The Skyhawk Venture Challenge Competition

100 Business Administration

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7306


Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi, Dean

The Skyhawk Venture Challenge Competition

March 30, 2017


Creates an opportunity for students to present the commercialization potential of their business idea in an environment that celebrates new venture creation, entrepreneurial thinking, and the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Awards students with cash prizes based on the merits of their ideas and presentations. Provides students with a platform to showcase their talent and passion for entrepreneurship.

Competition Details

Entering the Competition

To be considered for the completion, one member of the team should submit a one page executive summary (50 word minimum/ 300 word maximum) in person on March 16 or March 23 at College of Business and Global Affairs, Room 33 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Members of the Skyhawk Venture Challenge Steering committee will be on hand both nights to review the executive summary and assist teams in making their presentations.


Participating students will make a 5-6 minute pitch of their business model to a panel of judges. At a minimum, the presentation must include an introduction of the team, a clear description of the problem being solved, the solution proposed, customer segments, competitive analysis, unique value propositions, and revenue streams. Judges may ask questions; answers must be limited to 1 minute. Use of presentation slides is permitted. Props or prototypes may be used and are encouraged. No props, prototypes, or other materials may be distributed once the presentation begins. If time permits, teams will be allowed to submit more than one entry. Presentations will be made on March 30, 2017 at Boling University Center, Legislative Chambers at 6:00 pm.


Four winners will be selected to receive the following awards:

  • First Place: $1,500
  • Second Place: $750
  • Third Place: $500
  • People’s Choice: $500


Student Status

The competition is for all undergraduate and graduate students attending the University of Tennessee Martin. Both full time and part time students are encouraged to participate. It is open to students across all schools and departments within the university.


There is no limit on the number of students or non-students on the founding team, but only a maximum of three students may present in the competition. Presenters must meet student enrollment eligibility requirements, be a founding member of the venture, and a member of the venture's management team. Interdisciplinary teams are recommended. Teams may include any number of undergraduate students. Non-students may be members of the management team and may participate in planning the venture, but only students meeting enrollment requirements may present and answer questions from the judges.


The judge panel will consist of a minimum of three judges. Judges will be independent and not employed by the University of Tennessee Martin. Judging criteria for the pitch competition will be provided to all teams submitting valid applications for the competition.

Judging Criteria

Judges will consider the following criteria for scoring the presentations. For each item, 0 to 5 points will be awarded, with 5 representing the top score (30 possible points):

Definition of the Problem or Opportunity

The contestant provided a clear, concise, and compelling description of a problem or opportunity. Consideration is given to the scope of the problem/opportunity. Market-oriented and social problems/opportunities are considered of equal importance.


The solution to the problem or opportunity is clearly defined, compelling, and believable.

Impact of Solution

The degree of impact that the solution will have on the problem/opportunity. Solutions addressing larger markets or populations served will receive higher scores.

Solution Feasibility

The degree to which implementation of the solution is feasible considering the time, capital, and other resources necessary for implementation.

Market Strategy

A clear, compelling, and feasible strategy is provided that addresses how the solution will be marketed or delivered. Likelihood of being able to successfully market the solution will affect scoring.

Presentation Style

Overall quality of the presentation. Clear, concise messaging, degree of confidence, professional appearance and interesting/compelling presentation. The degree to which the presentation might pique an investor’s interest is also considered.

Changes to Competition Rules

Rules and awards are subject to change.

Intellectual Property

By submitting an application, teams acknowledge they own any intellectual property rights that exist or may be developed from their idea. The idea and concepts must be the original work of the individual or teams making the pitch.