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May 05, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

First-ever ‘Pitch and Putt’ tournament connects start-ups to $10K in cash

The inaugural golf tournament is open to any/all start-ups in the Knoxville area.

A first-of-its-kind golf tournament in East Tennessee is calling for participants – both players and “pitchers.” We’re not talking about pitching and chipping, but instead, founders who are willing to pitch their start-ups on the course.

This is a new type of golf tournament, which will be hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI). Start-up founders will be positioned at each of the 18 tee boxes to conduct a two-minute elevator pitch to each group of golfers. After completing the course, the players in the tournament will cast their votes for the best start-up pitch.

The best part? There is a $10,000 prize awarded to the start-up that gains the most votes.

According to Breanna Hale, the Executive Director of ACEI, the application is now open for start-ups to apply for the pitch competition. It is open to the full spectrum of “start-ups” from pre-revenue to $500,000 or more. Additionally, “Pitch and Putt” welcomes applications from students, graduates, alumni, and even founders not affiliated with the university to apply.

The start-ups selected to participate in the tournament competition will receive a table with chairs. Founders are encouraged to prepare props, supplies, posters, or anything that may supplement their pitch.

The “Pitch and Putt” tournament will be held at the Egwani Farms Golf Course on  Friday, June 28, with the first tee-off at 7:30 in the morning. The winners will be announced during the luncheon portion of the event in the afternoon.

If you would like to play in the golf tournament, there is a registration fee of $600. Participants will play the course in foursomes. You can sign up to play at this link.

You can apply to pitch at this link.

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