“Ag 3-Day Start-up” weekend announced

UTIABy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

University of Tennessee (UT) students, faculty and staff who have an interest in starting an agriculturally-based company or being part of a new company will want to take note of an upcoming weekend event.

“Ag 3-Day Start-up” or Ag 3DS for short, is a three-day boot camp set for September 30 and October 1 and 2. It is being sponsored by several UT entities – AgResearch and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) – plus the UT Federal Credit Union, AgLaunch, and Hard Knox Pizzeria.

Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. September 30 with the event ending at 6 p.m. October 2 at UT’s

“The goal of Ag 3DS is to start between five and seven new ag-based companies, which can range anywhere from hardware to software to services that help solve the needs of the agriculture industry,” Joy Fisher said. “These can include solutions for animal health, plant-based products, food technologies, agricultural diagnostics, farms, aquaculture, natural products, safety or production improvements, natural resource conservation, and bioenergy.”

As previously reported on, Fisher is working part-time with UT’s Institute of Agriculture to help accelerate the creation of companies around the expertise of UT faculty, staff and students.

“Any UT student, faculty, or staff member is welcome to apply for the free program,” she said. A website to accept applications will be up by mid-August. Information on how to apply will be posted on both AgResearch and CASNR website home pages in early August.

The boot camp is designed to teach participants the process of starting a company by actually starting one. Participants will generate ideas, form teams, and bring ideas to fruition. They will talk to customers, explore business models, begin building prototypes, and present their ideas to professional investors, all within a timespan of fifty hours!

For students, there is also the opportunity to secure one-hour of independent study credit. That, of course, is up to individual faculty.

For more information on the content of the program, please contact Fisher at

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