Two companies – Privateer Cycling Apparel and Xada – took the top two prizes respectively during the Spring Vol Court “Pitch Competition” Tuesday evening at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).
A total of eight teams made presentations to a team of judges including this writer. Vol Court is hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville and sponsored by the UT Federal Credit Union, UT Research Foundation (UTRF), Morehous Legal Group, and Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C. (PYA), underwriter of teknovation.biz.
Privateer is a company focused on “creating quality, innovative and functional custom cycling apparel . . . unlike anything that is currently available.” It was founded by Jordan Humble, has already secured $60,000 in sales, and has another $130,000 in potential orders.
For winning the top prize, Privateer received $1,000 in cash, one year of space at the UTRF business incubator, legal services from Morehous, and business consulting from PYA. Xada, which will be profiled in an upcoming teknovation.biz article, is building and marketing hammocks and a unique rope system to college students, campers, backpackers, and sports fans. Founder Alex Adams won $500.
Prior to Tuesday’s “Pitch Competition,” the presenting company founders participated in five one-hour training sessions designed to help them prepare for the competition.
“This was one of the best attended Vol Court series ever,” according to Joy Fisher of UTK’s Anderson Center, who also stated that it was the best overall team of presenting ideas.
Besides Privateer and Xada, others in the competition were:
- Campus Essentials “brings dependable and reliable cleaning services to undergraduate students living on campus.”
- FantasyHub, created to “deliver a convenient and effective way to allow consumers to manage their fantasy sports teams.”
- Gift House, a company designed to help individuals who need assistance to make sure that they do not forget important events like anniversaries, birthdays and special holidays.
- Push Fitness, focused on individuals interested in fitness, but not in a gym environment, and companies interested in corporate fitness programs.
- Aquaponics created to produce fish and vegetables from an aquaponics system while also providing an educational component for K-12 schools.
- E-Scapes, built on a concept to provide people without windows in their offices or living spaces distinctive videos to create the allure of an outside view.
Vol Court resumes next fall.