CBE Students Win Pitch Deck Competition

May 3, 2022

The 2022 Pitch Deck Competition is an early-stage pitch competition bringing together university entrepreneurs from all over New Mexico for chance to win $20,000 in cash prizes for promising business models.

Hosted by the UNM Innovation Academy and UNM Rainforest Innovations, the competition seeks early-stage business models that demonstrate a market-tested ability to adapt to customers’ needs. It is open to teams led by one or more students enrolled in a New Mexico college or university.

The 2022 Pitch Deck Competition is an experiential learning opportunity for would-be student entrepreneurs who are contemplating, starting, or operating an early stage venture, and who are looking to improve their pitching skills, with the potential to earn seed funding for their business model.

pitch winners

Chris Fetrow, Cameron Carugati and Nogc Nguyen won the first place on this year’s Pitch Deck Competition, that is a $10k cash prize sponsored by Lobo Rainforest.

Our pitch was to develop an Aluminum-CO2 flow battery that can be used for grid-level energy storage. Solar and wind energy are cost effective if we only count energy generation costs, but they remain uncompetitive once we factor in how intermittent their energy generation is. Being unreliable means they need large energy storage to smooth out their energy output, and there isn't a good solution for that problem. Their best options, lead-acid and li-ion, degrade too quickly (lead-acid) or are too expensive (li-ion). Our battery uses cheap materials, like lead-acid batteries, but has comparable performance to the lithium-ion battery. Plus, our battery can capture CO2 from the atmosphere which gives us access to the carbon capture and sequestration market. We asked for an initial investment to allow us to advance from our small-scale prototype to a design that can be used for grid energy storage.