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The application period is now open for the Boyd Venture Challenge, a seed fund grant that awards up to $20,000 to student-owned startup companies each fall and spring semester. The challenge is sponsored by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

The Boyd Venture Challenge is open to any early-stage company owned by a UT student. To be eligible, companies must be legally established and the owner or owners must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at UT Knoxville at the time of application.

Applications must be received by the Anderson Center no later than midnight Friday, March 4. Teams that advance to the presentation round will pitch to a panel of local business professionals Friday, March 25. Full application instructions and eligibility details are available on the Boyd Venture Challenge website.

The Boyd Venture Challenge is made possible by the generosity of Randy Boyd, founder and executive chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, makers of PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDog brands. Boyd is the current commissioner of economic and community development for the State of Tennessee.

To date, this endowed fund has awarded $207,000 to 26 student-owned startups.


Kimberly Hood (865-974-5126,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,