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December 06, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Six students start-ups win latest edition of “Graves Business Plan Competition”

Six student start-ups at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) were awarded cash prizes in the fall 2020 “Graves Business Plan Competition.” Hosted twice a year by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business, the latest edition of the business plan and pitch contest was held virtually.

School Bus User System (S.U.B.S.) and Rocky Top Engraving received first-place prizes of $5,000 each in the growth business and lifestyle business categories, respectively. In the growth business category, second place and $3,000 went to Emerald Strategy Group – BusiCard, with Server placing third and receiving $2,000. Among lifestyle businesses, PaintSplash Production won second place and $3,000, and The Sleepy Owl Company was awarded third place, receiving $2,000.

According to this news release, “S.U.B.S. is a software program for a tablet that will generate the most cost-efficient route according to which students are riding on a given day and will have a parent component to let guardians track the location of the bus and alert them as the bus nears the right stop.” The other first place winner – Rocky Top Engraving – is a laser engraving idea, providing engravings for home and office that are fully stainable after purchase to guarantee to match the client’s décor.

Open to any UTK students enrolled in undergraduate and master’s degree programs in any field of study, the “Graves Business Plan Competition” offers student entrepreneurs the opportunity to win start-up funds for original business ideas. An outside panel of judges from the business community reviews the entries and determines the winners. Since the competition’s inception in 2008, it has awarded $292,000 to 89 student start-up businesses.

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