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DisrupTexas Undergraduate Pitch Competition
DisrupTexas is an annual pitch competition for undergraduate students across the state of Texas.
Hosted by the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin, DisrupTexas is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for experiential learning and a chance for student teams to walk away with some serious cash.
The 2020 Application closes Monday, September 28 at 11:59 P.M.
Why Should You Apply?
1) $35k in cash + prizes
2) #1 city in Texas for entrepreneurs
3) Feedback, mentorship, networking
4) Supports building big ideas
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.
At The University of Texas at Austin, we believe that what starts(up) here changes the world!
How It Works:
This competition is all about changing the game, never settling, pushing boundaries and testing out innovative ideas. We’re looking for big ideas and the passionate students behind them.
Undergraduate entrepreneurs from the University of Texas at Austin are welcome to apply! The participating team must contain and be represented by at least one full-time or part-time undergraduate student currently enrolled.
Entrepreneurship is for everyone – diverse teams and innovative products across any industry are welcome. Top industries represented in previous years include: social good, oil and gas, entertainment, retail, business operations, SAAS, ed tech, and healthcare tech.
Important: ONLY undergraduates will be invited to pitch at the finals.
Beyond a full day of feedback from top Austin entrepreneurs and investors, you’ll be eligible for a chance at $35k in prizes, including free service offerings and perks from our sponsors.
1st place: $8K
2nd place: $4K
3rd place: $2K
4th place: $1K
$5,000 in Amazon Web Service Credits awarded to each team that places in the Finals
*NOTE: Awards will be processed as a scholarship or financial aid award. If you are an international student, taxes may be withheld.*
See more in Disclaimer
Applications are judged on the following criteria. Judges will review your background information and persuasiveness of your video pitch to rank:
Innovativeness: How novel is your core idea?
Achievability: How practical is the idea?
Scalability: Can the idea generate a sustainable and growing business?
Fundability: How clear are the benefits of funding for the idea?
Persuasiveness: Is your passion evident and can you convince people?
Quality: Overall quality of the application.
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the competition. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When is the deadline for the application?
The application deadline is Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:59PM. All applications must be received through the Reviewr submission portal.
Where do I submit an application?
Please visit the Reviewr application portal here.
What is needed to apply?
A completed application and 60-second video pitch are needed.
Do I have to be a student to participate?
This is a competition for undergraduate student startups; the undergraduate student(s) must play a central role in the business – combined ownership of at least 50% equity and be a founding member. Only undergraduate students will be invited to participate in the finals.
How many students can be on a team?
A minimum of one student can comprise a team. A maximum of three students per team will be invited to participate in the finals. Only undergraduate students may present.
Does the competition pay for my travel and accommodations if my team is selected for the finals?
No. You are fully responsible for all travel logistics and accommodations. The Herb Kelleher Center will provide information on suggested accommodations, free shuttles, and reduced-fare transportation during the event. Check with your university’s entrepreneurship center for possible grants or travel stipends!
Who can a “faculty advisor” be and why do I need one?
A faculty advisor could be a professor, academic advisor/counselor, dean, or other university-employed professional who is familiar with your work. This advisor may be contacted via email, but will not have any obligations for the competition.
When and where will the finals be held?
Finals will be held virtually on Zoom, Central Time on Saturday, November 7, 2020.
How can I get help or preliminary feedback on my application?
Applicants are encouraged to work with their faculty advisor before submitting the application. Additionally, helpful videos, how-tos, and articles can be found at the Herb Kelleher Center website and YouTube channel. No judges’ feedback will be given prior to the competition finals.
Does my venture have to be an established business?
No, this is a pitch. Having an established business is not required and does not impact judging.
Can I submit a plan for an established business that I helped found?
Yes, as long as it is still early-stage/startup and you are a current undergraduate student at a Texas University and play a central role in the business (founding member) with team members having combined ownership of at least 50% equity.
What colleges and universities are eligible for this competition?
The participating team must contain at least one primary team member that is enrolled as an undergraduate student full or part-time for the academic Fall 2020 semester at The University of Texas at Austin.
What is the format of the judging rounds?
First, applications will be judged virtually by at least three judges. The top teams will be invited to pitch at the finals on November 16th. Finals and semifinals will consist of 10-minute pitches plus a 10-minute Q&A and feedback session from the judges.
Are applications and presentations confidential?
No. Due to the nature of this competition, please do not assume confidentiality with any materials.
Can my company compete if I’ve already raised funding or have revenue?
Yes, as long as the participating undergraduates still retain 50% of company equity.
Financial awards will be paid to an individual student, not the startup listed in the application and will be awarded for the Fall 2020 semester. An increase in resources, including a financial award as a result of performance in the DisrupTexas Undergraduate Pitch Competition, may result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid funds or a requirement to repay awards already released to me. Finally, Financial awards may be used to pay outstanding payments owed to the university.
If you receive financial aid or owe money to the university, you should reach out to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or Students Accounts Receivable to determine how winning a cash award through the DisrupTexas Undergraduate Pitch Competition would impact money owed to UT or my financial aid status.
DisrupTexas 2019 in Review
Undergraduate teams competed in DisrupTexas, the fourth annual “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition sponsored by the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at the McCombs School of Business, on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
UT senior Rajya Atluri came in first place taking $10,000 in prize money representing Swayy, co-founded with fellow senior Clio Harralson. Swayy is an online peer-to-peer clothing lending service providing members clothing that is “new-to-you” and a green alternative to fast-fashion. Atluri and Harralson hope to utilize the idea of a “shared closet” to help women everywhere feel confident and empowered.
Teams made it
teams in Finals
teams in Finals
teams in Finals
teams in Finals