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April 29, 2024 | Tom Ballard

App to connect at events wins this year’s “Fly! Mocs Business Competition”

Thirty student teams from UT at Chattanooga applied, and eight were selected for the event.

Eight student-led businesses — representing the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies, and the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) — competed in the annual “Fly! Mocs Business Competition” held earlier this month.

Selected from 30 applicants, they all received some level of monetary prize.

  • First place and $2,000 went to Mason Yarbrough and his business, Circliq. He is a computer science major at UTC who developed a mobile app where users can connect with events and friends in a reimagined event-centered social network. Features like comments, likes, sharing and much more allow Circliq to foster a vibrant, event-driven community.
  • Second place and $1,000 went to graduate student Alex Butler for Muni Enterprises, a start-up that intends to design and distribute a variety of items. The company’s first product, a multi-function golf tool, has already been prototyped, and the first units will be in production soon.
  • The other six competitors took home $500 each. Their names and ideas were as follows: Castle Ford (Plot Twist AI), Katelyn Henderson (The OT Closet), Michael Kinsey (Peculiar Lexus), Brooke McFarlin (College Quest), Ewan Nowlin (Hat Shak), and Demerious and Demichael Ipkomwasa (Thank Mosa).

“The Fly Pitch Competition is a great way for UTC students to showcase their businesses,” said Mike Bradshaw, Director of UTC’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “The judges had a tough job because every competitor delivered an outstanding performance.”

Judges for the competition were Chantz Yanagida of Stract Corporation, DeJuan S. Jordan of Launch Chattanooga, Jonathan Bragdon of Capacity Capital, and Allie Schrenker of The Company Lab.

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