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January 16, 2023 | Shannon Smith

Have a big idea? Apply to the ‘What’s the Big Idea’ pitch competition

The winner of the annual pitch event organized by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center receives $10,000 and a spot in the CO.STARTERS program.

Ever watched Shark Tank and thought you’d be amazing on that show? Have a  great idea that’s lived in your head for ages but never made it onto the page? “What’s The Big Idea?” (WTBI) is the event for you.

Applications are now open for the 15th annual pitch contest run by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC). Described as “Shark Tank meets Accelerator,” the winning pitch wins $10,000 and a spot in the CO.STARTERS program.

Participants will work side-by-side with local business mentors to craft the perfect pitch for your new startup business or idea. KEC has business mentors that can help you with your business plan from start to finish from legal, marketing, finance, sales, design, technology, and more.

So how does this work?

First, apply online by February 3.

The KEC team will ask a select number of companies to submit a two-minute pitch. Then, starting February 13, the public will be able to vote on their favorite companies and ideas. The number of public votes a company receives will have an impact on the final teams selected for the official competition.

And the final competition isn’t just a one-night thing.

The WTBI 48-Hour Launch is a weekend-long accelerator-style competition designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together bright minds in early March to participate in an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching.

Individuals are encouraged to apply if they’re 18 years of age or older and have a concept or new enterprise in the seed capital, start-up, or pre-revenue stage that could lead to potential growth and job creation in the Knoxville area.

All details and deadlines can be found here.