Start Here pitch competition

In partnership with Highlands Economic Partnership and Tennessee Center for Rural Innovation at TTU, we’re hosting the Start Here Pitch Competition in Tennessee during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Local, regional and national startups looking to start here in the Upper Cumberland region are invited to apply for the competition for a chance cash prize with the grand prize of $10,000 as well as an opportunity to pitch to the Upper Cumberland Angel Investors Fund. 

This event is open to the public, so be sure to RSVP to be a spectator for this epic event!


Our voting committee will review all applications and we will announce the competition finalists on November 6th, 2023.

Stay tuned to see who our 6 finalists will be!

Who is the Start Here Pitch Competition for?

The Start Here Pitch Competition is open to entrepreneurs in the concept or startup phase that meet the following requirements:

  • Must plan on growing to 1 million plus in revenue or adding 1 Million plus in revenue within 3 years
  • Must plan to grow to more than 5 employees or add more than 5 employees within 3 years
  • Must serve a regional or national market
  • Must have some lineage to the Upper Cumberland region. Started here, will start here, interested in starting here, or interested in relocating to the Upper Cumberland Region
  • Must have less than 50 employees

How does the competition work?

Interested entrepreneurs will apply through the following steps.

Highlands Economic Partnership Logo
  1. Submit an application and video through our application form by November 1st, 2023.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by The Biz Foundry Voting Committee and our 6 finalists will be announced on November 6th. 2023.
  3. Finalist will work with The Biz Foundry Business Coaches to prepare their pitches.
  4. Finalist will pitch at the Start Here Pitch Competition on November 15th, 2023.

when is the start here pitch competition?

Wednesday November 15th, 2023

5:30 – 7:30PM

37 Cedar Restaurant & Bar

Apply to pitch or RSVP to be a spectator!


Why Start Here Pitch Competition?

The Start Here Pitch Competition is an opportunity for local, regional and national entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to not only win cash prizes, with the grand prize of $10,000 and chance to pitch to the Upper Cumberland Angel Investors Fund, but it also helps boost the community and economic development of our region.


Have questions about the Start Here Pitch Competition?

Complete the form below and we will get back to you within 48 business hours.

Start Here Pitch Competition Breakfast Inquiry Form