Start Here pitch competition

In partnership with Highlands CareerFest, we are hosting the Start Here Pitch Competition in Tennessee. Local, regional and national startups looking to start here in the Upper Cumberland region are invited to apply for the competition for a chance to $10,000 and 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!


We had 12 amazing local startups apply for the Start Here Pitch Competition and here’s our 6 finalists:

Skip The Line, Luke Ramey
MetaFlex/ATS Innovations, Tea Phillips
GoKNEE, Shehla Rooney
QVINTyna Bryan 
Ripple, Jill Stalnaker
Arvo, Alane Boyd

Our winner was Luke Ramey owner of Skip The Line and our crowd favorite was Tea Phillips owner of MetaFlex.

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.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by The Biz Foundry Voting Committee and our 6 finalists will be announced on November 4th.
  3. Finalist will work with The Biz Foundry Business Coaches to prepare their pitches.
  4. Finalist will pitch at the Start Here Pitch Competition Breakfast during the Highlands CareerFest.

when is the start here pitch competition?

Start Here Pitch Competition

Thursday November 17th, 2022

The Biz Foundry

114 N Cedar Ave, Cookeville TN

8:00 – 10:00 AM Breakfast & Networking

10:30AM – 12:30PM Pitch Competition

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 a cash 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