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Oklahoma State University

Students win more than $10,000 in Virtual Pitch and Poster competition

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Protasia team of Eric Antonelli, Mangalam Sahithya, Anirud Reddy Vem and Mohit Saraswat was the overall winner in the Virtual Pitch and Poster competition.

A number of Oklahoma State University students were recently awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships while competing in the 2020 Virtual Pitch and Poster competition hosted by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship. The Virtual Pitch and Poster competition at the Spears School of Business is open to all OSU students and allows them to receive feedback on new business ideas or products.

The four-person Protasia team of Mohit Saraswat, Eric Antonelli, Mangalam Sahithya and Anirud Reddy Vem was the overall winner and won $2,000 in scholarships. The first-place winners in each of four categories were Sean Tolbert, Present Educational Resources (Social Enterprise), Jaxton Secrest, Payne County Beef Co. (Main Street/Lifestyles), Jackson Moore, MentorMatch (Big City/High Tech) and Courtney Brown, AGSPOSURE, and Muwanika Jdiobe, Jdiobe Food Industries (tie, Rising Entrepreneurs).

“I was absolutely ecstatic with the quality of competitors we had this year,” said Alex Ruppert, program coordinator for the event. “The way they adapted so well to a virtual program is a testament to their desire to succeed.”

Category winners and venture name:

Social Enterprise

First: Sean Tolbert, Present Educational Resources ($1,000 scholarship)

Second: Mayra Salazar, Light.Love.Live ($700 scholarship)

Third: Dawson Haworth, Charity Guru ($300 scholarship)

Main Street/Lifestyles

First: Jaxton Secrest, Payne County Beef Co. ($1,000 scholarship)

Second: Kameren Batiste, Phantom Beauty LLC ($700 scholarship)

Third: Emily Geest and Sarah Elzay, Pollinator Productions ($300 scholarship)

Big City/High Tech

First: Jackson Moore, MentorMatch ($1,000 scholarship)

Second: Mohit Saraswat, Eric Antonelli, Mangalam Sahithya and Anirud Reddy Vem, Prostasia ($700 scholarship)

Third: Braden Rubrecht, Bzzr ($300 scholarship)

Rising Entrepreneurs

First (tie): Courtney Brown, AGSPOSURE, and Muwanika Jdiobe, Jdiobe Food Industries ($1,500 scholarship for each)

The virtual competition on Oct. 23 included two rounds. In round one, each contestant made a 90-second pitch with a poster followed by a 90-second question-and-answer session with the judges. The top two teams in each category advanced to the final round, where they presented a three-minute pitch without a poster followed by a three-minute Q&A with the judges.

Visit the website to learn more about the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Ruppert | Coordinator, Outreach Programs | 405.744.7871 | alex.ruppert@okstate.edu

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