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KNOXVILLE — Do you have the idea for the next Apple, Google or Starbucks?

If so, you can get started by entering the Business Plan Competition sponsored by the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. The top three plans will win $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.

The college designed this Business Plan Competition to develop and encourage an entrepreneurial culture on campus. All UT undergraduate students are eligible. Students can enter any idea, from the world’s best lemonade stand to a new way to produce solar energy.

“This valuable, out-of-the-classroom learning experience will provide participating undergraduate students a great opportunity to develop skills in persuasive presentation and constructive feedback,” said Sarah Gardial, associate dean of academic programs. “The business plan competition is another way that the college is using applied learning to enhance the educational level of our graduates. I’m excited to see the plans that will be developed.”

Students can work individually or in teams of up to four people. Each round of competition requires an exceedingly more difficult amount of quantitative and qualitative analysis, which allows students to put theories they have learned into use.

“Entrepreneurship is an important building block to the future of our national economy,” said Andrew Bouldin, student representative for the competition. “With the caliber of students on UT’s campus, I’m confident that the level of competition will be very high and that many quality plans will be produced.”

Following are important dates in the competition:

• April 4 — Undergraduate students should submit a two-page executive summary of their plan to by 5 p.m.

• April 11 — The top 20 semifinalists each will make a five-minute presentation to a panel of judges. Six finalists will be selected.

• April 16 to 24 — Six finalists present in-depth plans and presentations to a panel of judges. Three winners will be announced.

The judges will be a combination of UT professors and local business professionals.

For more information, please visit


Cindy Raines, (865) 974-4359,