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

The series begins January 30. 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 in the event, 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.

“Building a startup can be a daunting process,” said Shawn Carson, Vol Court director. “The Vol Court series is the perfect place to bring your questions and gather the information needed to build confidence and begin vetting your business idea.”

The spring 2019 series includes five interactive entrepreneurial speaker sessions with local entrepreneurs and UT faculty.

The program culminates on March 6 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 January 30 through March 6. All sessions will be held in Room 104 of the Haslam Business Building, 1000 Volunteer Boulevard.

Anyone who plans to participate in the March 6 pitch competition must attend four of the five speaker sessions listed below:

January 30: Does Your Customer Care about You? Do You Even Know?

February 6: Getting to Your Market

February 13: The Funding Continuum

February 20: Entrepreneurial Crowdfunding

February 27: What’s YOUR Story?

Vol Court is supported with funding and services from partners including first-place-prize partner Red Stag Fulfillment, the UT Research Foundation, PYA, Morehous Legal Group, Three Roots Capital, Innovative Design Inc., and Make Me Modern.


Carrie McCamey (865-974-9964,