PYA, the power behind teknovation.biz, is on a mission to honor innovative, early stage companies in the East Tennessee region, and the firm is doing so in a way that adds wind to their sails. The effort is the inaugural “PYA Ballard Innovation Award” that will provide a total of $65,000 in prizes – $50,000 in cash and in-kind services to the winner and $10,000 and $5,000 in in-kind services respectively for second and third place.
Deadline to apply for consideration is less than two weeks away. It’s actually Friday, February 19, and the online application is available here. Applicants must be able to present a business plan to optimize existing operations by reducing costs, increasing revenues, and/or gaining new efficiencies, while demonstrating clear innovations to improve the business and empower the consumer. Eligibility is limited to companies located in the East Tennessee geographic area (33 counties as defined by the State of Tennessee including the metro areas of Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Tri-Cities).
The award is named in honor of Tom Ballard, PYA’s Chief Alliance Officer and well-respected member of the East Tennessee entrepreneurial community. The East Tennessee native spent more than four decades building relationships for the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory throughout the region, state, and nation before joining PYA in 2012. More information on the award can be found here.