COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Monday, Texas A&M's McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the 5th annual Aggie Pitch event. It's a time for buddings inventors and entrepreneurs to bring their best ideas forward in an effort to receive funding for their project.
Executive Director Blake Petty helped host the event for the current and future Aggie entrepreneurs.
"I like to joke that this event every year reminds me just what a bad student I was," Petty said. Not innovative, not entrepreneurial, because today's current students are really remarkable."
On the line for today's contestants was a total of $35,000 divvied up between nine winners. Three current students, three former students, and three elevator pitches.
The grand prize of $7,500 went to current students Bryton Praslicka and Daniel Zamarron of FluxWorks.
"Winning is exhilarating. It means that other people are as excited as I am about the technology. It means that people believe in it. People see the same future that we do," Praslicka said. "They're giving us funding to start pursuing that journey. So it's exhilarating. I'm still shaking a little bit."
Praslicka and Zamarron pitched their very own invention that they created at Texas A&M:motors with magnetic gears. Their motor has already garnered attention from Amazon and the Department of Defense.
"Imagine somebody at 18,19, 20 years of age who wants to go out into the real world and pitch their idea," Petty said. "Now they've got a real-life experience, the live-fire experience of doing that to a friendly audience that is actually looking to help them with their business."
Petty said the cash is great but the connections are even better and it's something Praslicka and Zamarron are already seeing first-hand.
"Who's the most important audience that you want to get in front of?'' I said the Army Futures Command because we have exclusive access to sell to the military being a U.S. owned and operated company," Praslicka said. "He said, 'great, I'm close friends with the associate director here in San Antonio', and he gave me his card and he's going to put us in contact. That just blew me away that Aggies will be willing to do that."