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LaunchTN awards $60,000 to Tennessee student founders at 36|86 pitch competition

Nashville, Tenn. – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) hosted its annual student pitch competition, 36|86: Student Edition, at 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival in August. LaunchTN awarded a total of $60,000 to four winning Tennessee student startups teams, selected by a panel of expert judges comprised of investors, founders and community leaders.

2018 Winners:

  • 1st Place, Awarded $25,000: PredictionHealth, Vanderbilt University
    Team Members: Pedro Teixeira, Ravi Atreya, and Michael Poku
  • 2nd Place, Awarded $20,000: Synchro Motion, Vanderbilt University
    Team Members: Harrison Bartlett, Brian Lawson, and Michael Goldfarb
  • 3rd Place, Awarded $10,000: ATS Innovations, Tennessee Tech University
    Team Members: Ashley Wheeler, Téa Phillips, and Sergio Ramirez
  • Crowd Favorite, Awarded $5,000: Flo + Co., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Team Member: Meg Hutchinson

In total, 12 teams of student finalists, selected earlier this year from a pool of applicants from colleges and universities across Tennessee, participated in 36|86: Student Edition. Prior to the event, each team was paired with mentors to help them refine their pitch and business plan before presenting to the judges later that day.

36|86: Student Edition judges included Sara Brand, Founding General Partner, Wealth Ventures; Rebekah Sharpe, Founding Partner, Transparency Health; Rob Urstein, Entrepreneur in Residence, Entangled Ventures; and Dan Watkins, Partner, Mercury Fund.

“We couldn’t have been more impressed by the group of Tennessee student finalists who participated in 36|86: Student Edition this year, which truly speaks to the vast amount of entrepreneurial talent across Tennessee university programs,” said Brittany Burgess, Director of Partnerships at LaunchTN. “We look forward to seeing each team continue to grow into successful Tennessee student-led ventures, and we’re excited to be a sustaining resource to them along the way.”

After the competition, LaunchTN schedules debrief meetings with each 36|86: Student Edition team to discuss milestones and identify resources that can help each business advance. The students are also invited to participate in quarterly check-ins for additional feedback and business advice from mentors. In addition to the funds they receive, winners of 36|86: Student Edition become members of LaunchTN’s Portfolio Program, which grants them access to special events, pitch opportunities, newsletters and one-on-one meetings with LaunchTN staff to identify other tools to help them grow.


About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, with the goal of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and to stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs. Visit LaunchTN.org to discover what makes Tennessee a great state for startups.

About 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival
36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival is the Southeast’s premier gathering of founders, investors and ecosystem builders. Powered by LaunchTN, 36|86 offers actionable programming and hands-on panels designed to help businesses at all levels grow. In 2018, 36|86 took place August 29-30 at several venues in downtown Nashville.

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