A&M-Commerce Venture College Fellows Win Third Place at Texas Cup

Following up on the huge success of the Lion's Innovation Showcase, several Venture College fellows from the Texas A&M University-Commerce College of Business were invited to partake in the Texas Cup, a pitch competition for college-aged entrepreneurs.

The event was hosted in conjunction with the Global Silicon Valley + SMU Mission Summit and concluded on the 24th of May with Shivani and Sachi Dodamani winning third place. From the hundreds of submissions and applicants that presented, the students' earned a top-three finish for their start-up called “Racquet Armor” – a highly innovative and inclusive prosthetic solution for athletes that lowers barriers and provides opportunities to enjoy playing racquetball, pickleball, tennis, ping pong, and other sports previously exclusionary to the specific needs of some amputees.

The event brought together over 500 prominent business leaders, visionary entrepreneurs and positive change-makers from around the world, all of whom have the firm belief that the business ideas of tomorrow will have the ambition of a for-profit and the heart of a non-profit.

Hosted at Southern Methodist University (SMU), the Texas Cup segment of the event featured a thrilling pitch competition for Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) college and high school students. With generous seed funds provided by Hoque Global and GSV partners, the competition highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity of the top universities in the region.

The Texas Cup Pitch competition attracted over 100 applicants, all vying for the chance to demonstrate their groundbreaking ideas across five fiercely competitive rounds. Among the standout participants were five talented fellows from the College of Business's Venture College: Paul Joseph, Archit Thanikella, Siddhant Singh of NOVA, and Shivani and Sachi Dodamani of Racquet Armor.

These exceptional individuals advanced to the fourth round, which featured only 12 participants selected from the initial pool of over 100 applicants. Shivani and Sachi Dodamani further distinguished themselves by progressing to the fifth and final round, prior to securing the third prize for their groundbreaking start-up.

Jacob Pouttu, Venture College Coordinator, expressed his enthusiasm for the event.

“The SMU + GSV Texas Cup is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and revolutionary events that encourages students to harness their entrepreneurial spirit to help solve tomorrow's problems,” Pottu said. “To witness our fellows being recognized for their creativity, passion, and drive to make a difference in the business and nonprofit world is a testament that reflects the College of Business's strategic vision to transform lives and impact communities through inspirational learning, applied knowledge, and forging impactful connections.”

Learn more about the Venture College.