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UT Graduate Student Entrepreneurs Win Local and International Pitch Competitions

UT graduate student Lia Winter, center, and teammates Preston Dishner, right, and Ryan Cunningham show off trophies from the University of Manitoba Stu Clarke Investment Challenge. The team won the top prize at the competition on March 9, 2019.

Two companies operated by UT graduate students won local and international competitions recently. Lia Winter is a dual MS–MBA candidate studying biomedical engineering and business administration in the Tickle College of Engineering and the Haslam College of Business. Winter’s company, Winter Innovations, won first place and about $16,000 in prize money last week at an international pitch competition in Manitoba, Canada, for her patent-pending surgical device, EasyWhip.

Erica Grant

Erica Grant, from Richmond, Virginia, is a doctoral candidate studying quantum computing in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. The company she founded, Quantum Lock, won top prize in “What’s the Big Idea? 48-hour Launch” competition on March 3 in Knoxville. The company uses a quantum property found in light to increase the security of smart locks.

Read more about these two companies, as well as a company started by undergraduate Sofia Tomov, which won a competition in Maryville.