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Two UT student start-up companies are one step closer to success after taking prizes at the Vol Court Pitch Competition Tuesday. Aeron Glover and Kaliv Parker with howstheliving.com came in first and Jake Baron took second with Turtlebak.

Howstheliving.com allows students to provide first-hand feedback on host families, residence halls, and apartments. The website is free for basic users, and students who register for a premium account have the ability to contact other students who have commented on residences or host families.

Turtlebak is a company producing a unique single-strap backpack that distributes weight higher and more evenly than traditional backpacks, creating a more comfortable fit. The backpack is constructed from Neoprene fabric that is durable, waterproof and stretchable, making it ideal for both academic and recreational use.

“Vol Court is a great way for students and faculty to learn about what it takes to start a business,” said Joy Fisher, Director of Marketing and Business Development at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). “People who want to create a new company can both learn from experienced entrepreneurs and network with other people who can help them advance their ideas.”

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