Southeast XOR is a collaboration between all 14 Southeastern Conference (SEC) universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and to facilitate the matching of that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management.

By combining the entrepreneur talent networks of all SEC universities, our faculty startup companies will have access to a larger talent pool, a greater chance of finding fundable executive management and, ultimately, succeeding. Similarly, Southeast XOR grants entrepreneurs that may be looking for their next move an opportunity to review a larger pipeline of opportunities in a central and user-friendly space

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Southeast XOR platform needed?

Many university startups meet an inflection point at which the founders are not capable of growing the company further. Either additional management is needed or they must leave their UT position to run the company full-time. The platform is designed to help startups find executive talent with the right industry and operational expertise. This will also help UT startups raise capital, as professional investors generally seek to invest in experienced management teams.

As a university startup, do I have to use the Platform:

No, it is a completely optional tool. If you are not currently looking to hire anyone, or are not ready to post a company pitch deck for review by regional entrepreneurs, SEC XOR probably isn’t right for you at this time.

Who builds my company profile?

UTRF will work with you to build a pitch deck and/or other materials for developing the company profile page in the platform. It’s also recommended that you prepare a short video (2-5 minutes) describing your company – nothing fancy required, just have a friend or colleague film you with their phone.

How is a match executed?

Executives and entrepreneurs on the Southeast XOR platform will be able to review your company profile, which will include an identified point-of-contact. UTRF can assist with the introduction process if needed. Determining if there is a “match” is up to the company and the entrepreneur, as is negotiating the form of business relationship (employment vs. consulting, full-time vs. part-time, etc.). There is no obligation imposed on either party to agree to any specific terms.

Is the company required to remain in Tennessee?

No. Although most UT startups are founded in Tennessee, and we think that it’s a fantastic state for building a business, there is not a requirement to remain headquartered in Tennessee. UTRF recognizes that circumstances may require relocation to a different state (or even a different country), and most of all we want to see your company succeed!

What are the qualifications entrepreneurs need to meet to be part of the Southeast XOR platform?

Criteria to become an XOR Entrepreneur includes:

  1. Have founded a startup, have raised capital for a startup, and/or have been an executive in a specific industry with significant experience;
  2. An affiliation with or recommendation for inclusion by a participating SEC university; and
  3. Willingness and availability to play an executive management role for a startup company.

How do entrepreneurs or startups become part of the SEC XOR platform?

Contact UTRF, who will help you complete and submit an application.

For more information, contact UTRF Vice President Richard Magid or utrf@tennessee.edu.