University of Tennessee

Anderson Center Accepting Applications for Boyd Venture Challenge

March 14, 2019

Student-owned start-up businesses seeking funding may apply to the Boyd Venture Challenge beginning March 13. The seed-fund grant awards up to $20,000 to legally established student startup companies each fall and spring semester. The competition is hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

The challenge is open to any legally established early-stage company owned by a UT student. The student owner(s) must be enrolled in a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or UT Institute of Agriculture undergraduate, master’s, or Ph.D. degree program at the time of application.

Students must submit an application to the Anderson Center by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Applications should consist of an executive summary, request for funds and milestones that will be accomplished with the funds if awarded. Full application instructions and eligibility details are on the Boyd Venture Challenge website.

Teams that advance to the presentation round will pitch to a panel of business professionals on Friday, April 26.

“The Boyd Venture Challenge helps early-stage student companies achieve the next step in advancing their businesses,” said Tom Graves, Anderson Center director of operations and director of the competition. “The combination of seed funding and valuable feedback from experienced entrepreneurs provides a boost to these early-stage companies.”

The Boyd Venture Challenge is made possible by the generosity of Randy Boyd, interim president of the University of Tennessee System and founder and executive chair of Radio Systems Corporation, makers of PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDog brands.

Since 2011, the endowed fund has awarded $387,000 to 36 student-owned start-ups.


Carrie McCamey (865-974-9964,