UT Students Win National Business Pitch Competition and $25,000

KNOXVILLE – Two University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students are the winners of $25,000 and on their way to launching the nation’s next big business.

mtvU revealed today that Aeron Glover, an engineering major, and Kaliv Parker, a business major, won the 2010 Movers & Changers competition, a national business pitch competition sponsored by mtvU and the New York Stock Exchange. The revelation was made in today’s airing of the final episode documenting Movers & Changers.

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“We have been looking forward to the mtvU competition, so we are pretty excited about winning. We expected it and we are excited to move forward from here,” said Glover.

All episodes of the competition can be viewed online.

Glover and Parker, both juniors from Memphis, developed a website called How’s the Living to help college students learn more about student housing around the world. They defeated two other finalists in the 2010 Movers & Changers competition for the $25,000 in seed money which they plan to put to good use.

“We have several ways that we have mapped out to spend the money. Some of that is reinventing our website. We want to make it more interactive for our users as well as provide more incentives for our students such as e-coupons or gift card discounts to go on and rate their housing on our site,” said Parker.

The series featured Glover and Parker and the other two teams and followed them as they went to New York City, rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, attended the NYSE Movers & Changers Forum, received tips from mentors such as actor/comedian Nick Cannon, and presented their plans to a panel of industry executives.

“Presenting our idea to the panel of experts at the Movers & Changers competition was unreal. To find individuals who are leaders in the industry and to have to pitch in front of them was kind of intimidating at first but after starting our pitch and getting into it, we were confident in moving forward,” said Parker.

Glover and Parker first presented their idea at the 2010 Undergraduate Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the UT Knoxville College of Business Administration. Through faculty and entrepreneurial mentoring, the campus-wide competition allowed the students to refine their plan. They also have been helped by College of Engineering’s Entrepreneurship program. Prior to winning the mtvU competition, they participated in and won the 2010 Vol Court, a training seminar and competition jointly sponsored by the Anderson Center and the UT Research Foundation.

mtvU is a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks which produces a 24-hour television channel that is available on more than 750 college and university campuses across the United States.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)

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