There was no shortage of ideas advanced during Wednesday evening’s finale for the fall edition of the “Vol Court Speaker Series and Pitch Competition” at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville.
Hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business, the event featured 90-second pitches from 22 different individuals or teams. The ideas ranged from the first pitch – a matchmaking tool to better connect real estate buyers and sellers to a novel use of Bluetooth camera technology to help wheelchair users know what is behind them before they back-up.
In between, the presentations included several individuals pitching fashion-focused ideas, one promoting a legal consulting firm for nurses concerned about medical malpractice, an aquaponics farm, an interactive world map where individuals can “scroll through time,” a video service to help students seeking jobs to “show you doing what you love to do,” and a state of the art for young people to play up to 15 different sports.
First prize and the accompanying $1,500 cash prize from Red Stag Fulfillment went to You Eat. The idea, pitched by Ashley Chen and Frank Gao, is a way that individuals can engage in group buying. As we understood the concept, a community of interested individuals is linked-up in a social media manner. Then, when one person places an order for food, as an example, others can add to that order and avoid waiting in line for carryout.
Second place and $1,000 went to Andrew Swafford who pitched Andy’s Beekeeping LLC, a 100 percent pure and all-natural source of honey for products like lip balm and salves. Third place and $500 was awarded to Joshua Cook for The Half Windsor, a customized suit manufacturer that would draw on factories in Vietnam to produce the bespoke garments.
The competition, held for the first time ever in the new Student Union, drew an overflow crowd. In addition to Red Stag Fulfillment, other sponsors of “Vol Court” are the UT Research Foundation; PYA, the power behind teknovation.biz; Morehous Legal Group; Three Roots Capital; Innovative Design Inc.; and Make Me Modern.
Pictured below are the winners.