch and grow a business.
“Through our new programs at Startup Aggieland, we are providing an environment in which aspiring entrepreneurs can learn, test their ideas, network, and hopefully achieve their dreams of operating their own business,” said Assistant Director LauraLee Hughes. “We are excited about the impact these programs will have in growing the community at Startup Aggieland and helping more people realize that entrepreneurship can be for them too.
McFerrin Center also debuted its Mentor Network this fall to leverage the community of mentors and business professionals within the Aggie Network and Bryan/College Station community. The program is specifically designed to engage with mentors and professionals in meaningful and mutually beneficial ways.
Be a speaker, hold office hours, or work with an individual venture to develop the next generation of Aggie entrepreneurs.
Continue reading @Mays fall 2018