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PYA Ballard Innovation Award
January 14, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Applications now open for inaugural PYA-sponsored “Ballard Innovation Award”

PYA Ballard Innovation AwardBy Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

Applications are now open for the first “Ballard Innovation Award,” honoring’s own Editor and Publisher. The winner of the award will receive $50,000 in investment capital and in-kind services from PYA, the power behind the daily newsfeed that celebrates its ninth anniversary in about a week. The competition is open to any business in the East Tennessee area with revenue and an established “proof of concept.”

The application for the award can be found online at this link, and the deadline to apply is February 19. Companies applying for the award must indicate how their company and products or services are innovative and improve business, including a business plan. While not required, applicants are also encouraged to include links to videos, multimedia presentations, or submit supporting documentation to help in the judging.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for emerging companies with great promise and an innovative focus to showcase their talents in a unique way,” said Larsen Jay, Director of Business Alliances at PYA. “The winners will receive a tremendous amount of support from the professionals at PYA that will both honor Tom Ballard’s focus on entrepreneurship while encouraging business leaders to aspire, grow, and achieve.”

The honoree’s commentary on having an award named in his honor can be found in this article from November 2020.

Judges on the panel for the “Ballard Innovation Award” include entrepreneurial leaders and business mentors from the East Tennessee community: Charlie Brock (Chattanooga Renaissance Fund), Brandon Bruce (Startup Knox), Amy Henry (TVA), Mike Odom (Knoxville Chamber), and Mary Celeste Beall (Blackberry Farm). An award presentation for the top three finalists will be scheduled for mid-March. Second and third-place winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000 in-kind strategy support, respectively.

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