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May 29, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Finalists named for “What’s the Big Idea?”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following news release was provided by the Knoxville Chamber.)

After sifting through dozens of applications, the Knoxville Chamber, The Development Corporation of Knox County, and Tech 20/20 are proud to present this year’s finalists in the What’s the Big Idea!? Business Plan Competition. The competition is sponsored by Rodefer Moss & Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  

“Throughout this competition, judges have come away very impressed not only with the innovative ideas each competitor brought to the table, but also their dedication throughout a series of workshops focused on helping them build a business and get their product to market,” Todd Napier, executive vice president of The Development Corporation said. “We’re excited to see it all come together June 14 and help catapult one of these big ideas forward.”  

The 3 Finalists are:  

Dine Touch, CEO Joey Natour

            Smartphone integration of the dining experience that allows restaurant patrons to order food, pay their bill, and communicate with staff via their smartphone.   

“DineTouch is unique because we integrate with the restaurants’ point of sales systems. Other companies in similar markets use text or faxing to receive orders. Integrating with the point of sales system means no hardware needs to be installed and it means the restaurant staff will use the same system,” CEO Joey Natour said.  

Line Shark, Founders Jed Eaton and Jonathan Mayer

            Professional audio output for mobile devices that allows real time recording for musicians directly into their iPhone or Android phone.  

“By enabling simultaneous recording and playback, LineShark unlocks the potential for mobile devices to actively create and transform music,” co-founder Jed Eaton said.  

Virtuous Products, CEO Mark Wassenaar

            “Sedonite” product for counter top industry and outdoor furniture industry provides an affordable and energy-conscious alternative to using new materials.  

“This innovative product allows, because of its fast initial set time and quick overall cure time enables the producer to create a product unlike any other in the industry aesthetically,” CEO Mark Wassennar said.  

Each of the finalists will present their business plans June 14 at the Square Room on Market Square from 5-7 p.m., the public is invited to attend. The winner will also be announced at the event. 

The winning entrepreneur will be eligible for more than $35,000 in capital and business services including:

  • $10,000 cash grant for start-up costs
  • $15,000 potential equity investment by Tech 20/20 Venture Start-Up Fund
  • One-year’s rent at the Fairview Technology Center
  • Services provided by: Rodefer Moss & Company (accounting), CEO Advisors (business coaching), The IT Company & Digital Crossing Networks (IT hosting and services), Kathleen Zitzman (legal services), Knoxville Chamber (membership), and Tech2020 (business coaching)

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