Rankin College of Business

Mulerider EPIC is Southern Arkansas University’s first-ever virtual pitch contest. The competition aims to give students an opportunity to learn how to develop a business pitch and develop their business idea. Startup ideas and student owned businesses are welcome to compete. 

1st Place – $1,000

2nd Place – $750

3rd Place – $500

Forge Prize* $1000 for best pitch offering a solution awarded for the best pitch offering a solution to a social, cultural, or environmental problem.

SOAR Prize* $500 to best pitch addressing sustainability. Winner invited to present at SOAR Sustainability conference, April 20, 2023.

*These prizes cannot be awarded to the same entry. Can be awarded in combination with 1st – 3rd place awards.

Prize winners will also receive FREE access to the Launch Impact course “Find and Launch Your BIG Idea.”

Video pitches must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on November 1.

The top three candidates will be named by the panel of judges on November 8th.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be voted on by SAU faculty and staff. The winners will be notified on November 15.

Points will be awarded for:

  • Innovative and relevant business idea
  • Well thought out product or service that customers will appreciate (and buy!)
  • Knowledge of the market and the people who will be your customers
  • Details of how you plan to start or grow your business
  • Enthusiastic presentation


Instead of live pitches, contestants will record and submit a video of their pitch.

  • Business Concept– a two paragraph narrative pitch on your venture
  • Pitch Video– a one minute, thirty second pitch video
  • Pitch Deck– a three-five slide pitch deck that can be used during your presentation.


Pitch Structure and Examples
Frequently Asked Questions

In order to pitch, you have to be an actively enrolled student at Southern Arkansas University.

A good pitch is clear, emphasizes your passion and expresses a need. All contestants must include what they plan to use the prize winnings for and how it will advance his/her venture.

The pitch is no longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds – 90 seconds total. Please prepare a concise and detailed pitch for your product/service business.

A PowerPoint can be used, but is not required.

The judging rubric will not be released, but the judges will evaluate on concept feasibility, how well the company solves a problem, “investability,” and the individual’s enthusiasm for the idea.

  • Students with an idea to start a business
  • Students who have started a company
  • Students interested in enhancing their presentation skills
  • Students who want to explore the idea of starting a company
  • Students who want to demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate an idea to a group

NOTE TO STUDENT-PARTICIPANTS: All participants should be aware of something called 35 USC 102(b), which contains a nasty “gotcha” called an “in-use or on-sale bar” to patentability. This is not legal advice, look up 35 USC 102(b) yourself. Be familiar with this. Participants might want to consider (Prior to their presentations) taking their PowerPoint or other presentation materials, printing everything on 8.5 x 11 paper and mailing this into the US Patent Office with a check for $65 (Prior to their presentations). Doing so is not a cure-all, there are many other steps necessary in the patent process, but doing at least this can be somewhat helpful to somewhat prevent the nasty “gotcha” of 35 USC 102(b). Just be aware, doing nothing could harm your patent rights.

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