How to Compete
Be sure to read and understand each step on this page.
Knowledge of all competition details is essential to your success and eligibility. If you have questions or concerns, please use the contact form.
Informational Video & PowerPoint
View the informational PowerPoint
- Be a registered TN Tech student.
- Register yourself by March 13.
- Form or join, then register a team by March 23 with an innovative business idea.
- Read the rules here!
- Validate your idea and write a business model/plan (Download optional plan template here).
- Compete on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 18 by pitching your idea for a chance to win thousands! (Download optional pitch template here).
Step 1 - Be a registered TN Tech Student
- You must be currently enrolled as a Tennessee Tech University student to compete.
- Participation is open to all majors, disciplines, and colleges, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.
- Tennessee Tech faculty, staff, administration, and the general public are not eligible to compete; however, they may serve as mentors.
- If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact us here.
Step 2 - Register Yourself by March 13, 2020
- Registering is simply required to let us know that you are interested in competing.
- You do not need to have a team formed or a business idea to register.
- You will register your team in the Spring semester.
Step 3 - Form or Join a Team
- Brainstorm innovative business ideas which could produce a viable business venture.
- Don't have an idea, but still want to compete? No problem. We encourage you to network with other students to find a team which can utilize your expertise.
- Form or join a team. Register by Monday, March 23.
- Read the rules!!
- Review the IP policy with your team.
- Contestants should seek to form interdisciplinary teams. This refers to students from different majors and colleges working together. Interdisciplinary
teams are not required, but provide contestants opportunities to utilize collective
strengths, meet new people, and learn from diverse backgrounds. Here are a couple
examples of interdisciplinary teams (these are only random scenarios, you are encouraged
to think creatively and critically about your unique needs when forming a team):
- A nursing student has an innovative idea for an over-the-counter medical device. He/she seeks out an engineering student who can design a prototype, a business student who can produce financial statements, and a webdesign student who can create a web and social media plan.
- An engineering student has an idea for a filtration system that provides clean water
to impoverished people in international locations. He/she seeks out an earth sciences
student who can assist with environmental concerns and biological testing, an education
student to create an easy way to teach end users how to use the system, and an international
business and cultures major to prepare business practices for global transactions.
Step 4 - Validate Your Idea and Create a Business Model/Plan
- Review the video from the Business Model Canvas pop-up.
- It is important to begin initial work on your idea and plan as early as possible.
- TN Tech will offer numerous events including informational meetings, networking opportunities, workshops, classes and more.
- The idea must originate from Tech students.
- The idea or company must be majority owned by Tech students (at least 51% of the idea or company must be owned by current Tech students). Contact us if you need clarification about this requirement.
Step 5 - Compete
- This is the rubric which will be used by the judges. Make sure to read and understand each category.
- The preliminary rounds will take place on Friday, April 3 starting at 6 p.m. in the Tech Pride Room.
- After the preliminaries, judging panels will meet with each team for a short coaching session to help prepare for the finalist round.
- Finalist round and tradeshow will take place Saturday, April 18 in Bell Hall.
- Contestants will participate in a trade-show before the competition to demonstrate their business ideas to the public - set up begins at 11 a.m. and the tradeshow will be open from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Finalists will be announced at 2 p.m.
- Final round begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Bell Hall Auditorium.
See the FAQ page for frequently asked questions, templates, and additional guidelines and rules.