Student-owned start-up businesses seeking funding can now apply to the Boyd Venture Challenge. The seed-fund grant awards up to $20,000 to legally established student start-up companies each fall and spring semester. The competition is hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.
The challenge is open to any legally established early-stage company owned by a UT student. At the time of application, the student owner(s) must be enrolled in an undergraduate, master’s, or PhD program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or UT Institute of Agriculture .
Students must submit an application to the Anderson Center by midnight on Thursday, November 1. Applications should include an executive summary, request for funds, and milestones that will be accomplished with the funds if awarded. Full application instructions and eligibility details are on the Boyd Venture Challenge website.
Teams that advance to the presentation round will pitch to a panel of business professionals on Friday, November 16.
“The Boyd Venture Challenge helps early-stage student companies achieve the next step in advancing their businesses,” said Tom Graves, Anderson Center director of operations and director of the competition. “Companies participating in the pitch competition can gain not only the opportunity to win seed funding but also valuable feedback from the judging panel.”
The Boyd Venture Challenge is made possible by the generosity of Randy Boyd, incoming interim president of the University of Tennessee system and founder and executive chair of Radio Systems Corporation, makers of PetSafe, Invisible Fence, and SportDog brands.
Since 2011, the endowed fund has awarded $362,000 to 34 student-owned start-ups.