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Recognitions, March 20

Student Entrepreneurs Win Recent Pitch Competitions

UT graduate student Lia Winter, center, and teammates Preston Dishner, right, and Ryan Cunningham show off trophies from the University of Manitoba Stu Clarke Investment Challenge. The team won the top prize at the competition on March 9, 2019.

Graduate student Lia Winter won first place and about $16,000 in prize money last week at an international pitch competition in Manitoba, Canada, for her patent-pending surgical device, EasyWhip.

Winter’s company, Winter Innovations, was one of three student start-ups to win four pitch competitions over the past two weeks, collecting more than $42,500 in prize money to invest in their companies.

“We’re proud to see our student entrepreneurs advancing to this level of competition,” said Lynn Youngs, executive director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business. “Their continued engagement in our programs through mentorship and experiential learning opportunities is building sustainable, investable businesses.”

UT Graduate Programs Among Best in Nation

U.S. News and World Report has recognized several UT colleges and programs in its 2020 graduate school rankings, which were released today.

Three UT colleges ranked in the top 30 among public institutions:

  • The College of Social Work rose three spots and is now ranked 22nd.
  • The Haslam College of Business is ranked 29th.
  • The College of Law climbed four spots and is now ranked 30th.

“These rankings confirm the University of Tennessee’s commitment to excellence in graduate education as the state’s premier public university and its flagship higher education institution,” said Provost David Manderscheid. “Since we are a Carnegie tier one research university, our graduate students learn from the best faculty, drive innovation, solve complex societal issues, and support UT’s research mission.”

Rolling Storage Wins Semi-Annual Vol Court Pitch Competition

An idea for a mobile storage solution won first place in this semester’s Vol Court Pitch Competition. University of Tennessee sophomore Kaleb Winders pitched Rolling Storage in the semiannual competition and speaker series hosted by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

Rolling Storage aims to provide convenient and secure storage for use at sporting and entertainment events. Winders developed the idea while working in event security.

“I’ve experienced thousands of people asking me where they can leave their belongings and complaining when they have no option other than to throw away items,” Winders said. “I’ve seen many different reasons people are frustrated with bag policies at large events and the security issues that result when people leave behind unattended bags.”

Winders, a business management major and entrepreneurship minor from Hendersonville, Tennessee, said he has felt the same way when patronizing events.

“Having experienced both sides of this problem, I know my company’s solution to it can help both event attendees and staff,” Winders said.