VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Bulldog Field Equipment

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 is in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Bulldog Field Equipment

Bulldog Field EquipmentCompany's Full Name: Bulldog Field Equipment, LLC

Year Founded: 2011

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2011

Total Number of Employees When Entered: 2 full-time

Total Number of Employees to Date: 2 full-time

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

Bulldog Field Equipment strives to design and sell quality field equipment that helps sports turf professionals worldwide save time and money. Our first products are pitching rubbers – adult and youth sizes. Our patent-pending pitching rubbers will last 2-3 times longer than our competitors' due to our innovative design.

Company Accomplishments

Sold to over a third of the major league baseball team in our first few months of business, along with ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, many minor league and university baseball teams, as well as parks and recreation departments across the country.

Partnership with Beacon Athletics to distribute our product nationally.

Organizing and hosting the 1st annual Salem Red Sox Challenger Baseball Clinic June, 2012 for area children with physical and mental challenges. The free clinic will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at the Salem Red Sox Memorial Park Stadium with the Salem Red Sox players, coaches, and front office staff.

Chad and Cathy Kropff
Bulldog Field Equipment, LLC
4250 Longwood Avenue, NW
Roanoke, VA 24017
Phone:  540-315-6453

View the Success Showcase on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks

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

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Venveo

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 is in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Venveo

VenveoCompany's Full Name: Venveo

Year Founded: 2007

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2009

Total Number of Employees When Entered: 1

Total Number of Employees to Date: 9

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

Venveo is a Communications Agency that focuses on Digital Marketing.  What sets us apart is in our ability help our clients position themselves in their industries to accomplish any number of business goals (increased sales, increased awareness). After working through the strategy to get them to this place, we execute in the form of online marketing campaigns, websites, video production, etc. All of our projects have a focus on metrics so we can measure the ROI on any project. 

Company Accomplishments

We have won a number of Webby Awards, Hermes Awards, and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal as well as the Roanoke Times. We have also doubled our size every year we’ve been in VT KnowledgeWorks.

Zach Williams, Founder
Venveo
2000 Kraft Drive, Suite 1204
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Telephone 1.800.285.3994
Fax 1.800.285.3994

Venveo

View the Success Showcase on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks

You're invited to keep in-the-know about VT KnowledgeWorks on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: NanoSafe

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 Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: NanoSafe

Company's Full Name: NanoSafe, Inc.

Year Founded: 2007

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2007

Total Number of Employees When Entered: 1 part-time

Total Number of Employees to Date: 1 full-time, 8 part-time, 1 contractor

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

NanoSafe, Inc. helps organizations manage nanotechnology environmental health and safety (EHS) risks. The company offers a full range of consulting, research, and testing services to clients throughout industry, state and federal government agencies, and university laboratories.  NanoSafe, Inc.’s flagship service offering is its NanoSafe Tested™ program, which is a third-party test and verification process that enhances the safety of nanotechnology-enabled consumer products and nanomanufacturing. 

Company Accomplishments

  • Launched NanoSafe Tested™ program and companion Nanotech Register™; tested and registered first product, the Labconco XPert™ Nano laboratory enclosure.
  • Awarded multi-year contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to support nanoecotoxicology research and compilation of a nanoinformatics database.
  • Awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a nanotechnology 3D Periodic Table™ for relating nanoparticle properties to toxicological outcomes.
  • Established a new nanotechnology laboratory facility with dedicated pilot-scale nanomanufacturing, integration, and characterization capabilities.

NanoSafe

Matthew S. Hull, Ph.D.
President/Owner, NanoSafe, Inc.
1800 Kraft Drive, Suite 107
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Office: 540.443.9287
Toll Free: 1.877.SAF.NANO
Fax: 1.877.836.1132
Mobile: 540.449.3388

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

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Click & Pledge

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 Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Click & Pledge

Event Management with Click and PledgeCompany’s Full Name: Click and Pledge

Year Founded: 2002

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2004

Total Number of Employees When Entered: 3

Total Number of Employees to Date: 20

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

Click & Pledge offers free Donor Management System for non-profits built on the Salesforce.com platform.  It’s fully integrated with a free payment gateway and suite of online fundraising software delivering over 30 features from custom forms, to registrations and ticketing, to mobile giving and a custom social fundraising platform. 

For no cost, registered non-profits receive the custom, easy-to-use Salesforce.com donor management system–featuring one access point for all data, donor /volunteer information, recurring payments, over 70 reports and dashboards, and virtual payment terminal.  

Company Accomplishments

Click & Pledge has earned a brand position in the nonprofit market as a leading provider of integrated cloud-based fundraising software, database management and online payment systems. The Company’s products are also used among political organizations as well as in many commercial applications such as rental payment and online retailing.  Click & Pledge has served over 10,000 organizations in 36 countries.

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

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Koofers

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 Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: Koofers

Company’s Full Name: Koofers, Inc.

Year Founded: LLC 2006, Incorporated 2008

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2007

Total Number of Employees When Entered: 3

Total Number of Employees to Date: 8

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

Koofers is a social learning company that is transforming higher education by empowering college students to help each other learn. Koofers provides an online platform for students to access and share information about their classes and their professors. Through the Koofers platform, students can access: course materials (such as study guides, past exams, and notes), class and professor ratings, study aids and more. Students can also use the platform to create flashcards, form study groups, watch educational videos, and to ask and answer each others’ academic questions. Students use Koofers to collaborate with peers and instructors at their own university and to connect with students in equivalent courses across the country.

