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Students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community are encouraged to pitch their business ideas at Vol Court, a semiannual pitch competition and speaker series hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

The series begins September 12. Winners may receive up to $1,500 in prize money and space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator along with legal and accounting services and other prizes.

The series and competition are open to the public. There is no charge to participate, and anyone interested in entrepreneurship is invited to attend.

Designed to introduce participants to entrepreneurship, series topics provide a starting point to help advance business ideas into reality.

“If you are curious about starting or building a business, this is the place to start,” said Shawn Carson, Vol Court director. “Vol Court is a great place to test a new business idea and meet other people interested in entrepreneurship.”

The fall 2018 series includes five interactive sessions with local entrepreneurs and UT faculty.

The program culminates on October 24 in a pitch competition where attendees put what they’ve learned into practice. All pitch competition participants are eligible for cash prizes awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners.

Vol Court meets from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. every Wednesday from September 12 through October 24. There will be no session held October 3 prior to fall break. All sessions will be held in the Haslam Business Building, 1000 Volunteer Blvd., in Room 104.

Anyone who plans to participate in the October 24 pitch competition must attend four of the five speaker sessions listed below:

September 12: Customer Discovery

September 19: The First 100 Customers

September 26: Determining the Legal Structure for Your Business

October 10: Partnerships

October 17: Preparing Your Pitch

Vol Court is made possible by donated funds and services from sponsors including PYA, Morehous Legal Group, 3 Roots Capital, the UT Research Foundation, and other local businesses.


Carrie McCamey (865-974-5126,