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LaunchTN designates 17 programs as feeders for “Statewide University Venture Challenge”

Launch TN StarsLaunch Tennessee has designated 17 competitions offered by 10 universities for its inaugural “Statewide University Venture Challenge” initiative.

The goal is to support and increase the number of student entrepreneurs.

Under the new program, teams that placed in one of the 17 events in either the 2014-15 or 2015-16 academic years to apply for the statewide competition. Four prizes, valued at $12,500, will be awarded in these categories:

  • Commercializable Technology – A company with a product or business concept surrounding a technology that was licensed or is under option to license out of a research institute from across the state.
  • Lifestyle Business – A company that is not immediately focused on creating a high growth business but one that could be a staple within the community.
  • Social Enterprise – A company that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.
  • Tech Enabled – A company that enables more efficiency within a process or industry. This would exclude technology that was licensed from a research institute. ($12,500)

Seven of the 17 eligible programs are in the primary targeted area for Teknovation.biz. They are:

  • Three programs offered by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Knoxville campus – the twice-a-year editions of “Vol Court” as well as the “Boyd Venture Challenge” and “Undergraduate Business Plan” competitions;
  • The “Tennessee Venture Challenge” offered by the UT Research Foundation;
  • UT Chattanooga’s “Elevator Pitch Competition”;
  • Tennessee Tech University’s “Eagle Works Competition”; and
  • The University of the South’s pitch event.

For more information, read the Launch Tennessee release (Statewide University VC Press Release 3-11).


Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

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