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February 16, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Vol Court Session #2: Search Engine Marketing 101

Jake Rheude won funding in all three competitions hosted by UTK's Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. A decade later, he shares marketing tips with attendees in the second session of the spring program.

Jake Rheude knows a thing or two about the twice-a-year “Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition,” in addition to other programs offered for students by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).

That comes from his days as an undergraduate and graduate student where he successfully competed for dollars in “Vol Court” (2011) as well as the “Graves Business Plan Competition” (2012) and the “Boyd Venture Challenge” (2013). Collectively, he launched three start-ups as a student – SummerSett Foods LLC, JuniorGolfInfo, and GuruSkins.

Soon after graduating from UTK with his MBA, Rheude (pictured here) joined Red Stag Fulfillment as Director of Marketing and Business Development, later serving as Vice President of Marketing for nearly four and one-half years before joining EcomHalo as Chief Marketing Officer earlier this month..

In a fast-paced presentation during the second session of “Vol Court” Wednesday evening, Rheude shared his thoughts on “Search Engine Marketing 101.” It included an explanation of how the Google search engine functions and three tools that the would-be student entrepreneurs can use to evaluate their business model before pitching it in the finale of March 8.

Using a real-life example from work he did for another company, Rheude told how starting with creating two dozen or more keywords that relate to the market sector and then analyzing those results can lead to “the kind of really easy data you can collect and wow the judges.”

The third session of “Vol Court” is next Wednesday with Robyn Geron, ACEI’s Director of Operations, talking about “Building a Team for Your Start-up.”

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