KNOXVILLE - Six selected finalists will compete in the "What’s the Big Idea 48-hour Launch" entrepreneurial competition.
The competition saw nearly 100 applicants this year.
"This year's group of finalists is really great,” entrepreneur Jonathan Sexton said. “As a whole, the ideas represent a unique cross-section of industry sectors, and even more importantly showcases a variety of communities that make our city great.”
The weekend-long program starts Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. with the selected finalists pitching their ideas to an audience of specialists and mentors. The finalists will then get assigned a team to help them move their ideas from concept to launch-ready over two days.
“What’s the Big Idea is an amazing opportunity to make months of progress in one weekend,” Sexton said. “We give these entrepreneurs access to the best business talent in the region for 48 hours.
“It’s exciting, it’s exhausting and it's a ton of fun.”
The final pitch is on Feb. 26 at Scruffy City Hall from 6-8 p.m.
Sponsors to the competition are the Development Corp. of Knox County, the Knoxville Chamber, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and Magnum Venus Products.
This year’s finalists are:
TrapBeats, Krystal Tran and Thu Dang
Sound dampening panels with aesthetic designs for college students or consumers living in apartment-styled homes.
Command Glove, Brandon Hardin, Erik Stevenson, Todd Johnson, Jon Stirling, and Van Irion
A glove embedded with contact switches that can be easily engaged by the natural movements of the wearer’s fingers in order to control electronic devices without impeding or detracting from their current physical or mental activity.
Organizational Origami, Samantha Lane
A proprietary system dedicated to helping people visualize, prioritize, and execute the items they have to do on a daily basis.
Prometheus, Christopher Ruel, Jared Smith, Kaleigh Veca, Steve Mellar, Anders Brown and Nicholas Padlo
An integrated, customized, and detailed risk mitigation tool for the global traveler.
BreatheEasy, Laura Odom, Jeff Gotcher & Will McDermott
A platform that combines a smartphone application with a web-based portal/dashboard that simplifies asthma management
Urban Valle Farms, John Borden
Provides sustainable protein sources via the edible insect market, specifically acheta domesticus (house cricket), in the form of pulverized flour products or whole cricket.
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