Organized by Associate Professor of Marketing Scott Wysong, Ph.D., the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business’ first student business pitch competition, sponsored by Oncor, saw undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students all vying for the prize: $3,000 for the winning team, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
“We had students enter the competition with some really good ideas,” said Wysong. “We cannot thank our sponsor, Oncor, enough for their support, and hopefully, with money the students won, we’ll see the winning business ideas come to life in the near future.”
Kathy Milligan, BA ’91, MBA ’95, Area Manager for Oncor Kita Hobbs and Associate Dean and Professor of Management Greg Bell, Ph.D., all three served as judges for the inaugural competition reminiscent of the ABC entrepreneurial reality series Shark Tank. “We had a difficult time just narrowing the field down to the top semifinalists. Bravo to every team who stepped forward to compete,” said Bell.
Surviving the judging panel with 17 competing teams and business pitches was no easy task.
The top 10 teams advanced to receive advice from the Gupta College of Business MBA Advisory Board so as to improve on their ideas. Members of the advisory board consist of industry experts who routinely serve as mentors for final projects. In the first round of pitches, each team was responsible for explaining their concepted business plan via a three-minute video before moving into the semi-finals, at which point they were assigned their team mentor.
"Our team was overjoyed to win the competition, especially being up against so many great competitors,” said Paiten Baesa, BA ’23, the winning team’s captain. “We worked extremely hard, and it most certainly paid off in the end!”