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TCE Student Entrepreneurs Receive Funding from Graves Business Plan Competition

Team members from Yeat.
Three students (left to right), Frank Gao and Ashley Chen, both senior industrial engineering majors, and Colton Ku, an MBA candidate, won second place in the growth category for Yeat, a new type of food delivery service.

Student entrepreneurs drawing from their own experiences—ranging from rodeo riding to living with disabilities—have been awarded cash prizes for their start-up businesses in the fall 2019 Graves Business Plan Competition.

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business hosted the entrepreneurial pitch contest in late November.

“This was one of the most competitive groups we’ve seen,” said Tom Graves, operations director for the Anderson Center. “The quality of the ideas and the presentations impressed the judging panel, and we’re pleased to continue working with these early-stage startups as they move forward.”


Yeat, a new type of food delivery service, won second place in the growth category with an award of $3,000.

Team members Frank Gao and Ashley Chen, senior industrial engineering majors in the Tickle College of Engineering, and Colton Ku, an MBA candidate in the Haslam College of Business, presented the startup. Gao is from Tazewell, Tennessee, Chen is from Franklin, Tennessee, and Ku hails from Burbank, California.

“Yeat was born out of the recognition that current food delivery services are simply too expensive,” said Chen. “We knew that we could create a better system in which all parties benefit.”

Yeat plans to use the awarded funds to develop their application and will seek UT community members to test its platform.

“We are developing the most streamlined and easy-to-use application possible,” said Chen. “We want our users to have a hassle-free and positive experience ordering through Yeat.”

Read about this year’s competition and winners.