VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit a Resounding Success

From VT KnowledgeWorks:

The Second Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit was a resounding success as 230 enthusiastic attendees gathered at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on April 7 and 8, 2010.   The Summit provided a unique opportunity for five student teams, five start-up companies, and five ready-to-fund businesses to present before panels of regional business leaders and investors. 

The Summit began with an inspirational keynote address by Pat Matthews, VP of Cloud Computing at Rackspace.  Matthews relived some of the lessons learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey from college to co-founding Webmail.us, and on to its sale to Rackspace.  He spoke passionately about the importance of commitment, focus, and mentors, trusting instincts, learning from failures, and pursuing your passions. 

The winning concept in the Student Business Concept Competition was Pattonslist.com, an online classified website and network for members of the military and their families to buy and sell property and goods. The co-founders, Steven Cunningham and Mike Fallon from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia won $5,000 in cash and summer work space at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.  The two runner-up teams receiving $2,500 in cash were mapMonkeys from Virginia Tech, a multimedia platform for gamers, and Nomuda Games from University of Virginia, providing story-based games for mobile platforms.

Kelly Queijo of Smart College Visit, Inc. earned first place in the Open Business Concept Competition for her venture – a travel planning website and blog for college students, their families, and anyone seeking information about visiting college campuses.  Queijo won business acceleration services at VT KnowledgeWorks and workspace in the VT Corporate Research Center this summer.  Other entrepreneurs that presented in the Open Competition were Anne Giles Clelland of Handshake 2.0, Fred Cook of Actifity.com, Amjad Hussein of CollabKode, and Bob Giles of RRx. 

John May, Managing Partner of the New Vantage Group, presented a session on the Valuation of Early-Stage Ventures at 9:30 a.m. on April 8. May discussed the various valuation methods, key characteristics of good capital access planning, the importance of alignment and communication, and important factors related to exit planning.  Over the past 20 years, May has been an advisor to, or a general partner in, five early-stage venture capital funds, and is the co-author of Every Business Needs an Angel (Crown Business: 2001).

The event concluded on April 8 with the Open Angel Forum, moderated by Bob Summers, CEO and co-founder of EnergyWare and Ken Maready, corporate attorney at the Hutchison Law Group. The Open Angel Forum was a live pitch session providing a unique opportunity for company founders of 3D-4U, Inc., RRx, LimbGear, Actifity.com, and NewCityLabs to present their cases for angel investment in front of a panel of business leaders and investors. 

The event sponsors for the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Summit included LeClairRyan, Synchrony, and SunTrust Bank.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.


VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge TrophyVT KnowledgeWorks has announced a Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.  The Challenge celebrates the energy and ingenuity of university students and their important contributions to the future of our global economy.  The name of the winning team, their university name, and their home city will be etched into the base of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy as a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort.  The winning team will earn a $25,000 cash prize.


VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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