PYA Accepting Applications for First Tom Ballard Innovation Award

By: via PR Newswire

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Applications opened on January 15 for PYA's new Tom Ballard Innovation Award. The award competition is open to any early-stage company in the East Tennessee area with revenue and an established "proof of concept." Applicants are competing for a combination of investment capital and in-kind services totaling at least $50,000 to support their innovative ideas.

Tom Ballard

Applications for the Tom Ballard Innovation Award can be found online at Applicants must indicate how their company and products or services are innovative and improve business, including a business plan. Applicants can include links to a short video or multimedia presentation and can submit supporting documentation.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for emerging companies with great promise and an innovative focus to showcase their talents in a unique way," said Larsen Jay, Director of Business Alliances at PYA. "The winners will receive a tremendous amount of support from the professionals at PYA that will both honor Tom Ballard's focus on entrepreneurship while encouraging business leaders to aspire, grow, and achieve."

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 19. Awards will be announced on March 12. Second and third-place winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000 in-kind strategy support, respectively.

The award is named in honor of PYA's Chief Alliance Officer, Tom Ballard. A native of East Tennessee, Tom has spent the last four decades working to build relationships while working at organizations such as the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While there he helped to lead multi-organizational alliances focusing on statewide telecommunications networking, automotive research, and land use planning. He joined PYA in 2012. He is also the Editor and Publisher of Teknovation, a daily newsletter dedicated to covering businesses focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology in the East Tennessee area.

Judges in the panel for the Tom Ballard Innovation Award include Charlie Brock (Chattanooga Renaissance Fund), Brandon Bruce (Startup Knox), Amy Henry (TVA), Mike Odom (Knoxville Chamber), and Mary Celeste Beall (Blackberry Farm). An award presentation for the top three finalists will be scheduled for mid-March.

For more information on the award, go to

About PYA

Serving clients in all 50 states from offices in Knoxville, Nashville, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Tampa, PYA is ranked by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the nation's "Top 100" Largest Accounting Firms. Accounting Today highlighted PYA as "One of the Most Successful Firms in the Country," and PYA is consistently ranked by Modern Healthcare as one of the nation's Top 20 healthcare consulting firms.

Learn more at

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