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Granol’D takes top honors at annual Kittrell Pitch Competition

Each academic year the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation provides a unique opportunity for students who have dreams of launching their own businesses

Kim Chaudoin | 

Winners of the 2021-22 Kittrell Pitch Competition

Winners of the spring Kittrell Pitch Competition, from left to right, Dorie Harrison (second place), LiLiAnne Sutherlin (third place), Courtney Grable (third place) and Anna Belle and Lila Mae Skidmore (first).

The annual Kittrell Pitch Competition allows students to deliver a business or product pitch in order to receive funding and support to bring their idea to reality. The competition begins in the fall and continues with a final round in the spring. 

The fall competition is open to all eligible undergraduate and graduate students from any major, who will deliver a five-minute pitch of their business model to a panel of judges. The first-place winner receives $2,500; second and third place winners receive prizes of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. Winners at any level receive automatic qualification for the final round in the spring pitch competition and advising from the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

The spring competition takes the pitch to the next level, with up to $10,000 first-place prize for the winning team. Teams compete in a qualifying round, in which three teams are selected for the final round. 

Teams deliver a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges. Winning teams are awarded cash prizes and the first-place team receives personal advising from a mentor with relevant industry experience and all winners receive advising from the Center for Entrepreneurship.

This spring seven finalists competed in the final round of the 2021-22 Kittrell Pitch Competition. This year’s winners are:

  • 1st Place: Anna Belle and Lila Mae Skidmore for Granol’D, a granola snack company. They received $8,000 in funding to invest into developing their business. 
  • 2nd Place: Dorie Harrison for Dolled by Dorie, a beauty service and product company. Harrison received $4,000 in funding. 
  • 3rd Place (tie) : Courtney Grable for Red Dress Writing, a social media marketing creation company; and LiLiAnne Sutherlin for Travel Bug Girls, a travel service for women. Grable and Sutherlin each received $1,500 to develop their business ventures. 

“We had seven finalist teams on Wednesday evening,” said Jeff Cohu, executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “The quality of all of the presentations was very good including many talented young new entrants that we will continue to develop over the next few years.”

Anna Belle Skidmore, a sophomore at Lipscomb, and here sister, Lila Mae, a junior at Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, said they were honored to place first in the competition. 

“My sister and I are incredibly honored to have been able to share our vision for Granola’d," said Skidmore. "We couldn’t be more thankful for how much Lipscomb has done in helping us grow our business! The generosity of Mr. Kittrell and the supportive comments mirror the community we want to create around Granola’d in order to develop a business that glorifies the Lord!”  

The Kittrell Pitch Competition is made possible by generous donations from alumnus and member of Lipscomb’s Board of Trustees Marty Kittrell. Kittrell is a long-time supporter of Lipscomb’s Center for Entrepreneurship and donates in honor of his father, William B. Kittrell, who was a 1941 graduate of Lipscomb. 

Learn more about the Kittrell Pitch Competition

— Photo: Davis Brown