University Venture Challenge: Program Guidelines

UVC 2016-2017 Details

UVC 2017 Partners


The top teams from approved UPC (University Partner Program) will be invited to compete at 36|86: Student Edition. If you received an award in one of the approved partner programs, click here to apply. Electronic Applications will be scored and fifteen finalists will be selected to pitch at 36|86: Student Edition.

36|86: Student Edition

36|86: Student Edition, a new addition to LaunchTN’s 36|86 conference, will be held in Nashville on June 4, 2017. The program celebrates student entrepreneurship and includes a statewide University Venture Challenge featuring winners of 2016/17 University Partner Competitions (UPCs).

The program will include pitches from University Partner Competition finalists, a fireside chat and a networking reception!

Fifteen entrepreneurs will be selected from among all UPC finalists to compete in one of the five categories below:

  • Commercialized Technology –  Developed out of university or laboratory based research (i.e – medical device)
  • Software /Application etc. – (i.e – SaaS products, CRMs, apps)
  • Consumer Goods & Services – (i.e – bakery, cleaning service etc.)
  • Social Enterprise – a company that could be categorized as a 501c3 not for profit company or a B-corp – (i.e – Warby Parker or Nisolo)
  • Idea Stage Winner – No prototype exists, company is literally in the “idea-sage”

Winners will be awarded cash prizes totaling $60,000. Additionally, there will be opportunities for exposure at
36|86, on-going support from the LaunchTN network and the opportunity to apply for the TENN Master Accelerator program.

Finalists Will Receive:

  • Exposure as a finalist on, before, during and after 36|86: Student Edition
  • 2 Complimentary 36|86 tickets to be used by your team members
  • Invitation to the Village 36 networking brunch
  • Two nights (June 4-5) lodging at the Music City Guest House (Entrepreneur Headquarters for 36|86) for 2 team members and a gas gift card to cover travel. The Music City Guest house is also where Village 36 and other entrepreneur attendees will be staying.


Who Can Apply?

  • The lead from each applicant/company must have placed in one of the approved University competitions between 2016 and 2017 school years (the past two years of competition)  
  • Teams must be comprised of 2+ people
  • Ventures with revenues (excluding SBIR/STTR grants) that exceeded $50,000 in the prior 12 months are excluded, as are ventures that have raised equity capital in excess of $50,000 from sources other than the founders or their friends and families.
  • Companies entering the Statewide Venture Challenge are encouraged, but not required, to be established as a legal entity. Winners will have 60 days following notification of their award to establish a legal entity, in order to receive their cash prize. If companies are not eligible to claim their prize within 60 days, they will forfeit their winnings to the runner-up.
  • The judges will be critically evaluating not just the proposed product or service, but also the capabilities of the team to execute on the business model.


Applications open March 15, and the deadline to apply is May 1. Finalists announced May 20th!
Click here to apply!

Are you not a student entrepreneur but interested in attending?
Click here to get your ticket!



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FedEx CEO Frederick Smith Joins Speaker Line-up At 36|86 Tech Conference

Logistics and startup maverick joins innovators in venture capital, healthcare technology and mobile app development to speak at 36|86 in Nashville in June

Nashville, Tenn., March 14, 2017 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is proud to announce that Frederick Smith, Founder and CEO of FedEx, will take the stage at the 36|86 technology conference to talk corporate innovation in a fully connected global economy. FedEx recently launched FedEx Fulfillment, a logistics network that allows … read more