A total of $20,000 was awarded to six UT student startups in the 2022 Graves Business Plan
Competition, hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business.
Created to provide student entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a 10-minute pitch for investment, six students were selected for funding, including two from the Tickle College of Engineering.
There are two competition categories—growth and lifestyle—each with three reward levels.
Startups looking for significant scalability and considerable investment should consider the
growth category, while those intended to assist regional or smaller-scale possibilities to fall under the lifestyle category.
Alexandria Carter, a senior biomedical engineering student from Knoxville, won $5,000 and first place in the growth category. Her company is called Out of the Box Appliances, and she aims to revolutionize the kitchen industry. Carter wanted to use her engineering background to improve kitchen practices with cutting-edge appliances.
“Winning this competition means my dream of combining passion and career in one space has come true,” said Carter. “Incorporating baking into engineering is something I never thought to be the reality I’d live in, but I am beyond excited to say that winning the Graves Business Plan Competition has made that possible.”
Taylor Gingrich, a senior studying industrial engineering, won the third-place prize of $2,000 in the growth category. His company is called “Fresh Now”, and it’s an application that can scan grocery items to remind users of expiration dates. The application can also compile meal suggestions based on when certain foods are going to expire.
Gingrich’s goal is to reduce wasted grocery items and make creating home meals out of recently bought grocery items more feasible.
“Knowing that experienced entrepreneurs believe in the feasibility of this idea gives me more confidence to pursue making the vision a reality,” said Gingrich.
A complete Haslam College of Business release on the event can be found here.