KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Innov865 is calling all inventors and entrepreneurs to submit their application for Innov865 Week’s Startup Day 2017 pitch competition.

New this year, the Startup Day pitch competition will feature two prize categories: judges’ choice and crowd favorite. The event will feature six East Tennessee startups pitching their businesses for a chance to win up to $15,000 in cash prizes.

Applications are available for the pitch competition at Innov865’s website. Applications will be accepted from June 16 through July 7, 2017. The Innov865 Alliance will review applications and select six startups to participate. Applicants will be notified of the Alliance’s decision no later than July 17, 2017.

This is the fifth Startup Day pitch competition and the signature event of the second annual Innov865 Week, which runs September 18-22 this year and is a celebration of Knoxville’s vibrant entrepreneurial community. Innov865 Week 2017 includes educational panels, investor roundtables, demo days, and networking opportunities.

The week will kick-off on Monday with Future865, an event that will explore opportunities to help Knoxville leverage its many assets – social, cultural, and technical – to become Tthe destination for entrepreneurs in the Southeast. Other scheduled activities include a technology showcase hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation; The Works hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center; the return of the Maker Summit and Elev865, an exclusive networking event for business leaders and entrepreneurs; and the roll-out of Olli, a self-driving, fully electric vehicle that was created and manufactured by Local Motors, a Knoxville-based company that designs and builds innovative motor vehicles.

The inaugural Innov865 Week in 2016 featured 25 events and drew more than 1,400 startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee.