University of Tennessee

Graves Business Plan Competition Now Accepting Applications

February 12, 2019

Undergraduate students the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a business idea or early-stage startups may apply to the Graves Business Plan Competition beginning February 11. The annual competition, hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business, was created in 2007 to help aspiring student entrepreneurs grow businesses.

The competition is open to any undergraduate currently enrolled at UT or the UT Institute of Agriculture. First, second and third prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively are awarded in both growth and lifestyle business categories. All student-owned companies, whether legally formed or in the planning stages, are eligible to compete.

“The Graves Business Pan Competition helps students advance business ideas and early-stage ventures,” said Tom Graves, Anderson Center director of operations and director of the competition. “Through participation in the competition, students can gain not only prize money, but also valuable feedback from the competition judges.”

Applications for the Graves Business Plan Competition are due by March 10 at 11:59 p.m. Students must complete the application form. Applicants advancing to the first presentation round will pitch to a panel of local business professionals and alumni entrepreneurs on Friday, April 5.

Students interested in learning more about all aspects of the competition are encouraged to stop by the Graves Business Plan Competition information event February 20, 10 – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. in the Anderson Center, Haslam Business Building, room 418. Student entrepreneurs and Anderson Center staff will be available to share information about the competition.

Attendance at the event is not required in order to apply to the competition but is available for anyone seeking information about the application and competition.

Competition Also Accepting Student Financial Advisor Applications

Students majoring in finance and accounting, who are not applying to compete with a business idea or early-stage startup, may apply for student financial advisor roles. These students will have the opportunity to consult and advise an early-stage student startup in the financial portions of their presentations.

Student financial advisor prizes of up to $300 are awarded to advisors whose teams win first, second and third in both the growth and lifestyle categories.

Interested finance and accounting students may apply using the student financial advisor application form.


Carrie McCamey (865-974-9964,