UT students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the local community, are encouraged to pitch their business ideas at Vol Court, a semiannual pitch competition and speaker series presented by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.


The series begins today [Wednesday, September 4]. Winners may receive up to $1,500 in prize money and space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator along with legal and accounting services and other prizes.


The series and competition are open to the public. There is no charge to participate in the event, and anyone interested in entrepreneurship is invited to attend.


Designed to introduce participants to entrepreneurship, series topics provide a starting point to help advance business ideas into reality.


“We’re excited to open this year with new topics and speakers,” said Shawn Carson, Vol Court director. “If you’re curious about entrepreneurship and start-ups, Vol Court is the place to begin. We encourage participants to bring their ideas and questions to share with our experts.”


The fall 2019 series includes five interactive entrepreneurial speaker sessions with local entrepreneurs and UT alumni.


The program culminates on October 9 in a pitch competition where attendees put what they’ve learned into practice. Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners.


Vol Court meets from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. every Wednesday from September 4 through October 9. All sessions will be held in the Haslam Business Building, Stokely Management Center, and the Student Union. See the Vol Court schedule for room locations.


Anyone who plans to participate in the October 9 pitch competition must attend four of the five speaker sessions listed below:


September 4: Starting and Staffing Your Business

September 11: Legal Structures for Start-Ups

September 18: An Entrepreneur’s Story

September 25: Making Entrepreneurship Your First Job

October 2: How to Prepare Your Pitch

Vol Court is made possible by donated funds and services from partners including first-place-prize partner Red Stag Fulfillment, the UT Research Foundation, PYA, Morehous Legal Group, Three Roots Capital, Innovative Design Inc., and Make Me Modern.