The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) will host the inaugural Tennessee Venture Challenge (TVC) on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at The Foundry from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Six startup companies will vie for the top prize of $25,000 to help kick-start the process of commercializing their idea. TVC is a business plan competition for the University of Tennessee community, where University-affiliated startup companies will pitch their business model to a panel of investors who will choose the winner of the $25,000 cash prize.

“We are thrilled about the Tennessee Venture Challenge and the quality of the business ideas we’ve received,” said Dr. David Millhorn, University of Tennessee Executive Vice President and President of UTRF. One of the primary functions of UTRF is to move inventions from the classroom and lab into the commercial marketplace, and one of the ways we do that is by equipping UT researchers with the resources to successfully create a startup company around their idea.”

Last night ten potential companies presented their business plans to a panel of judges, and six were selected to move on to compete in the TVC Pitch Competition on Thursday, April 3rd.

The six companies advancing to the finals are:

QuickSod, LLC – a company enabling sod farmers to dramatically reduce time required to produce harvestable sod, thereby allowing for on-demand sod production. Paradox Pharmaceuticals – an early stage company dedicated to translating laboratory discoveries into new drugs to treat cancer and heart disease in humans and companion animals. PALSAR – a company improving food processing methods and reducing food wastage. Their technology will accurately capture the time required for different stages of seed germination, greatly reducing the chance of error and saving the customer time and energy.

GCaDD, LLC – a company developing optically active glass components and associated devices for use in dental radiography.

ResourceIO – a company providing tools to aggregate, analyze, and create action plans for greenhouses and other confined agricultural operations. Their products combine innovative sensors, expert algorithms, and elegant user interfaces to increase yield. Fertility Focus – a company improving fertility rates in beef and dairy production. In addition to the pitch competition, during the final event recognition will also be given to recent startup companies based on UT technologies.

This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend and learn more about the exciting research and ideas coming out of the University of Tennessee. There is no cost to attend, but guests are asked to register in advance.