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UTA FabLab Presents Pitch of the Week finals

Pitch of the Week

Picture By Alex Price

Vinyl tarps, journalism, drones, three teams and a game show atmosphere.

Thursday was the final round of Pitch of the Week, a competitive event that challenges students to create the best business idea out of three random prompts hosted by the Department of Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Research.

The teams of three were the winners of previous Pitch of the Week events hosted each Thursday in November.

Sitting at benches in the UTA FabLab with TVs connected to their laptops so the audience could watch them work, the students had to create a product, business model and presentation in 20 minutes. After the time was up, the teams pitched their plans to the judges.

The Fearless Scarecrows, comprising computer science junior Divyanshu Sharma, nursing sophomore Whitney Adindu and electrical engineering sophomore Subrat Parajuli, took home the grand prize of $50 gift cards.

Drones that display information on vinyl tarps to people in dangerous and hard to reach places ultimately won. The judges couldn’t come to an agreement and deferred the decision to the audience.

Michelle Reed, a contestant judge and Open Education librarian, said she liked the team’s idea and nonprofit route but struggled to reconcile their interpretation of journalism.

“I think there’s a difference between information-sharing and journalism,” Reed said.

But the audience overpowered Reed’s hesitation and The Fearless Scarecrows won.

Students from all different colleges participated in the competition, said Asami Nagakura, StartUp Lounge strategic initiative coordinator.

Opening the event to all students, not just one college like Business or Engineering, helps students to be more creative and work with people who have different viewpoints and expertise, Nagakura said.

Sharma said he has been working on ideas and app development for a while.

“This was a good platform to actually showcase that side of me,” Sharma said.

Parajuli said he tries to do as many things as he can just to be involved.

He probably would have wasted the one hour on Facebook if he hadn’t signed up for the event, he said.

Sharma said their team really just cashed in on their individual expertise to win the competition.

Article By Anna Geyer, the Shorthorn staff