VT KnowledgeWorks Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit a Resounding Success

From VT KnowledgeWorks:

The VT KnowledgeWorks Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit was a resounding success as enthusiastic attendees gathered at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on April 13 and 14, 2011.  The Entrepreneurship Summit provided a unique opportunity for student teams from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest University, Appalachian State University, and the University of Virginia to present before a panel of faculty and local business leaders. 

The Summit began with a keynote address by Z. Kelly Queijo, Founder and President of Smart College Visit, Inc.  As winner of the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Summit’s Open Competition in 2010, Queijo provided fresh inspiration to those in attendance by sharing her start-up experiences during the past year.

The winning concept in the Virginia Tech Student Business Concept Competition was Lujure, a company that provides an easy-to-use drag-and-drop platform that empowers everyone to create Facebook fan pages.  Team members Nathan Lujure, Brian Putt, and Josh Gunter won $5,000 in cash and summer work space at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.  Aerus, Juce Powered Bags, Kiwee Stroller Company, and PodSend also competed for the grand prize.

The winning concept in the Regional Student Business Concept Competition was Kera10, a proposed cosmetics spin-out from regenerative bio-materials company KN LLC.  Afton Vechery of Wake Forest University also won $5,000 in cash and summer work space at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.  Other teams that competed for the grand prize were Closed Loop Energy, LLC and Dear Career, both from Appalachian State University, and Masalah from the University of Virginia.

Also, winning teams of the Virginia Tech and Regional Student Business Concept Competitions will advance to the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge and compete for the $25,000 grand prize on August 25, 2011, at the Dumas Center, Roanoke, Virginia.  The Global Student Challenge is part of the VT Knowledge Works Global Partnership Week, which offers university students, faculty, and business professionals from all over the world a chance to collaborate, form partnerships and interact on a completely unique and exciting level.

Opening the second day, Bob Reiss, author of Bootstrapping 101 and Low Risk High Reward, shared his experiences in creative early-stage financing.  The BB&T/Pamplin Speaker, Greg Ip, U.S. Economics Editor of The Economist, followed Reiss.  Ip’s topic was The Post-Crisis American Economy.  He is the author of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World.

The event concluded on April 14 with the Open Angel Forum, moderated by Ken Maready, corporate attorney for Hutchison Law Group, and Webb Burns, Vice President of Business Development at Meridium.  The Open Angel Forum provided a unique opportunity for company founders of eBroselow, Heyo, Nicus Software, Inc., and ReviewHounds to present investment requests to a panel of potential investors. 

The event sponsors for the Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit included CIT, LeClairRyan, and Hutchison Law Group.

You're invited to read the three-year story of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit will be held in 2012.

If you attended the Third Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit, we would love to hear what you thought of our event. We will use all of your feedback, comments, and suggestions for improving and developing next year's event. Please take a minute to complete our very brief survey.


VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

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

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