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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


  1. Be a registered TN Tech student.
  2. Register yourself by March 25.
  3. Form or join, then register a team by March 25 with an innovative business idea.
  4. Read the rules here!
  5. Validate your idea and write a business model/plan (Download optional plan template here). 
  6. Record your pitch and submit Youtube link and business plan by Wednesday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m. at this link! (Download optional pitch template here).
  7. Finalists will compete via Zoom call on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. for a chance to win thousands!

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 25, 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 Wednesday, March 25.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Student teams will submit their business plan and a 7 minute recording of their pitch via this link by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. Late submissions will be docked 20 points.
  • If preliminary rounds are necessary based on number of teams that submit, teams will receive a list of questions from the judges to answer by Monday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. Teams must respond to questions by replying to the email by 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 to be eligible for final round.
  • Final round will take place on Saturday, April 18 and begins at 2 p.m. via Zoom call.
  • Each team will provide a 1-2 minute synopsis of their idea, and then have a Q&A session with the judges.

See the FAQ page for frequently asked questions, templates, and additional guidelines and rules.

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