Announcing the 2016 Big Launch Challenge

2016 Big Launch ChallengeThe Big Launch Challenge is a joint venture between The Launch Place and the First Flight Venture Center designed to showcase technology-related business ideas in a highly competitive environment. The business plan competition includes awards totaling up to $30,000 for the winners. The challenge has a total of two rounds, plus a final LIVE event. The Big Launch Challenge LIVE event is scheduled for 1:00pm on September 20, 2016, at the Research Triangle Park Headquarters located at 12 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC.

The challenge is an annual event and offers startups valuable business networking and capital opportunities, as well as critical resources. The goal of The Big Launch Challenge is to foster entrepreneurship by offering education, team creation, mentorship, early-stage prototyping, and potential follow-on seed financing.  Startups from the nano technology, green technology, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, medical devices, and information technology industries are invited to apply for The Big Launch Challenge’s third year.

For more information, read about it on The Launch Place website.

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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., PowerSchool Assessment & AnalyticsRackspace, 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.

Announcing The Big Launch Challenge

The Launch Place, a leading recruiter of entrepreneurs in the Dan River Region of Virginia, and First Flight Venture Center (FFVC), the largest technology incubator in the Research Triangle Park (RTP),  announced a unique partnership to attract the most innovative technology startup companies in Virginia and North Carolina to a competition that planners of the event are referring to as “high stakes.”

The Big Launch Challenge is open to early-stage Virginia-based and North Carolina-based companies

The Big Launch Challenge is open to early-stage Virginia-based and North Carolina-based companies in nano, green and information technologies; alternative energy; advanced manufacturing and materials; and medical device industries.

The Big Launch Competition final event will feature the top five entrepreneurs from the online competition featured on The Big Launch’s go-to site for business competitions. Presenters will pitch at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, VA, on May 22, 2014.

Contenders will present their business ideas to a panel of judges, who are members of The Launch Place’s seed fund advisory board and experienced in technology assessment, commercialization and early-stage investment.

The top two presenters will be awarded up to $15,000 each.

“The Big Launch Challenge is slated to become one of the foremost events for startups in the region,” said Eva Doss, President and CEO of The Launch Place. “Not only will the competition provide entrepreneurs with prize money, it also will serve as a platform for them to learn about The Launch Place’s unique entrepreneurship services and on-going investment opportunities in Danville, Virginia.”

The Launch Place supports the creation of an “idea based entrepreneurship network” in the Danville, Virginia, region by providing a wide array of services and incentives to emerging and serial entrepreneurs with business ideas primarily related to engineering, IT and bio-materials.

“We are excited to be working with The Launch Place on the The Big Launch Challenge,” said Andy Schwab, President of First Flight Venture Center. “This is the first event in this region to bring together entrepreneurs and start-ups from two states, all in an effort to help find good ideas and build sustainable businesses.”

The registration deadline is March 21, 2014.

Register now for The Big Launch

About The Launch Place
As a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization, The Launch Place strives to energize and diversify Southern Virginia’s regional economy through entrepreneurship development and business consulting services. Offering seed funding, office and housing subsidies, mentoring, training, coaching and virtual incubation services, The Launch Place focuses on recruiting and retaining entrepreneurs to and in the Danville, Virginia, USA area.

About First Flight
Founded in 1992, First Flight Venture Center was created to foster innovation and grow sustainable companies. Today, FFVC is one of the nation’s largest and most stable incubators, playing host to more than 37 high-science, high-impact companies annually. In total, FFVC company startups number 267 and growing. Several of the most notable graduates include United Therapeutics (NASDAQ: UTHR), SciQuest (NASDAQ: SQI), Athenix (acquired Bayer NASDAQ BAYRY), Advanced Liquid Logic (acquired Illumina NASDAQ: ILMN), Bloodhound Technologies (acquired by Verisk VRSK), Ganymede Software (acquired NETIQ IPO), and Exam Design (acquired Pearson PLC NASDAQ PSO).

The Launch Place is a member of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Alliance.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks:

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 SystemsThe Branch Group, Inc.Brown, Edwards & CompanyCity of RoanokeFox 21/27G.J. Hopkins, Inc.Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C.Hutchison Law GroupInteractive Achievement, Inc.Latimer Intellectual Property Law, LLCMeridiumMontgomery County, Virginia Economic Development DepartmentNetVenturesNew River Valley Intellectual Property LawPhoenix Packaging OperationsRackspaceShentelStellarOne BankTechLabThird SecurityTown of BlacksburgTown of ChristiansburgVirginia Tech Corporate Research CenterVirginia Tech Outreach and International AffairsVPT, IncWordsprint.

