The Entrepreneurship Option: a FREE Workshop May 19, 2016

VTKW-Resources for EntrepreneursCoLabVT KnowledgeWorks and CoLab are giving a free workshop, The Entrepreneurship Option, Thursday, May 19th, 1:00 – 3:30 PM, at the Grandin CoLab, 1327 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke, Virginia 24015.

This interactive workshop will help you identify what it takes and what it means to be a true entrepreneur instead of an employee.

The Entrepreneurship Option 2

Who should attend? Anyone considering the launch of a business.

  • Inventors with exciting technological developments
  • University faculty members with revolutionary research results
  • Web developers with fresh business concepts
  • Career shifters thinking about starting a company

When you should attend? Very early in the planning process.

  • When your business concepts are still forming
  • Before you incorporate, write a business plan or launch a web site
  • Before you spend any significant time or personal money

What you will study…

  • Fundamental Factors that govern startup success
  • Powerful Habits used by many good managers
  • MOXIE and why it matters

And the best part? This event is free, snacks or lunch included.

To register, please visit our website, call us at 540-443-9100 Ext. 3, or email us at info@vtknowledgeworks.com.

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

2016 VTKW Sponsor Showcase: SunTrust Banks, Inc.

2016 VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsor Showcase: SunTrust BankSunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company has three business segments: Wholesale Banking, Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, and Mortgage. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2015, SunTrust had total assets of $191 billion and total deposits of $150 billion. The company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at onUp.com.

Thank you, SunTrust Banks, Inc., for sponsoring VT KnowledgeWorks including the 2016 Global Partnership Event!

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event 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 and academic 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.

2015 Winners: The grand prize of $25,000 was awarded to Team Visionear of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand. Read more about the winning teams! Read about the 2015 event outcomes and publicity.

For more information about getting involved in the Global Partnership Event, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Outreach Manager, leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

Announcing the Spring 2016 Game Changers Challenge

VTKW Game Changers Challenge

VT KnowledgeWorks is pleased to announce the Game Changers Challenge, an opportunity for one entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team to qualify for a $25,000 “Running Start” loan plus a package of free startup assistance services.  Solid runners-up may also qualify for free startup assistance.

Any aspiring entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team may enter by submitting an application by April 29, 2016.  The challenge is open to all who meet the following criteria:

  • The product or service to be provided by the venture must either be consumed (not simply re-marketed) by another business, or be integrated into a more complex end-product for downstream sale.
  • The targeted buyers must constitute a relatively narrow demographic niche that can be addressed with limited resources.
  • The proposed product or service must powerfully address some widely acknowledged niche need.
  • High leverage must be obtained by the $25,000 (not just the first $25,000 out of a $1M needed for launch, for instance).
  • The entrepreneurial team must be able to fill the technology leadership roles in the proposed venture.
  • The team must be committed to locating business operations in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.
  • Any intellectual property related to the enterprise must be appropriately owned or licensed by the enterprise.

Finalists will be selected by VT KnowledgeWorks staff, and will then be invited to make a 15-minute presentation to the Running Start Committee on their proposed new ventures.  There will be no public events, nor will competing teams be allowed to attend each other’s presentations.  In the absence of a solid applicant, no loan will be made.  This is a qualifying process, not a contest.

Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines available on the VT KnowledgeWorks website www.vtknowledgeworks.com.  The deadline for the spring 2016 application submissions is April 29, 2016.  Applications should be submitted to info@vtknowledgeworks.com.  The selection committee will review applications and VT KnowledgeWorks will communicate with applicants shortly thereafter.  Awards will be announced in late May.

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

Watch the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals Video

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.

Virginia Tech student teams competed for $15,000 in scholarships, start-up services, and the opportunity to compete on a world stage next August for the $25,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Award.  Additionally, members of the audience selected their favorite team to win the People’s Choice award of $5,000 in scholarships.

Watch the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals video, produced by Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs!

The winners of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals are featured here.

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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

2016 VTKW Sponsor Showcase: Plastics One, Inc.

Plastics One sponsor of the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals and of VT KnowledgeWorks

Plastics One is a full-service contract manufacturer located in Roanoke, VA. Since 1949, we’ve been partnering with OEMs worldwide for specific design and product needs – a track record that promises you the power of our connecting abilities in superior manufacturing and customer service. We are proud to design and custom manufacture medical cables and cable assemblies, connectors, and provide injection, insert, and cleanroom molding with in-house tooling and design services. The engineers and R&D teams are hands on, and ready to help bring ideas to life – we make things happen.

For more information, take a look at http://www.plastics1.com/ and http://www.injectionmoldingva.com/

Thank you, Plastics One, Inc., for sponsoring VT KnowledgeWorks including the 2016 Global Partnership Event!

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event 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 and academic 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.

2015 Winners: The grand prize of $25,000 was awarded to Team Visionear of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand. Read more about the winning teams! Read about the 2015 event outcomes and publicity.

