VTKW Challenge Winners Share Continued Success in Roanoke Business Mag

The VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge and Global Student Business Challenge were featured in the August issue of Roanoke Business magazine. The article follows the stories of a handful of challenge winners who continued to build their businesses. Read the full article here! An excerpt from the magazine follows below:

Ever wonder what happens to student entrepreneurs who win major competitions?

In the case of YouFolio co-founders Matt Moore and Kayvon Kaviani, winning the Student Business Concept Competition in the 2012 VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Challenge gave them a huge entrepreneurial boost.

The two former Virginia Tech students designed an online portfolio that allows users to showcase their work, experience and achievements. Apparently, it appealed to more than the contest judges.

After their win, the pair was chosen to be part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program. They raised $300,000 in seed capital from angel investors. And today they work with two major clients out of an office in 1776, a co-working space in Washington, DC.

“All of that was as a result of winning,” Kaviani says. “It was a big stamp of approval. We would not be here doing what we are doing if we had not taken that leap of faith and put ourselves in front of the judges.”

VT KnowledgeWorks is housed at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. It encourages and empowers entrepreneurship by helping market-worthy ventures organize, form a strategy and obtain outside investments. The venture started the Annual Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2009.

Each year teams from Virginia Tech present their business concepts and compete to win $10,000 in scholarships and start-up services as well as the opportunity to compete in the Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge, which is being held in August. This year’s local student winner is Vestigo. It proposed a system that includes an app with the ability to help people find parking places.

Vestigo will compete in the global challenge, the epicenter of VT KnowledgeWorks’ Global Partnership Week. The event helps expand the regions brand recognition around the world and creates ever-growing global networks.

“We aren’t well known internationally, and the best way to become known is give people a reason and the opportunity to come” and then send them home “thoroughly impressed,” says Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks. “Twenty years from now these students will be in influential positions in their home country. They will not only be familiar with the Roanoke-Blacksburg region but they will also have a positive image of it when they go home.”

The Fifth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will be held August 17 – 23, 2014.

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week offers university students and faculty from all over the world a chance to collaborate, form partnerships, build their global networks, and congregate in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA. The Global Partnership is an ongoing cooperative association of regions building permanent social, academic, and commercial relationships with each other, for mutual long-term advantage. Members of the partnership gather annually during a week-long Global Partnership event hosted by VT KnowledgeWorks, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech, and citizens and businesses of the Roanoke-Blacksburg region.

For more information about getting involved in the Global Partnership Week, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Outreach Manager, [email protected].

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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, Bloomfield Partners, LLC, 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, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Rackspace, Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint.

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