Patton Foundation Awards Thousands in Entrepreneurial Grants to MTSU Students

Winners of “Shark Tank”-Style Competition for University’s New Venture Creation Class Announced

The Patton Foundation, based in Brentwood and founded by entrepreneur Spencer Patton, is announcing the winners of its Patton Entrepreneurship Grant (PEG) Challenge at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro.

Six finalists were named as part of the “Shark Tank”-style competition, which was open to the university’s New Venture Creation Class. Those finalists were Sophia Attardi, Raegan Marsee, Itcell Martinez, Chris Russell, Briggs Rutter and Maci Wyatt.

Rutter won First Place and received a $5,000 grant for Around The Horn, an indoor baseball training facility focused on middle and high school-aged players looking to better their skill, strength and nutrition.

Attardi was named Second Place ($2,500 grant) for Endless Dream, a planning and events company that will host 17th-century and mystical fantasy events for 600 to 850 guests, complete with captivating performances, dances, themed decor and more.

Marsee was named Third Place ($1,000 grant) for Marsee Medical, which aims to launch the Marsee Medical syringe. Studied and backed by nurses, the syringe removes air bubbles when withdrawing medication from a vial.

The challenge kicked off with a PEG Keynote from Patton in January. Participating students then completed a 10-lesson virtual PEG Workshop featuring insights from fellow entrepreneurs before competition day on April 22, 2024. Each participant was given 10 minutes to pitch their business idea, followed by five minutes of Q&A with a panel of judges.

“Entrepreneurship isn’t just about launching businesses; it’s about shaping futures,” said Patton. “The drive and creativity of these students inspires me, and I am excited to see the impact they make in our community and beyond.”
Patton is the founder of multiple companies in the logistics space, including Patton Logistics, Route Consultant and Hello Truck Lease. In under 10 years, he built his business from $0 to greater than $100 million.

To date, the Patton Foundation has awarded more than $25,000 in grants to student entrepreneurs through PEG Challenges. More PEG Challenges are expected to be announced at high schools and universities throughout the state. To submit an interest form or learn more about the Patton Foundation and upcoming PEG Challenges, visit

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