|UPDATE: Applications are now being accepted for the Ballard Innovation Award. Please download the application form PDF to your computer, fill it out, then visit the application page to submit your entry when completed. Application deadline is February 19th. Winners will be announced on March 12th.
Applicants are encouraged to submit links to video, articles, multimedia presentations, or other supporting documentation.
PYA has announced the Ballard Innovation Award competition in which emerging companies can compete for a $50,000 investment of capital and in-kind services to support their emerging, innovative ideas.
The Ballard Innovation Award competition is open to any early-stage company in the East Tennessee area that has established a “proof of concept” with accompanying revenue. Applicants must be able to present a business plan to optimize existing business operations by reducing costs, increasing revenues, and/or gaining new efficiencies, while demonstrating clear innovations to improve the business and empower the consumer.
The award is named in honor of Tom Ballard, PYA’s Chief Alliance Officer and well-respected member of the East Tennessee entrepreneurial community. The East Tennessee native spent more than four decades building relationships for the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory throughout the region, state, and nation before joining PYA in 2012. During both careers, Ballard led initiatives to build multi-organizational alliances focusing on statewide telecommunications networking, automotive research, and land use planning. Ballard is also Editor and Publisher of Teknovation.biz, a daily electronic newsletter focused on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
“We are so proud to offer this annual investment in emerging companies with great promise and innovation focus,” said PYA Chief Executive Officer Marty Brown. “This award was inspired by Tom’s dedication and efforts to support area entrepreneurs. It was only fitting that we name the annual award after him and honor his legacy of encouraging business leaders to aspire, grow, and achieve.”
Applying for the PYA Ballard Innovation Award
Applicant qualifications include a company that:
- Is located in the geographic East Tennessee area (33 counties as defined by the state of TN) – metro areas include Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Tri-Cities;
- Has established a “proof of concept” with accompanying revenue (as outlined);
- Has achieved between $5,000 and $50,000 in monthly recurring revenues (annualized revenues of between $60,000 – $600,000 and must be “non-grant” revenue from independent customers);
- Has a business plan to optimize existing business operations by reducing costs, increasing revenues, and/or gaining new efficiencies;
- Can demonstrate clear innovations that will improve the business;
- Has a focus on empowering the consumer to become more informed and engaged.
Applications will be accepted starting in January 2021, and an award presentation for the top three finalists will be scheduled in mid-March.
Award winners will be decided by a distinguished panel of area business leaders and entrepreneurial mentors including Charlie Brock, Brandon Bruce, Amy Henry, Mike Odom, and Mary Celeste Beall.
The first-place winner of the PYA Ballard Innovation Award will receive the following:
- $50,000 package of capital and in-kind services:
- $10,000 of Monetary Capital
- $ 2,500 of In-Kind Tax Advisory Support
- $ 7,500 of In-Kind Outsourced Accounting
- $10,000 of In-Kind Marketing Support
- $10,000 of In-Kind Strategy Support
- $10,000 of In-Kind Video Development
- Marketing and promotional awareness through earned media
- Physical award for presentation and marketing purposes
Second and third-place winners will receive the following:
- $10k of In-Kind Strategy Support
- Mention in marketing/media collateral
- $5k of In-Kind Strategy Support
- Mention in marketing/media collateral
For more information about the PYA Ballard Innovation Award, please contact Larsen Jay at (800) 270-9629.