Koofers
Company Accomplishments

In October 2009, Koofers launched at several hundred of the largest colleges in the U.S. and it has been growing extremely quickly ever since. The number of students registered with Koofers has grown significantly year over year and now numbers over 600,000. Koofers’ Facebook fan page has over 340,000 fans. Thousands of new students are joining the service every day, uploading course materials, rating professors, planning their schedules, engaging in academic discussions, etc.

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

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: TORC Robotics

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 Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Success Showcase: TORC Robotics

Company’s Full Name: TORC Robotics, LLC

Year Founded:  2005

Year Company Entered VT KnowledgeWorks: 2006

Total Number of  Employees When Entered: 2

Total Number of Employees to Date: 32

Overview of Company’s Products/Services, and Significance to the Market

TORC changes the way mobile robotic systems are designed, integrated, tested and deployed by empowering engineers with a suite of modular, customizable products. TORC’s Robotic Building Blocks product line is used by leading academic, commercial and government organizations to shorten the development process, lower costs and mitigate risks. These products have been used on more than 100 mobile robots ranging from 15 pounds to 15 tons. TORC provides by-wire and autonomous vehicle kits, as well as individual products and custom solutions for drive-by-wire conversion, emergency stop, power management, autonomous navigation and operator control.

Traditionally, engineers have relied on products that were not intended for use in robotic applications. This approach created system integration problems, escalating development costs, poor reliability, and limited performance. As a result, robotics technologies have struggled to transition out of research laboratories to real-world applications. TORC helps solve these problems with a line of safe, reliable, and customizable products specifically designed for engineers of robotic systems.

This product-based approach has enabled customers to accelerate their development efforts, stay focused on solving their problems or developing new technologies, and reduce overall project costs. From developing cars that enable the blind to drive to autonomous ground vehicles that lighten the load of our Warfighters, TORC products are used in a wide variety of robotic systems.

Company Accomplishments

Since entering the VT KnowledgeWorks program in 2006, TORC has grown significantly in revenues, employees, office space and market presence.  Originally a two person operation working on small research contracts, TORC has quickly become a leading provider of unmanned and autonomous vehicle technologies. TORC continues to grow year over year, attract and retain a high caliber workforce in the region, and provide excellent internship opportunities for a number of engineering students from Virginia Tech each year.

In 2007, TORC partnered with Virginia Tech in the DARPA Urban Challenge and led the software development that allowed Odin, the team’s fully autonomous Ford Escape Hybrid, to navigate complex urban traffic situations without human intervention.  Odin finished the 60-mile race in third place, minutes behind teams from Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.  The team was awarded the 2008 Graphical System Design Achievement Award in Robotics from National Instruments for the use of their LabVIEW graphical programming environment in the development of the award-winning autonomous vehicle.

Since its success in the DARPA Urban Challenge, TORC has been engaged in a growing number of contracts to transition unmanned and autonomous vehicle technologies to commercial and military applications.  One of the more prominent examples has been the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate (GUSS) project for the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.  TORC’s product line and engineering services were used in the development of four optionally unmanned ground vehicles designed to support dismounted Marines with missions such as autonomous resupply, casualty evacuation, and to “lighten the load,” among other capabilities.

In 2008, TORC won the prestigious Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (formerly NewVa Corridor Technology Council) “Rising Star Award” in recognition of its growth, cutting edge products and services and its current and future impact on the local economy.  In the same year, TORC was also nominated and selected as the winner of the 2008 Donna Noble Outstanding Virginia Incubator Client Award.



In early 2010 Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) partnered with TORC to provide its ByWire XGV mobile robotics research platform, along with other sensing, perception and route planning technologies, to integrate with RoMeLa’s non-visual interfaces for the National Federation of the Blind’s Blind Driver Challenge®. This allowed for the first full-sized blind drivable vehicle to be demonstrated on January 29, 2011, when a blind driver successfully navigated 1.5 miles of the Daytona International Speedway, reaching top speeds of 27 mph and navigating obstacles. This effort resulted in major media coverage including the Today Show, MotorWeek, Bloomberg, Anderson Cooper 360, Popular Science magazine and more. This was recently written up in an article by Mashable titled “7 Tech Breakthroughs That Empower People With Disabilities.”

Over the last few years, TORC has been selected to participate in several programs sponsored by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership designed to help promising Virginia-based companies increase export sales and expand into international markets.  In 2009 TORC was nominated to participate in the year long “Accessing International Markets” program and was recently selected as one of a small number of Virginia companies for the 2011-2012 “State Trade Export Promotion” initiative.

TORC has a strong record of commercializing robotic technologies into products.  Through a balance between work with the DoD, industry and internal research and development, TORC has commercialized eight robotic products over the last four years and are used on platforms ranging from 15 lbs to 15 tons, from speeds of 1 mph to 102 mph, and by customers in defense, mining, automotive, agriculture, security and academic markets.  The TORC product line provides modular, interoperable and scalable “Robotic Building Blocks” to rapidly upfit platforms with unmanned and/or autonomous capability.

Read more about TORC on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

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