IdeaFest to Foster Entrepreneurship in Danville, VA Region

IdeaFest is a one-day event to foster entrepreneurship and raise awareness of business development resources in the Danville, Virginia region.
IdeaFest of Danville, Virginia

IdeaFest includes:

Enter the Business Pitch Competition to win $3,000 cash plus 25 hours of business consulting from The Launch Place!

IdeaFest
An all-day entrepreneurship event
Friday, February 28, 2014
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540
Directions

Register to attend!

VT KnowledgeWorks and The Launch Place, a member of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Alliance, are sponsors of IdeaFest.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks: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 SystemsThe Branch Group, Inc.Brown, Edwards & CompanyCity of RoanokeFox 21/27G.J. Hopkins, Inc.Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C.Hutchison Law GroupInteractive Achievement, Inc.Latimer Intellectual Property Law, LLCMeridiumMontgomery County, Virginia Economic Development DepartmentNew River Valley Intellectual Property LawPhoenix Packaging OperationsRackspaceShentelStellarOne BankTechLabThird SecurityTown of BlacksburgTown of ChristiansburgVirginia Tech Corporate Research CenterVirginia Tech Outreach and International AffairsVPT, Inc. and Wordsprint.

Student Business Concept Challenge Sponsors

CIT GAP Funds and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Tech Transfer Challenge Sponsors

Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life SciencesVirginia Tech Office of ResearchVirginia Tech Outreach & International Affairs, and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

KSI to Develop Tools for Police, Firefighters and First Responders

From The Launch Place, a member of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Alliance:

KSI Data Sciences founder Jason Barton announced that KSI’s new product prototype to be developed and tested in Danville, Virginia is primarily intended to give police, firefighters and first responders the tools necessary to share information quickly in order to save lives.

Jason Barton

Jason Barton

Barton referenced the term “internet of things” to describe his new product where sensors are embedded in objects and are linked through networks, often using the same internet protocol that connects the internet.

“These networks generate volumes of data for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become useful tools for understanding complex information quickly,” he said.

Speaking at The Launch Place to around 30 community officials, Barton said these applications can be used during forest fires, earthquakes and tsunamis and during tragic events as in the case with the Boston Marathon bombing where there was a manhunt to find the bombers.

Barton added he wants to take the “hard lessons learned” from previous products he has developed for the U.S. military and bring it down to scale for commercial and everyday use. The applications are endless, he said.

For example, Barton referenced precision agriculture where remote sensor applications with an unmanned aircraft can fly over a farm field to detect fungus, reducing crop damage.

Barton and his development team are relocating to Danville to test and take to market this product. The Launch Place’s first seed fund investment of $250,000 was made to KSI.

KSI will receive $150,000 immediately and $100,000 upon the successful testing of this new product.

KSI CEO Wes McGee said, “We want to be not only The Launch Place’s first investment, but its most successful.”

The Launch Place assists with business development and job creation and retention region-wide through its business consulting services, while having a dual responsibility to recruit and retain entrepreneurs to the Danville, Virginia region due to a $10 million grant award over five years by the Danville Region Foundation. A $4 million seed fund was established with this grant to invest in start-ups and serial entrepreneurs.

As a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization, The Launch Place strives to energize and diversify Southern Virginia’s regional economy through entrepreneurship development and business consulting services.

The Launch Place is a member of the VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Alliance.

For more information, please contact:

Eva Doss, President & CEO
The Launch Place
434-799-5491 (office)
336-908-8806 (cell)

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks: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 SystemsThe Branch Group, Inc.Brown, Edwards & CompanyCity of RoanokeFox 21/27G.J. Hopkins, Inc.Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C.Hutchison Law GroupInteractive Achievement, Inc.Latimer Intellectual Property Law, LLCMeridiumMontgomery County, Virginia Economic Development DepartmentNew River Valley Intellectual Property LawPhoenix Packaging OperationsRackspaceShentelStellarOne BankTechLabThird SecurityTown of BlacksburgTown of ChristiansburgVirginia Tech Corporate Research CenterVirginia Tech Outreach and International AffairsVPT, Inc. and Wordsprint.

Student Business Concept Challenge Sponsors

CIT GAP Funds and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Tech Transfer Challenge Sponsors

Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life SciencesVirginia Tech Office of ResearchVirginia Tech Outreach & International Affairs, and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.