Texas Tech University

Image of former TTU K-12 students from Brazil participating in the Rawls College of Business Red Raider Startup event.

Former TTU K-12 students, Rafael Andrade and Pedro Egidio (on the right) with their partners in the Rawls College of Business Red Raider Startup event.

Brazil and Business

Former TTU K-12 students from Brazil participate in the Rawls College of Business Red Raider Startup event.

by Lucy Worley

November 17, 2017

Rafael Andrade and Pedro Egidio are sophomores at Texas Tech University double majoring in Business and IT, however, their Red Raider journey first began a few years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil where they were TTU K-12 students.

TTU K-12 was such a great introduction to what we would learn in college. For example, the American History class, government and economics were all similar to classes we have taken here at Texas Tech. The opportunity to grow in our English was really valuable too,” Pedro said.

Since arriving at Texas Tech, Rafael and Pedro have thrived – most recently in the Rawls College of Business' Innovation Hub.

“Within the Innovation Hub, we took part in a recent event called the Red Raider Startup that helps students across campus develop ideas in business,” Rafael said.

At the beginning of the event, students that have startup ideas are encouraged to pitch them to the group. After hearing all the ideas, the group collectively votes on which ones they most want to develop and then split into teams.

“We had a gentleman who was getting his Ph.D. in computer science as well as an undergraduate freshman in our group,” Pedro said.

In only three days, the four students put together a cohesive business idea aimed at a college-aged audience.

“We developed an app to help students organize their college lifestyle. The way it would work is that after downloading it, you would enter in which college you attend, your classification and the classes you are enrolled in. The app would then connect you with everyone in each of your classes and create something that would be similar to a Facebook feed that would keep you up-to-date on deadlines, questions, and so forth. It would also feature a marketplace for textbooks so that students could trade and sell directly, thus bypassing more expensive bookstores,” Rafael said.

When they were not working on their startup idea, the group of four were able to attend lectures and talk with mentors who were available to troubleshoot their ideas.

At the end of the three days, the team dressed up and presented their idea to a panel of judges including Dean Lindquist from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as notable business leaders from the community.

“It was a little nerve-racking getting up to present, but it went really well. There is no first place winner in this event, each idea is given its own unique feedback,” Pedro said.

Looking forward, both Rafael and Pedro would like to start their own company or work for a small startup in the future.

“The Red Raider Startup was the perfect setting to get hands-on experience and was a lot of fun at the same time,” Rafael said.

Rafael and Pedro are powerful examples of where hard work and dedication can take you. From TTU K-12 to their current collegiate careers, they embody the Texas Tech mission of advancing knowledge through innovation and creativity.