Insider’s Guide to the 2014 E-Challenge

2014 VTKnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge

VT KnowledgeWorks presents the 6th Annual Entrepreneurship Challenge on Friday, April 18, 2014, at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Be there at 11:30 to hear about regional funding sources for new ventures!

Event attendees will start the day observing entrepreneurs hoping to establish a new venture in Blacksburg using their Virginia Tech-owned technology. These entrepreneurs will compete for the $100,000 award of mentorship and business support services in the Tech Transfer Challenge:

  • Hydrokinetic Energy Systems – Gary Nave, Mark Stremler, Saikat Basu, and Tyler Michael. The proposed venture is aimed at commercializing a robust system for on-demand harvesting of clean, renewable energy from tides and rivers using a unique kilowatt-scale system for off-grid applications.
  • LIN System – Boris Vinatzer and Lenwood Heath. The LIN System revolutionizes classification, identification, and naming of life forms.
  • pheno-CHIP – Elliot McAllister, Dr. Rafael Davalos, and Steve Turner. pheno-CHIP is a pre-commercial cell identification platform.
  • P&P Coating – Atieh Haghdoost and Mehdi Kargar. P&P Coating is a Virginia Tech spin-off formed around the patent pending technology platform of low-cost porous coatings completely made of earth-abundant metals.

2014 VTKW E-Challenge Step Up To The ChallengeIn the afternoon, these Virginia Tech student teams will compete in the Student Business Concept Challenge for $10,000 in scholarships, start-up services, and the opportunity to compete on a world stage in August for the $25,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Award:

  • DealAdder – Abhishek Dube. DealAdder is a new and innovative way for consumer-centric businesses to offer deals to their customers.
  • Detect-C – Siddhartha Roy. Detect-C is a dipstick (think, pregnancy tests) for rapid detection of cholera bacteria in water bodies used as drinking water sources by populations in 50 cholera-afflicted countries.
  • L8 Magnetic/Kinetic Toy – Alireza Borhani & Negar Kalantar. TOYwithJOY is a start-up toy company that aims to develop a line of hand-held educational toys.
  • Project OrganiCo – Steven Zimmerman, Sebastian Walker, Don Choi & John Lucas. Project OrganiCo is an online marketplace providing an easy, convenient, and reliable way to purchase local products from Farmers Markets and Vendors around your area, and have them delivered directly to your door.
  • Vestigo – Joe Acanfora, Paul Feagan & Jeff Morris. Vestigo uses a novel data collection system that takes advantage of inexpensive, high quality laser rangefinders in tandem with a mobile service – to provide a real time map of available parking.

For the first time at the Entrepreneurship Challenge, teams competing in the Student Business Concept Challenge will be eligible to win the People’s Choice award, where members of the audience will select their favorite team to win $5,000 in scholarships.

The cost to attend this full-day event including the competitions, luncheon, and reception is only $30 for students and $50 for everyone else. Or attend only the afternoon session for free, luncheon not included.

Win a Kindle Fire! All attendees will be entered into the raffle contest. Must be present to win. Raffle prize donated by Holiday Inn University Blacksburg.

Register online to attend the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge

For directions to the event, visit

Can’t be there in person? Watch the Entrepreneurship Challenge online at:

Here’s how to watch!

1. Follow this link.

2. To join, click Login in the top right corner. It will guide you to a window where you may log in, or use either your email address or a Facebook account to join Livestream.

3. Once logged in, you may post comments in the Posts section or in Chat to offer constructive feedback and encourage teams while they present. If you were not automatically returned to the live streaming page, use the link in step one.

For more information, please contact Christine Spalding at 540-443-9100 ext.3 or via email at [email protected]

VT KnowledgeWorks wants to thank our generous sponsors of the Entrepreneurship Challenge including CIT GAP Funds, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research, Virginia Tech Outreach & International Affairs, and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

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 subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Allegheny Logistics Group, Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Interactive Achievement, Inc., Latimer Intellectual Property Law, LLC, Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, NetVentures, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Rackspace, Shentel, StellarOne Bank, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint.

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