VT KnowledgeWorks Announces Winners of Challenge Semifinals

VT KnowledgeWorks hosted its eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on March 30. The Challenge provided a unique opportunity for student teams from Virginia Tech to present their business concepts before a panel of local business leaders.

Park and Diamond: winners of VTKW 2016 Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals Grand Prize

Team Park and Diamond

The grand prize of $15,000 in scholarships was awarded to Park and Diamond, Inc., which included team members Jordan Klein and David Hall. Their prize package included the $5,000 Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for the most outstanding tangible product. In addition, they were awarded another $10,000 in scholarship assistance and summer workspace at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Park and Diamond’s mission is simple: to disrupt the cycling industry with revolutionary products to protect both avid cyclists and commuters. Park and Diamond will also advance to the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge on August 18, 2016, where they will compete on a world stage as teams pitch their business ideas for a $25,000 grand prize.

Haven: winners of the 2016 VTKW Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals Information Technology AwardThe $5,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service went to Haven, represented by Emily Wills, Kirby Emerson, Ruby Kang, and Reed Koser. Haven’s goal is to provide peace of mind through wearable technology and a distinct understanding of their market combined with human nature. Haven is inconspicuous and fashion-forward, while providing a faster connection to responders.

Yard Mapper: winners of the 2016 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals People's Choice AwardAudience members selected their favorite student team to win the People’s Choice award of $5,000 in scholarships, generously sponsored by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business. The winning team of the People’s Choice award was Yard Mapper, which included team members David Evans and Patrick Acker. Yard Mapper tracks trailers and shipping containers at distribution centers significantly reducing the time required to locate trailers while also reducing related penalty fees. The system does not require any extensive infrastructure (including Wi-Fi) and can be installed in a matter of hours.

Other teams that competed in the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals included Biological Systems and Solids, Glide Robotics, iWaste, and Leva.

The 2016 Innovation Challenge winner was formally announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals networking reception and awards presentation. The team of John Robertson and Ryan Senger were selected as the 2016 winner of the VT KnowledgeWorks Innovation Challenge. They have established DialySensors to redefine the management of renal disease through their technology they are calling Chemometric Fingerprinting. John is a Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Ryan is an Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Their technology is expected to dramatically change both the quality of life and the survival rate for those living with dialysis.

DialySensors receives $100,000 worth of mentorship and business support services over a two-year period, including assistance in developing the overall business strategy as well as the presentations and plan documents needed for investor discussions and product launch. They will also receive complimentary membership in VT KnowledgeWorks and workspace in the VT KnowledgeWorks JumpStart Community for two years. In their third year, they will benefit from 50 percent off one year’s rent at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

The Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity for Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students, and/or alumni proposing to establish a new venture in Blacksburg, a chance to accelerate their innovative technology transfer from the university to the private sector.

“Congratulations to our winners. They have exciting prospects, both personally and professionally. But, just as important, the overall competition was outstanding. According to our judges, and based on follow-up inquiries by local investors and entrepreneurs, we have possibly identified as many as half a dozen viable startups for our region.” – Jim Flowers, Executive Director, VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks wants to thank our generous sponsors of the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals including Plastics One Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at [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 GroupAutomation Creations, Inc., BAE SystemsBB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, Carilion ClinicCelaneseCIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, First Bank & Trust CompanyG.J. Hopkins, Inc.National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Plastics One Inc., PowerSchoolRackspace, Shentel, SimulTV, SMBWSunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union Bank & Trust, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc., and Wordsprint.

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