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March 06, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Two mentors came a distance to support “What’s the Big Idea?”

Abhi Sastri of FLUIX Inc. came up from Florida, while former Knoxvillian Anthony Ragland drove over from Nashville.

In his opening remarks to kickoff Sunday night’s “What’s the Big Idea? Pitch Competition,” Jim Biggs, Executive Director of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC), expressed thanks to those who worked tirelessly to support the weekend event.

Those that he called out included the KEC staff, mentors who spent most of the weekend with the seven teams, sponsors, and the Knoxville Chamber that provided the $10,000 cash prize to the winner.

Biggs (pictured here) also took a moment to give a special shoutout to several mentors who travelled a good distance to offer their service. The individual coming the longest by mileage was Abhi Sastri of FLUIX Inc., an Orlando-based start-up that participated in the inaugural cohort of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator.” The other was Anthony Ragland, a former Knoxville-based entrepreneur who moved to Nashville where he is now Senior Vice President of Connections at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

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