Rentique, a Knoxville-based fashion truck renting high-quality dresses for special occasions, beat out five competitors to win the spring 2015 Vol Court Pitch Competition last week.
Brandi King, a senior majoring in human resource management, impressed the judges with her startup company centered on the idea of renting high-end dresses from a mobile fashion truck. King has already purchased her initial inventory of 200 dresses and a truck that will be converted into a mobile boutique, complete with a dressing room and coordinating jewelry available for purchase. She came up with the idea for the business as a freshman after she and her friends borrowed each other’s dresses to have something new to wear to an event. She plans to officially launch Rentique in the Knoxville area on August 12.
King won $1,000 from the UT Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as one year of free office space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator, consulting services courtesy of Pershing Yoakley & Associates, and legal advice courtesy of Morehous Legal Group.
Second place went to Lucas Broderick and ViaTech, a company building custom gaming computers and providing users with a simplified buying process. Broderick, a junior in business administration, won $500 provided by Launch Tennessee, as well as six months of free office space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator, consulting services from Pershing Yoakley & Associates, and legal advice from Morehous Legal Group.
“We really had some great pitches this semester,” said Tom Graves, ACEI director of operations. “I’ve been doing this for six years, and I can’t remember the judges ever having more discussion during their deliberation. Every team that presented has an excellent idea; some just need to be further developed in order to compete with more established companies.”
The Vol Court Pitch Competition was the final event of the spring 2015 Vol Court Speaker Series. Prior to the competition, teams attended five entrepreneurial lectures covering the basics of starting a business.
Vol Court is a free event hosted by the Anderson Center each fall and spring. It is open to UT students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the local community. It is made possible through sponsorship from the UT Research Foundation, Launch Tennessee, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, and Morehous Legal Group.
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