Skip links


36|86: Student Edition — $35K in prizes!

36|86: Student Edition is a launching point for student entrepreneurs — providing access to funding, marketing support, networking, and community and corporate resources.

2020 Winners

1st Place

ARMS Cyber
Vanderbilt University

ARMS Cyber leverages moving target defense to proactively prevent vulnerability discovery in the first place.

2nd Place

BrantleyMarie Medical Devices
Tennessee Technological University

BrantleyMarie Medical Devices, Inc. is an innovative medical device company whose goal is to get life-saving products in the hands of practitioners across the country.

3rd Place

Vanderbilt University

WhatNxt provides a social, confident, and effortless way for travelers to create, optimize, and share travel experiences through our content-sharing platform, so they can enjoy planning their trips as much as the trips themselves.

2020 Finalists

Job-matching program that boosts job satisfaction, productivity, and reduces turnover

University of Tennessee

Virtually try on makeup

Vanderbilt University

Affordable, non-allergenic home cleaners to protect you and the planet

The Beachy Clean
University of Tennessee

Browser plugin to help you learn the emerging technologies and trending topics

University of Memphis

Trendy and functional brand for working women

Working Women Design
TN Tech


May 15: Applications open
June 20: Application deadline
July 10: Finalists announced
10-12 companies will be selected
July 10-17: Finalists paired with mentors
Finalists must arrange for at least two pitch prep sessions
August 24: 36|86: Student Edition competition

Pitch Format

Each company will pitch for 3 minutes, followed by 4 minutes of Q&A with judges. Judges will evaluate each company’s proposed product or service, and the ability to execute, calculating the overall score with the following categories:

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


1st Place: $20,000
2nd Place: $10,000
3rd Place: $5,000

  • Exposure as a finalist before, during, and after 36|86: Student Edition 
  • Complimentary 36|86 Festival passes for your team
  • Connections to individualized mentorship and pitch prep
  • At least 50% of each company’s founders and/or leadership team must be students currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a university or college (or recent graduate(s) – December 2019 or later)
    • Full-time and part-time students are eligible
    • At least one team member must be either currently enrolled at a Tennessee university or college or recent graduate(s) (December 2019 or later)
    • Teams with higher percentages of student members will receive preference 
  • Teams must have a written reference from a representative of their college or university
  • Teams are encouraged, but not required, to be established as a legal entity. Winners will have 60 days following notification of their award to establish as a legal entity in order to be eligible to receive their cash prize. Should winning teams not be eligible within 60 days, they will forfeit their winnings to the next highest-scoring team.

Get updates on 36|86.

Be the first to get updates on 36|86 Festival, including hot speaker announcements, networking opportunities, and so much more. Join our email list today!

* indicates required
Return to top of page