Tennessee entrepreneur Spencer Patton addresses business students interested in Patton Entrepreneurship Grant on Wednesday afternoon. Lucas Bales|THE ALL STATE

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University’s newest business competition series is one of the university’s latest efforts to encourage young entrepreneurship among its students and the local community. Led by Spencer Patton and his Patton Foundation, this challenge, aptly named the Patton Entrepreneurship Grant (PEG), will carry on an APSU tradition of homegrown companies helping to host a “Shark Tank”-like challenge with cash prizes as incentive.

While mainly encouraged within the College of Business, the challenge is open to all APSU students. Those interested will focus on using the PEG workshop to narrow down their business pitches and will need to apply to the competition online by October 3 using the Patton Foundation website.

For those who are accepted, the in-person part of the PEG competition will take place at the Mabry Concert Hall at 6:00 pm on October 16. Here, the finalists will provide a 10-minute business pitch followed by a 5-minute Q&A session with the present panel of judges.

Following all of the finalists’ presentations, the judges will select three winners for the grant in the amounts of $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Those that did not win will have the opportunity to get feedback and tips regarding their pitches so that they can further understand why they did not win and develop themselves further as a result.

Aside from the challenge itself, Patton will be giving a 10-lesson keynote program that will culminate in the actual competition. His experience as founder of Patton Logistics, Route Consultant, Hello Truck Lease, and other companies in the logistics framework over the past decade will provide the basis of his experience and knowledge in the space.

These lessons, which started Wednesday September 13, will be hosted by APSU in the Legends Bank Lecture Hall of the Kimbrough Building.

This is one of many business-oriented programs hosted by both APSU and the Patton Foundation. Patton hosts regular PEG Challenges throughout Tennessee’s high schools and universities in order to encourage entrepreneurs via the combined avenue of education and his own personal testimonies.

Similarly, APSU’s College of Business has seen a substantial growth over the past decade with renovations starting in 2015, and even more currently going on now. The university has also partnered with various other companies and organizations including the Wall Street Journal, Legends Bank, and now the Patton Foundation as a result of promising new degree opportunities, internships, staff, and business deals.

Just last year, APSU hosted the PEG Challenge’s predecessor in the form of the $15K Entrepreneurship Challenge with a significant turnout. The Patton Entrepreneurship Grant is expected to follow in these footsteps.