For more information about getting involved in the Global Partnership Event, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Outreach Manager, leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals Featured on Collegiate Times

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship ChallengeVT KnowledgeWorks is pleased to excerpt and present a piece by Caleb Govoruhk and Mike Liu of The Collegiate Times, internationally recognized provider of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and New River Valley news, on Wednesday’s Semifinals event. The article, published Friday, April 1, provides an excellent description of VTKW’s annual Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals, including team descriptions and quotes from student participants. Thank you, Collegiate Times, for attending and documenting the 2016 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals!


The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center attracted an enthusiastic mass of students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 30 who gathered in entrepreneurial spirit to facilitate a competition between seven teams of Virginia Tech students, each competing for attention and $5,000 and $10,000 prizes.

The Global Entrepreneurship Challenge was hosted by VT KnowledgeWorks, which is an organization comprised of Blacksburg area businesses and entrepreneurs. According to VTKW’s website, the organization “encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship worldwide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers and a global network of cooperating regions.”

Similar to ABC’s reality television show “Shark Tank,” the event required candidates to pitch their business ideas to judges, professionally and swiftly. The event featured judges from both Virginia Tech and Radford University, all of whom had experience with marketing and management.

iWaste

After a brief introduction by Jim Flowers, the executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks, the first group, iWaste, presented its product, a MEC-FO system that treats livestock wastewater and enables more efficient running of dairy farms. Composed of group members Shuai Luo, Katherine Olson, Mohan Qin and Hayden (Hei Tsun) Tse, the group demonstrated how its product would revolutionize the agricultural industry.

Park and Diamond, Inc.

Park and Diamond, Inc., composed of Jordan Klein and David Hall, demonstrated a simpler, more aesthetically pleasing bicycle helmet, inspired by the co-founder’s sister’s bicycle accident in which she was riding without a helmet. It was named for the street intersection where the incident happened, and the team sought to inspire more cyclers to wear helmets by making a sleeker and more stylish product.

Glide Robotics

Glide Robotics, presented by Yuan Lin, Dalton Hare, David Jensen, Atul Kumar, Jason Lin, Jonah Orevillo and Karim Said, is a group of engineering students who are designing an educational system with unmanned area vehicles (UAV) to teach the basic knowledge of engineering.

“With UAVs, we are creating products that are cable of teaching engineering fundamentals to engineering freshmen and hopefully to the global market,” the developing group said. “That’s our goal.”

Biological Systems and Solids

Biological Systems and Solids was presented by Jacob Cantor. The whole idea was about using and capturing the power of feces. The final product after the energy was taken from the feces will be used in fly ash, which is a valuable product in concrete. The process starts with using biosolids to clean up the feces and then capturing the ash from the waste. The ash will be sold to concrete mixers. Cantor’s idea intends to solve an environmental problem with a local process and save money on transportation cost. It also provides a source of green energy.

Yard Mapper

Yard Mapper was presented by David Evans and Patrick Acker. Evans and Acker purposed that finding trailers is a big issue for many famous companies. For example, they mentioned their experience with Frito Lay and Volvo, where locating trailers is a huge issue.

According to Evans and Acker, finding trailers is difficult because workers have no resources to help them in their search, meaning many resort to a tedious one-by-one search.

As a result, many companies ended up wasting time and paying penalty fees. Yard Mapper pitches itself as a solution to this problem. It is a system that consists of a Bluetooth receiver and a Bluetooth detector which require no extensive infrastructure. By installing the Bluetooth receiver on each trailer, workers can easily find specific trailers. Compared to other similar systems already on the market, the Yard Mapper takes less time to install and is much more affordable.

Leva

Leva was presented by Martin Trapero, Marco Perez-MacCollum and Guillermo Semidey. Leva is a wristband device which is designed with the purpose of helping individuals learn and improve their communication skills. Leva sends real-time feedback to the individuals as they are communicating. It can help improve a user’s personal communication skills and prevent him or her from making further mistakes while communicating. Leva is believed to be useful during the training period, and it can also help users during real-life situations.

Haven

Haven was presented by Emily Wills, Kirby Emerson, Ruby Kang, Sean Palmer, Chris Dare, Dennis Ann and Ashlyn Jenkins. Haven is a wristband device designed with the purpose of helping people in emergency situations.

By twisting the device, Haven will be activated and will send out information about the user’s location to the emergency contacts. The twisting action takes less than a second. Compared to other methods to ensure one’s safety, Haven is quicker, faster and less suspicious if one is actually in some situation that his or her life is in danger. In addition, the twisting design can reduce the number of false alarms compared to a button design. The developing group believes Haven’s user group is mostly female college students and their parents.

Park and Diamond was the biggest winner at the 2016 VTKW Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals. The two founders received the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for their outstanding tangible product along with the grand prize.

Jordan Klein and David Hall received a total amount of $15,000 in scholarships. Haven received the VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award along with $5,000 in scholarships. Yard Mapper received the People’s Choice Award sponsored by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business along with $5,000 in scholarships.

“First, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity,” Jordan Klein said. “I think student competition like this really allows innovation to happen. I know for a fact we would not be what we are today if we weren’t pressured and given this opportunity.”

The Haven group was satisfied with the results of the ceremony.

“Even if we hadn’t won, there would have been a lot of fun too,” the development group said. “Being able to complete all the steps in this process and get to how far we have come is really great.”

