Knoxville Area Urban League


2018 PARADIGM CHALLENGE: Burlington Edition

Building Knoxville One Business At A Time

What is the Paradigm Challenge?
The Paradigm Challenge is a place-based business pitch competition that challenges entrepreneurs to solve business and economic growth challenges facing the Burlington business community (i.e. West Boundary starts at S. Castle Street and the East Boundary ends at Holston Village Way; the South Boundary starts at Skyline Drive and the North Boundary ends at Magnolia Avenue and turns into Asheville Highway)

What industry sectors are targeted?
Any viable industry sector and idea will be considered

Does the pitch have to be for a new business?
No, the business pitch contest is open to new entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses seeking to expand. The business does need to be located in Burlington

Who can participate in the Paradigm Challenge?
Anyone residing in Knox County, Blount County or Anderson County can submit a pitch contest idea

Where can I get an application?
Applications can be found on the following websites:,,,, and


When is the deadline for submitting applications?
The deadline for application submittals is Friday, September 21, 2018, no later than 5 p.m. EST

When will the pitch contest be held?
The pitch day will be Monday, October 15, 2018

How many people will be selected to pitch their business idea?
The top 25 applications submitted will be interviewed and the list will then be narrowed downed to the top 10 finalist who will be invited to pitch their ideas on pitch day

How many winners will be selected?
There will be one winner selected to win the pitch contest

What will the winners receive?
The winner will receive $10,000 in reimbursable monetary prizes, pro bono professional services through the Knoxville Business Support Network, and possibly local government assistance if your project qualifies

Will the winners be required to invest financially?
Yes, winners must have the financial capability and resources to invest in their business concept

Tentative Milestone Dates
  • Competitor Applications Open: August 24, 2018
  • Competitor Applications Deadline: September 21, 2018
  • Semi Finalists Announced (Top 25 ideas selected): September 28, 2018
  • Finalists Announced (Best 10 of 25 selected): October 1, 2018
  • Paradigm Challenge Pitch Day: October 15, 2018


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