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36|86: Student Edition

Student pitch competition and networking opportunities

36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival’s student entrepreneur showcase and pitch competition, 36|86: Student Edition, gives students a platform to access funding, marketing support and community and corporate resources. The goal of the pitch competition is to support the launch of viable student businesses.

Applications for Student Edition Pitch Competition 2019 are closed.



  • Exposure as a finalist before, during and after 36|86: Student Edition
  • Two free 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival tickets
  • Connection to a mentor
  • Travel stipend for companies traveling from outside of Middle TN
  • Potential to engage in LaunchTN PortCo Program


  • 1st Place – Up to $25,000
  • 2nd Place – Up to $15,000
  • 3rd Place – Up to $10,000
  • Crowd Favorite – Up to $10,000

The top four winners will also be eligible for the LaunchTN PortCo Program, which provides them access to strategic planning support, investor connections, corporate connections, talent recruitment, and bundled services.

2019 Timeline

  • March 4 – Applications open
  • May 31 – Applications close
  • June 2712-15 total companies will be selected
  • July 1 – Finalists paired with Entrepreneur Center/mentor for pitch prep
    Each finalist must arrange for two pitch prep sessions with assigned EC or mentor (finalists are welcome to schedule more if desired)
  • August 28 – 36|86: Student Edition in Nashville, TN

Pitch Format

Each company will have four minutes to pitch with time for a few questions from the judges. Judges will evaluate the proposed product or service, as well as the team’s ability to execute on the business model. Companies will be scored on the following categories: 

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Customer
  • Progress
  • Roadmap
  • Team
  • Gut feel

Meet the 2018 36|86: Student Edition finalists!

Read more


  • Teams must have one member currently or recently enrolled (December 2018/May 2019 graduates are eligible) at a Tennessee university or college. Full-time and part-time students are eligible.
  • Teams must have a written reference from a representative of their college or university.
  • Companies must fall under one of these categories: Social Enterprise, Consumer Goods/Services, Commercialized Technology, or Software.
  • 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.
  • Teams entering are encouraged, but not required, to be established as a legal entity, which winners will have 60 days following notification of their award to establish, in order to receive their cash prize. If winning teams are not eligible to claim their prize within 60 days, they will forfeit their winnings to the runner-up.
  • Finalists must participate in two pitch practice sessions with a LaunchTN-assigned partner prior to 36|86: Student Edition.
  • Former prize winners are not eligible to apply in subsequent years.

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