Contact: Hannah Whitson, | (423) 408-4203

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (June 13, 2022) — Back again with its most expansive format yet, the 10th edition of Innov865 Week’s pitch competition, Startup Day, is now accepting applications. Six startups from the Knoxville region will be selected to pitch their businesses and compete to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. This year’s Innov865 Week will be held from Friday Sept. 16, through Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. 

Startup Day is the signature event of Innov865 Week, an annual celebration of Knoxville’s thriving entrepreneurial community, which will take place on Tuesday, Sept 20. At the competition, entrepreneurs will showcase their local startup to a panel composed of investors and business leaders. 

In addition to Startup Day, the 2022 Innov865 Week will feature a variety of pitch showcases, speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, happy hours and tours throughout the week. This year, the Innov865 Alliance will launch track programming to guide and individualize each participant’s experience based on their interests. 

Programs within each track will be supported by Knoxville-based businesses and organizations that specialize in that category. Each path highlights various parts of Innov865’s mission to develop, support and promote the Knoxville region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its collaborative effort to celebrate and showcase Knoxville as a great place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase access to capital. This year’s offered tracks include: innovation, education, maker, culture and investor.

“The rise of multiple startup accelerators has put a national spotlight on the breadth and depth of Knoxville’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Derren Burrell, Founder and President of Veteran Ventures Capital. “We welcome any and all to join us for Innov865 Week to help us recognize and celebrate our region’s entrepreneurs and the impact they have in our community.” 

More than 1,000 entrepreneurs, startups, business leaders, investors, community leaders and students attend Innov865 Week each year. For more information on Innov865 Week or to submit an application, please visit the Innov865 website at

Applicant Information

Applications are available on the Innov865 Week website here. Applicants must be located in the Knoxville region to be eligible. Applications close June 24, 2022 at 11:59p.m. ET. The Innov865 Alliance will review applications submissions and select six startups to compete. Selected finalists will be notified in mid-July.  

About Innov865 Week & The Innov865 Alliance

Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events. It is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a coalition that develops, supports, and promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee, Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, the City of Knoxville and Bunker Labs Knoxville. To learn more, visit