Texas Stock Pitch expands to national level competition for first time

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Photo Credit: Henry Howard | Daily Texan Staff

Students from several United States universities pitched cases for investing in specific stocks to a panel of judges as part of the Texas Stock Pitch Competition on Saturday.

In past years, the event was a statewide competition, but the event expanded to a national level this year. Texas Stock Pitch provides an opportunity for students to present pitches, or arguments, for why investors should buy or sell stock in a certain company to finance experts and judges. Student organization University Securities Investing Team hosts this event every spring. 

Deepti Aravapalli, director of marketing for University Securities Investing Team, said she helped organize the event.

“(The University Securities Investing Team) puts on stock pitch competitions in order to allow members to practice pitching and to get feedback on their pitches,” said Aravapalli, a business honors program and Plan II sophomore.

Alumni and people from local Austin finance companies judge the event, Aravapalli said. While students often have the chance to pitch to one another at a team meeting, the critiques from expert judges at stock pitches are especially valuable to students, she said. 

“It’s cool to get feedback from people that are actually in industry,” Aravapalli said.

Finance freshman Jimmy Qian spent the past semester preparing for this stock pitch with his teammates. 

“(The competition) is a really great event,” Qian said. “We learn from our peers, and we also learn from judges. … It’s a good learning experience.”

Each stock pitch is broken down into four core components: the company overview, industry overview, thesis and evaluation. Teams first have to research the company and examine the industry, Qian said. Then teams designed a financial model to assesses a company’s value, and participants use the information to advise whether to sell a stock immediately or to invest in it, Qian said. 

The competition awarded over $5,000 in prizes to finalists. The competition is funded by corporate sponsorships and provides a $500 stipend to out-of-state teams, according to its website. 

George Rao, a teammate of Qian’s, said he viewed the stock pitch as a learning experience more than a competition. 

“After your pitch, … you get to see what parts of your pitch did well and did poorly, and then you (can) improve,” finance freshman Rao said. “People aren’t in it for the money … we are just here to learn.”