Skip links

LaunchTN Announces Statewide University Pitch Competition Winners

Nashville, Tenn., May 26, 2016 – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) announced today the winners of the Statewide University Venture Challenge.  Following a submission process, LaunchTN has selected four winners out of applications submitted by the winners of university partner competitions.

The goal of the Statewide University Venture Challenge is to create a more connected entrepreneurial community by engaging existing university programs, increasing the amount of successful student-led entrepreneurial ventures.

The selected winners will receive a $12,500 cash prize to be invested in their company along with a complimentary ticket and recognition at LaunchTN’s 36|86 conference on June 6 & 7, 2016.

LaunchTN received a total of 38 applications that were reviewed and scored by a panel of judges, who narrowed down the list to nine finalists who participated in a follow-up interview. Four winners were selected in the following categories – Commercializable Technology, Lifestyle Business, Social Enterprise and Tech-Enabled. The finalists and winners are listed below.


Grow Bioplastics Commercializable Tech University of Tennessee (Boyd Venture Challenge & Vol Court Spring Class)
SilkOps Technology Enabled University of Tennessee (Boyd Venture Challenge)
Port Manteau Lifestyle Vanderbilt (Sohr Grant)
Theresa’s Twists Social Enterprise Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU Business Plan Competition)


MERLIN Medical Technology Commercializable Tech Vanderbilt (Tech Venture Challenge)
Boomalang Technology Enabled Vanderbilt (Sohr Grant)
The Little Cottage Bakery Lifestyle Lipscomb (Kittrell Pitch Competition)
Ed Pack Global Social Enterprise Lipscomb University (Kittrell Pitch Competition)
Zabi Social Enterprise Sewanee (The University of the South Pitch Competition)


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. LaunchTN is pleased with the results of the first University centered competition and plans to expand the program in the future.



Return to top of page