UT Tyler 2022 Big Idea Pitch Competition Winners Announced

Office of Marketing and Communications

November 1, 2022

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler announced the winners of the 2022 Big Idea Pitch Competition, which featured entrepreneurial ideas of UT Tyler students.

Hosted by the UT Tyler East Texas Entrepreneurship Center, the entry-level competition featured 19 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in business, education, engineering and nursing who presented various ideas across four tracks – health and life sciences, consumer products and services, social and climate and general. Ideas ranged from health apps to using a single-use face mask as an ingredient to improve pavement.

2022 Big Idea Pitch winners are:

  • Consumer Products and Services: Sergio Garrido of Colombia and Anthony Garner of Austin.
  • General: Rand Khalid of Iraq and Yoseph Mohmand of North Richland Hills and Kellen
    Niekamp of Mineola.
  • Health and Life Sciences: Linda Rowan of Winnsboro and Parker Wilmoth of Tyler.
  • Social and Climate: Elanie Ironsmith of Nacogdoches and Rami Khalifa of Jordan.

“I am proud of the work that the East Texas Entrepreneurship Center is doing, which is conditioning our students to be the next great entrepreneurs in business, health care, education and engineering within East Texas and beyond,” said Krist Swimberghe, DBA, dean of the Soules College of Business.

A distinguished panel of experienced entrepreneurs and community leaders, including John Soules Sr., Phil Burks and Bill McGaughey, selected the first- and second-place winners who earned cash prizes in the amount of $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The event was made possible through UT Tyler’s partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad, which helps students succeed in entrepreneurship while building next-generation companies and careers. ETEC’s next event will be the Business Model Competition in March 2023, where new and returning contestants will present to potential investors to win prize money for idea development and product launch.

The UT Tyler East Texas Entrepreneurship Center works to improve economic development through entrepreneurship and innovation programming. The center’s competitions and programs provide mentoring and potential funding opportunities to ensure that viable new ventures accelerate and scale more quickly. For more information, visit uttyler.edu/entrepreneurship-center.

With a mission to improve educational and healthcare outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT Tyler offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs to 10,000 students. UT Tyler recently merged with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (now known as UT Tyler Health Science Center). Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center (HSC) and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research and excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.