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LaunchTN selects partners for Statewide University Pitch Competition
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LAUNCH TENNESSEE (LaunchTN) announced today it has selected 17 entrepreneurially focused business competitions supported by ten host universities as partners in its statewide University Venture Challenge. Update: Vanderbilt statement here.

The goal of the statewide Venture Challenge is to create a more connected entrepreneurial community by engaging existing university programs.

Additionally, LaunchTN said it hopes to increase the amount of student-led entrepreneurial ventures and create an environment enabling them for success. LaunchTN will be offering up to $5,000 per competition in sponsorship funds to schools that choose to participate in the statewide challenge.

Winners from the past two school years of selected partner competitions are invited to apply for the Statewide Venture Challenge. The application process will open on April 1, 2016 and remain open through May 4, 2016.

There will be four company categories available - Commercialized Technology, Lifestyle Business, Social Enterprise and Tech-Enabled - with a winner being selected in each category.

Winners will be announced on May 20, 2016 and will receive a free ticket, travel stipend and recognition at LaunchTN's 36|86 conference in June.

Here are the institutional hosts, their departments and their branded competitions:

Lipscomb University

Center for Entrepreneurship

Kittrell Pitch Competition

Middle Tennessee State University

Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship

Business Plan Competition

Sewanee, The University of the South

Babson Center for Global Commerce

Pitch Competition

Tennessee State University

Center for Entrepreneurship

Business Plan Competition

Tennessee Technology University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Eagle Works Competition

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Anderson Center at UT

Undergraduate Business Plan Pitch Competition

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Anderson Center at UT

Vol Court Fall & Spring Course

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Anderson Center at UT

Boyd Venture Challenge

University of Tennessee Martin

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Collegiate Business Concept Pitch Contest

University of Memphis

Crews Center for Entrepreneurship

Crews Center Fast Pitch

University of Tennessee Research Foundation

Tennessee Venture Challenge

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Elevator Pitch Competition

Vanderbilt University (VU statement)

Owen Graduate School

Sohr Grant Recipients

Vanderbilt University

Owen Graduate School

Owen Business Plan Competition

Vanderbilt University

VINES (Entrepreneurship Club)

VINES 48 Hours Launch

Vanderbilt University

School of Engineering

Engineering Management Capstone Pitch Competition

Vanderbilt University

Center for Tech Transfer & Commercialization

TechVenture Challenge

Additional information regarding eligibility and the application process can be found on our website.

This latest initiative is a complement to the existing Specialist Program and another way for LaunchTN to engage more students within the established entrepreneurial community across Tennessee. Created in 2014, The Specialist Program provides internship opportunities for college students, allowing them to work within one of the state's entrepreneur centers or with an existing startup company.

To date, over 50 students representing universities from across the country have gone through LaunchTN Specialist Program. 2016 applications for Spring & Summer opportunities are currently open. Interested students can click here to apply. [###]

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Tags: business competitions, economic development, education, investors, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN, pitch days, statewide university pitch competition, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, TTDC, universities


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