Startup Studio

Take Your Idea to Market

Startup Studio is a new 10-week summer program designed to help launch your business idea. It’s exclusively for current University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students and alumni who have graduated within 12 months of applying to Startup Studio.

The program is now accepting applications for the inaugural cohort, which begins June 24, 2024. Applications are due by midnight on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Read below to learn more about Startup Studio. For more information, please email program director Haseeb Qureshi (“HQ”),

Startup Studio teacher with students

Why Startup Studio?

Learn from Launching

Starting a business or side hustle can be hard. This 10-week program helps take your idea to market. Learn what customers really want by getting your product or service into their hands.

Version by Version

Your entrepreneurial journey starts when you launch your minimum viable product (MVP) and learn from real customers based on feedback about your product or service. You might even start generating revenue — and we’ll help guide you along the way.

Best of the Best

Startup Studio is interdisciplinary — peers from multiple UT colleges work to bring products and services to the market.

Anderson Center Support

Upon completing Startup Studio, you’ll be a part of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) community. You’ll be supported by an institution that’s committed to bettering entrepreneurs and businesses and that cares about your entrepreneurial journey.

Program Design

Summer 2024 Cohort

For the inaugural Startup Studio cohort, 10 teams will work collaboratively, offering diverse viewpoints that enable adaptability and resilience.

Summer Time

Time seems to slow down in the summer, making it the perfect season to create an alternative experience. Explore your entrepreneurial dreams without the academic demands of the fall and spring semesters.

Demo Day

In September 2024, all Startup Studio participants will have a chance to participate in Demo Day, a public event showcasing the cohort’s hard work and progress to the community at large. Demo Day presents an excellent opportunity for new business exposure to potential customers and investors.


Building a Business or Supporting the Teams

Selection and involvement in Startup Studio, either as an entrepreneur or support intern, may qualify as internship credit or as three credit hours for entrepreneurship minors. Internship credit varies by colleges and programs; we’ll work with you and your college on an individual basis.

Time Commitment


As a Startup Studio participant, you must commit at least 15 hours a week to the program and your business idea. However, we are mindful of our participant’s other responsibilities and commitments.

In-Person or Virtual

Startup Studio has space dedicated to in-person meetings and collaboration. Can’t be in Knoxville over the summer? No problem! Our remote option allows you to get the most out of the program, no matter where you are.


Idea to Launch

Over the 10-week program, you’ll evaluate your idea, refine your target market, create your business foundation (entity, agreements and other compliance items), identify and create your MVP and get it into the hands of actual customers.

Your Purpose

Get really clear on your “why” and understand how this clarity supercharges your momentum and increases your likelihood of success within the market.

Market Size

We’ll walk you through how to calculate your total addressable market (TAM) and how to look at your business from a market growth perspective.

Prioritizing Features

Develop strategies based on features that are necessary for your product or service, features that are nice-to-haves and features you should skip (for now, at least).

Business Models

Deploy a business model that allows you to maximize your upside while supporting your customers and honoring your mission.

Legal and Compliance

You’ll get access to business formation services and contract templates that will help you avoid major compliance gaps and legal issues.

Understand Funding

Most businesses require funding. Learn the differences between different kinds of funds and how to maximize your use of them, no matter the type or size.


Explore creative ways to solve problems for your customers and prototype your idea. Work alongside your peers in Startup Studio and supercharge your execution.


Launch your product or service and get it into your customers’ hands. Your MVP not only creates momentum for your venture but also produces tangible results for you as an entrepreneur. Learn from your customers, version by version.


All Ideas Welcome

Whether your idea is a product or a service and whether you want to be a business of one or of many, we’re here for you. If you have an existing business, you must apply with a product or service that reflects a new position or offering for your business. If you’re unsure whether your idea qualifies, apply and we’ll let you know.

Students and Grads

The program is exclusively available to current UT students and alumni who have graduated within 12 months of applying to Startup Studio. UT faculty, staff and community members are not eligible but are invited to explore other ACEI opportunities and resources.

Unintentional Entrepreneurs

Some entrepreneurs find accidental success because they identify and understand a problem so well that they become committed to solving it. If you feel strongly about an idea but are unsure whether you’re an entrepreneur, let us show you the possibilities.


Ideas in Action

We rapidly guide you from the idea stage to the launch phase so you can enter your product or service into the market and gain customer feedback. Ultimately, ideas are only valuable if their execution makes a meaningful difference to customers.

Entrepreneurship on Your Time

You don’t have to jump right into entrepreneurship. You can work full- or part-time while building your own business and pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. Startup Studio is committed to utilizing university resources to help you gain practical entrepreneurial experience and maximize your time.

Meet the Director

Haseeb Qureshi (“HQ”), director of Startup Studio, is a past startup founder, full-stack coder and startup attorney. As an Anderson Center Teaching Fellow and lecturer in the management and entrepreneurship department at the Haslam College of Business, HQ has taught entrepreneurship to hundreds of students. He knows how to launch products and services and is deeply committed to helping his students do the same.