Rankin College of Business

Mulerider EPIC is Southern Arkansas University’s annual 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. 

The preliminary round is virtual with 10 undergraduate and 3 graduate teams moving to the final live presentation.

Undergraduate Prizes^

1st Place – $1,000

2nd Place – $750

3rd Place – $500

Graduate Prizes

1st Place – $750

2nd– 3rd Place – $100

^ Must present at EPIC LIVE to win

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 24, 2024.

*These prizes cannot be awarded to the same entry. Can be awarded in combination with 1st – 10th place awards.

Video pitches must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on October 23.

The top ten Undergraduate and top three Graduate presentations will be notified on October 30. These winners will be invited to present at EPIC LIVE in early November where awards for top ten undergraduate and top 5 graduate presentations.

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


For the virtual portion, the contestants will record and submit a video of their pitch.  You will need the following:

  • Business Concept– a two-paragraph narrative pitch on your venture
  • Pitch Video– three-minute maximum pitch video
  • Visual aid – pitch deck, prototype, something to support your idea.


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 should be no longer than 3 minutes in total. Please prepare a concise and detailed pitch for your product/service business.

A PowerPoint, prototype, or some other visual representation is 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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