Twelve contestants will participate in the 2014 What’s the Big Idea?! business plan competition, presented by the Development Corporation of Knox County, the Knoxville Chamber, and Tech 2020. The contestants’ Big Ideas were chosen based on technical feasibility, ingenuity, growth potential, and viability of a sustainable, competitive advantage.
Now, the 12 contestants will participate in two Idea Launch seminars led by local business leaders, which will help refine their ideas and fine-tune their pitches. The contestants will then convene on May 6 to give a five-minute pitch of their Big Idea to a panel of coaches, who are recognized as successful, local entrepreneurs. Each coach will then select three contestants to be on their teams.
The contestants will then duke it out in the Knock-Out Competitions on June 3, which pits three contestants against each other, one from each team, in three separate pitch rounds. The judges identified one winner from each round, narrowing the group from nine to three. As a new element to this year’s competition, the six contestants not selected will be eligible for the People’s Choice Pitch held at the finale.
The finale will be held on June 24 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Relix Variety Theater and will feature the three finalists and the People’s Choice Pitch winner. The finalists will then present their last pitches for a chance to win the Big Idea Launch Package – $10,000 startup cost reimbursement, office space, and complimentary business services.
This year’s contestants are:
HighRise Technology, Hollis Allen
Technology company producing products that improve the entertainment experience through comfort and convenience.
Retailius, Casey Ash
Point-of-sale software that allows small businesses to reach consumers more efficiently and effectively through the integration of selling channels.
International House Works, LLC, John W. Cook
Construction company building and distributing simple homes, medical clinics, and Internet technology to developing countries and disaster relief areas.
FlowSink, Martin Wade
Multi-use, portable sink continuously changes out dirty water with fresh and can be used in tasks like cleaning painting tools, mopping floors, camping, etc.
MyPTshop.com, Christopher Saah
Web application that allows personal trainers to effortlessly create an ecommerce website where they can sell and suggest fitness products.
Gludi, Kyle McClain
A digital support system for Type 2 diabetics that helps them track their progress and build a social network of supporters.
Vuture, Michael Crain
User-friendly IOS application that captures and preserves user’s memories to be viewed in today or in the future.
Elder Tech, Theresa Maples
Dedicated, patience technical experts assisting the elderly and technically challenged with computers and mobile devices.
Zeias.com, Adam Holdsworth
Pacing device for runners based off the remote controlled car that provides a physical object for the athlete to follow.
AmpTrader.com, Jonnathan Owens
Website dedicated to facilitate peer-to-peer, item-for-item trading for guitar-related music equipment.
Data Collection and Marketing Systems, Daniel Schuh
System of data collection and marketing designed to facilitate small business growth through a new method of targeted advertising.
Prime Medical Training, Andrew Randazzo
Offers continuing education courses pertinent to the medical field, such as CPR, first aid, lifeguarding, etc.