Winners in Tennessee Tech University’s 9th annual “Eagle Works” competition have been announced. A total of 12 student teams pitched their business idea Shark Tank-style to a panel of judges for a piece of the prize pool worth over $13,000 in donor-funded scholarships.
- Brandon Pierce and his company, Future Innovators, won first place and a cash prize of $7,500. Future Innovators is a non-profit company that provides free STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities, materials, and STEM tutoring to rural Appalachian students. Pierce, who is a senior business management and environmental sustainability major from Elizabethton, has opened the door for children in Carter County to enjoy building battle bots and other STEM-based learning activities throughout the community.
- StorNow, an application that will act as “the Airbnb of the storage industry,” took second place and the $2,500 prize. The team includes Jackson Schierling, a business management major from Hermitage, Lorna Boston and Mystina Pruitt. Their idea is to provide “a cheaper, more convenient way for individuals to store their belongings.”
- The” Virgie Elrod Clouse Creativity Award” was won by team Barn Owl. That team was composed of Mary-Grayson Hamrick, a senior marketing major from Soddy Daisy, TN; Julia Sedgwick, a junior business management major, also from Soddy Daisy; and Mallory Shuff a senior business management major from Columbia, TN. “Through Barn Owl we will take down old barns that are no longer serving their purpose,” Sedgwick said. The company then uses the leftover lumber to create new custom furniture.
- The “Robert O. Clouse Innovation Award” was won by team Mower. That team consists of Chris Gettlelfinger, a junior finance major from Knoxville; William Pursell, a senior accounting major from Liberty, TN; Tra Anderson, a senior business management major from Spring City, TN; and Luke Hinson, a senior finance and accounting major from Dickson, TN. “Mower is an app that centralizes the lawn care market,” Gettlelfinger said. “It is a place for lawn care providers to promote their business and services to regular app users (customers) who need lawn care services.”