The Big Launch Challenge

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Big Launch Challenge Pitch Competition - October 14, 2021

The Launch Place and the Angel Capital Association (ACA)’s Angel University are partnering to bring together angel investors and entrepreneurs to learn, share and network. This two-day event offers a unique experience for both angel investors and entrepreneurs that will be filled with immersive learning and networking. Attendees will begin the two-day event with ACA Angel University and conclude with a fast-paced pitch competition where winners will walk away with $15,000 to move their ventures forward.

ACA Angel University will offer two courses valuable to both angel investors and entrepreneurs—Angel Exit Strategy and Risks in Angel Investing. This is the first time these two courses are being taught with angels and entrepreneurs learning together. Angels will learn how to get to successful paydays—harvesting their investments by helping their companies manage risks and achieve successful exits. Entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of how angels think and evaluate early-stage companies helping entrepreneurs build stronger partnerships with their investors.

The Big Launch Challenge, a competition targeting the best startups in the country, is a unique opportunity to see 10 leading startups as they compete for $15,000 in prize money. Over the past 8 years of hosting this competition, The Launch Place has awarded $159,000 to 14 companies. The Launch Place strives to foster an environment for new and serial entrepreneurs in which they can raise capital and have access to support services they need to take their products and/or solutions into the marketplace.

CIT and Woods Rogers

“The goal of the Big Launch Challenge is to provide early-stage startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors, and for The Launch Place Pre-Seed and Seed Fund to generate deal flow,” says The Launch Place President and CEO, Eva Doss. “Every year it is a different experience, with different business ideas and founding teams. We are very excited to host the competition in person again and to hear the thought-provoking pitches.”

A special thanks to our sponsors - Center of Innovative Technology and Woods Rogers

The two-day event will begin on October 13th in the afternoon with ACA Angel University and end with the Big Launch Challenge starting at 1:00pm on Thursday, October 14th. 

Companies interested in participating must complete an application. The top 10 companies will be invited to pitch in-person to the panel of judges on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at the NC Biotechnology Center (15 TW Alexander Dr, Durham, NC 27709). 

Deadline to apply is August 30, 2021

Apply Now

Register to Attend

Register to Attend

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.

For additional information, contact Varun Sadana at vsadana@thelaunchplace.org.

ACA Angel University: An Immersive, Interactive Learning Experience

Designed to increase collaboration between entrepreneurs and angel investors, these two workshops will give you powerful insights and actionable strategies to make angel investments and startups the support more successful. The workshops will be taught by leading experts in angel investing.

Risks in Angel Investing: Angels learn how to manage their risks to build a stronger portfolio. Learn about the risks from the entrepreneur and investor perspectives, and gain insights into the due diligence that is necessary to mitigate these risks. A case study exercise gives participants hand-on exposure to uncovering and addressing risks.

Angel Exit Strategies: This workshop teaches angels and their portfolio companies how to work together to achieve the most successful exits. The course features the drivers for high multiples and how companies can build in value from the very beginning of their ventures. The workshop finishes with the “Exit Strategy Canvas” that walks participants through the six key elements of exit strategy.

Register to Attend

Register to attend Angel University



Big Launch Challenge - Keynote Speaker Announced!

Rich Brancaccio
We are pleased to announce that Rich Brancaccio, founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Revibe Technologies, will be the keynote speaker at the Big Launch Challenge.

Revibe develops machine learning powered tactile wearables that help children improve their focus and attention through personalized reminder vibrations. After developing two commercially successful over-the-counter devices, Revibe's upcoming product (currently under development) will focus on digital therapeutics for children with ADHD. Rich has a true passion for fusing psychology with technology to help children reach their fullest potential and level the playing field for all students. He designed the original Revibe while working as a school psychologist and after hand-building successful prototypes, went on to form a company which he led as CEO for eight years before transitioning to Chief Innovation Officer to focus on developing next generation therapeutics.