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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie PITCH awards $38,000 to startups

Photo courtesy of Clay Taylor

The Annual Aggie PITCH was held at the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship where 21 Aggie led Startups competed in full and elevator pitch divisions to win more than $38,000. 

Aggie PITCH, an entrepreneurial competition for current and former students, was held by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship on April 5. Aggie PITCH is the only university-wide business pitch competition at Texas A&M. Current and former students are able to pitch their startup ideas to professionals and get feedback. These professions include investors, partners and experts in the field that could work with the students in the future to help develop their  ideas.

This year, 21 startups were chosen to participate and ranged from a committed venture to an executing new product idea. Aggie PITCH awarded more than $38,000 in prize money to those who placed first, second and third in three different categories. The first category was the Full Pitch competition for current students, the second category was the Full Pitch competition for former students, and the third category was the Elevator Pitch. 

The full pitch divisions allocated competitors 10 minutes for their pitch, followed by any questions and comments by the anonymous panel of professionals.

The winners are as follows: 

Full Pitch Division: Current Students

1st Place ($7,500): Club Girl – Katie Calderon ’25

2nd Place ($5,000): Cosnetix – Greyson Newton ’21, Diana Salha ’25 and Cameron Walker ’22

3rd Place TIE ($3,500): AggieBus – Arvind Balaji ’24, Anish Karthik ’25 and Kirthivel Ramesh ’24

3rd Place TIE ($3,500): Redeemr – David Greek ’24 and Carl White ’24

Full Pitch Division: Former Students

1st Place ($7,500): Endpoint Security Inc. – Page Heller ’78

2nd Place ($5,000): Xplosion Technology Corporation – Jaylen James ’22

3rd Place ($3,500 – sponsored by LiquidAgents Healthcare): Empifany – Christopher Taylor ’07

In first place was manufacturing & mechanical engineering technology sophomore Katie Calderon with her pitch on a patent-pending golf club company made for women by women.

“Our goal is to solve the gaps in the women’s golf club industry by creating a club that focuses on how women swing and gives a personal customized fit to every user,” Calderon said. “I have been playing golf since I was 4 and have been working in the golf industry since I was 16. I came up with the idea through my experience in golf and the struggle to find equipment that fit my game just right.”

Calderon ended up winning $7,500, which she said will go into prototyping and helping take her company to the next level.

Two companies earned third place in the Full Pitch division with a statistical tie. The first of the two companies to win was “AggieBus,” and the pitch was done by computer science juniors Arvind Balaji and Kirthi Ramesh and computer science sophomore Anish Karthik. 

“AggieBus is a mobile app for iPhone and Android that shows where all the buses are in a fast and intuitive user interface,” Ramesh said. “We developed it because we thought people like us who take the bus every day would benefit from being able to quickly see where the bus is and are constantly listening to our users to see how we can make it better.”

This experience has been especially positive and educational for a lot of the competitors.

“All you need is one idea and the passion to make it a reality to create something truly great,” Ramesh said.

The second team that tied for third place was industrial distribution junior David Greek and business honors junior Carl White, pitching “Redeemr.”

“Our pitch was about our company idea, Redeemr; a company that helps Texas landowners and ranchers receive carbon credits for the carbon that their land and farming practices are sequestering from the environment,” Greek said. “Entrepreneurship is exciting. There’s no other career where you can be at the forefront of any industry or process to the level that entrepreneurship allows.”

In the elevator pitch category, competitors were allocated one minute for their pitches, followed by questions and comments from the audience. Aggie PITCH was open to the public and for this category, the audience got to vote on the winners.

The winners are as follows:

Elevator Pitch Division: sponsored by IndigoStone Advisors

1st Place ($1,500): Surgeon Support – Chase Lano ’25

2nd Place ($1,000): EValuate EV Charging Software – Cassie McQuinn ’21

3rd Place ($750): HemoVas Biosystems – Jason Eades ’26
In first place, winning $1,500, industrial distribution sophomore Chase Lano pitched “Surgeon Support.” 
“The vast majority of surgeons have recurring lower back pain due to the uncomfortable, static postures that they are forced to position themselves in, in order to most thoroughly conduct their surgeries,” Lano said. “My dad is a surgeon with this problem. My patent-pending product is called Surgeon Support. It is a cushioned pad that the surgeon is able to lean forward and rest his torso on in order to reduce muscle activity in the back.”

Lano said one of their passions for entrepreneurship comes from Shark Tank. The quote “A salary is a drug they give you to forget your dreams,” from Kevin O’Leary sticks with him, he said.

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