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36|86: Student Edition 2020 — $35K in prizes!

Ready to share your innovation, invention, or new business with the world? Apply now to join us online in August at the eighth-annual 36|86 Festival!

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

Student-founded companies like mobius, Leaf, and ATS Innovations made lasting connections (and $$) at 36|86. Join us this year and be part of the community!

Apply now


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 2020: 36|86: Student Edition competition

Pitch Format

Each company will pitch for 4 minutes, followed by 2 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.
Apply now

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