The members of Yard Mapper, David Evans and Patrick Acker, thought the whole event was a valuable experience for students.

“It was a prime opportunity for a number of students here to really step out of the classroom and pitch a business that they had and then also receive some phenomenal feedback from highly esteemed individuals in a number of different industries,” Acker said.


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 jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

VTKW Challenge Semifinals Winner Yard Mapper Showcased on WSLS

WSLS interviewed team Yard Mapper, winner of the People’s Choice Award at this year’s VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals. This post excerpts the video and written content from this WSLS piece, written by Erin Brookshier and published March 30th, 2016. Thank you, WSLS, for spreading the word about the lasting, positive effects of the annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals!



You may have seen the Card Aisle vending machines at the City Market Building in Roanoke, the Roanoke Regional Airport or on campus at Virginia Tech, it’s a project idea that stemmed from this competition. Card Aisle didn’t win the year that it competed, but has gone on to be very successful. The company has put up kiosks all around the region, where people can personalize greeting cards.

There’s also Heyo, another successful company that was born out of this competition. Heyo helps businesses create online sweepstakes and campaigns. Started by Virginia Tech students, the business was recently sold to a company in Denver, Colorado.

While having an idea become a business can be exciting, event organizers say the competition is about more than just making money.

“We emphasize the scholarship aspect of this whole thing,” says Jim Flowers, the executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks. “If it becomes a business that’s great, but the most important thing is that young people are learning about entrepreneurship, how to build a business model, how to do a stand-up presentation and things like that.”

The teams have worked hard for months and even years on the products. Students David Evans and Patrick Acker have worked for two years on their product, called Yard Mapper. Their pitch has quickly moved on to tonight’s competition and will even be competing in the ACC InVenture entrepreneurship finals in Atlanta next week. They say their idea all started two years ago, with a trip to the grocery store.

“It started out because I couldn’t find peanut butter at a grocery store,” says Evans, a junior. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had an app where you put in your grocery list and it showed you the fastest way around the store and where everything was?’”

Evans says the team quickly realized that teenage boys may be the only ones who had a hard time finding their way around the grocery store, so they expanded their idea to work for manufacturing businesses instead.
The team found that one of the biggest issues in manufacturing is that companies tend to lose shipping containers and trailers at big shipping yards. When that happens, one person has to get in a vehicle and drive all around the shipping yard searching for the missing trailer. When a company loses or forgets about trailers that have been rented, the late fees can really add up.

“They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on penalty fees and trying to find these trailers,” says Acker, a senior. “This system comes in and locates each one just like Google Maps.”

The team does have a few competitors, but say they can do the same work at just 50% of the cost of other companies like this.

It’s a business idea they’re hoping will continue after graduation. Yard Mapper already has a few real clients. Acker and Evans have recently started testing their system at a Frito-Lay distribution center in North Carolina. They’re also working to implement the tracking system at the Volvo plant in Dublin as well.


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 jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

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 jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

2016 VTKW Sponsor Showcase: Carilion Clinic

Carilion Clinic, 2016 Sponsor of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week

Pictured: Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center

Carilion Clinic is a not-for-profit healthcare organization serving nearly one million people in Virginia through hospitals, outpatient specialty centers and advanced primary care practices. Led by multi-specialty physician teams with a shared philosophy that puts the patient first, Carilion is committed to improving outcomes for every patient while advancing the quality of care through medical education and research. For more information visit www.carilionclinic.org/about.

Thank you, Carilion Clinic, for sponsoring VT KnowledgeWorks including the 2016 Global Partnership Event!

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event 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 and academic 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.

2015 Winners: The grand prize of $25,000 was awarded to Team Visionear of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand. Read more about the winning teams! Read about the 2015 event outcomes and publicity.

For more information about getting involved in the Global Partnership Event, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Outreach Manager, leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.

2016 VTKW Sponsor Showcase: Brown Edwards

2016 VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsor Brown Edwards

Brown Edwards is a full-service accounting firm with 300 professionals and nine locations in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. The firm has enjoyed significant growth since its formation in 1967, thanks to our unwavering commitment to clients, providing the highest quality professional services in the industry, and delivering the attention and responsiveness they deserve and have come to expect from their accountants.

The firm has been recognized among the top 125 largest public accounting firms in the United States by the award-winning newsletter, Inside Public Accounting, in their annual publication of the Top 200 Public Accounting Firms by gross revenue. The firm’s diverse clientele includes contractors, manufacturers, biotechnology companies, engineering and software developers, healthcare providers, distributors, real estate developers, financial service providers, retailers/wholesalers, municipal governments, education and other not-for-profits. For more information, visit the firm’s website at www.BEcpas.com.

Thank you, Brown Edwards, for sponsoring VT KnowledgeWorks including the 2016 Global Partnership Event!

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event 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 and academic 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.

2015 Winners: The grand prize of $25,000 was awarded to Team Visionear of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand. Read more about the winning teams! Read about the 2015 event outcomes and publicity.

For more information about getting involved in the Global Partnership Event, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Outreach Manager, leversole@vtknowledgeworks.com.

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 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.