The University of Tennessee Vol Court business pitch competition has a social media twist this year.
For the first time the winner will be chosen by a vote of Facebook users.
Voting has started and ends at 11 p.m. on Nov. 13.
At stake are cash prizes, office space and consulting services from Pershing Yoakley and Associates and mentoring services from the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
A $5,000 prize package is on the line Tuesday when eight teams of aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas in the final session of the spring 2012 Vol Court business plan competition.
The winner gets $1,000 cash. Second place earns $500.
Free money is good, but the Vol Court winner gets other invaluable help, including space at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation business incubator, legal services from Terry Adams Law Firm and mentoring from the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Total value of the winning prize package is pegged at $5,000. But it’s hard to put a price tag on expert mentoring. That kind of help can make or break a startup.