The Big Launch Challenge

The Big Launch Challenge

2016 Winners

big launch challenge encapsio

1st Place

Encapsio produces premium silicone microspheres for the encapsulation, protection, and delivery of active ingredients in product formulations. Unlike other technologies, our proprietary method allows for the production of spheres that can not only effectively deliver compounds, but improve the aesthetics of the product, are cost effective, and scalable. Due to our ability to encapsulate and deliver a variety of compounds, our spheres have applications in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to agrochemicals, but we are currently focused on topical applications for skin care. Our first product is a retinol-encapsulated microsphere that we will supply to cosmetic brands and cosmetic ingredient distributors.

the big launch challenge ascent

2nd Place

Ascent Bio-Nano Technologies, Inc. is a research spin-off from the Pennsylvania State University formed in 2012. The mission is to develop gentle and safe cell and particle separation research tool and medical device. The company motto is Innovation for Impact. Our passion is to commercialize world leading acoustofluidics technologies to advance research, enhance health and improve life quality. The current focus is to develop blood component separation system for transfusion and cellular therapies. Our blood processing system and disposable processing kits are based on patented acoustofluidic technologies.


  1. Clinical Sensors
  2. Reveal Mobile
  3. Medilio
  4. Ascent Bio-Nano Technologies, Inc.
  5. Myxx, Inc
  6. Encapsio

About the Challenge

The 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.

2016 Judges - View bios here Article

For additional information, contact Kelly Fitzgerald at