KEC opens applications for next “What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch”

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) has opened applications for the 2019 edition of “What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch” (WTBI).

The weekend-long business start-up event, set for March 1-3, was launched several years ago by The Development Corporation of Knox County. For the second year in a row, the Harper Auto Square dealership group is the presenting sponsor.

WTBI is designed to inspire those who have an idea to move forward. The event starts with an organizational session on March 1, a Friday night. Teams are formed and mentors are assigned. Throughout Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday, the teams work to refine their ideas in preparation for a pitch event Sunday night, March 3.

Jim Biggs, KEC Executive Director, says the pitch competition will be held at Scruffy City Hall on Market Square. The winner will join KEC’s “CO.STARTERS” program and be eligible for up to $10,000 in business launch reimbursement costs after completing that multi-session program.

Application deadline for this year’s WTBI is February 6 (here’s the link). Selections will be made February 13 with announcements to follow.

KEC says WTBI is targeted at individuals who have a concept or new enterprise in the seed capital, start-up or pre-revenue stage that could lead to potential growth and job creation in the Knoxville region. The geographic area is defined as the contiguous counties – Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Companies that are acquisitions of buy-outs, expansions of existing enterprises, franchisees, have already raised capital other than from “friends and family,” or have won similar competitions in the past are not eligible.

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