IdeaFest

ideafest 2022 large group

The Launch Place received 71 applications for its 7th IdeaFest Pitch Competition from various start-up companies located in the US and abroad. The top 20 competitors took the stage to present their innovative business ideas in the River District of Danville, VA today. 

The competition kicked off at 1:00pm, with a keynote speach from Braden Rawls, Co-Founder & CEO of Vital Plan, a portfolio company of The Launch Place. Braden co-founded Vital Plan in 2009 with her father, Dr. Bill Rawls, a conventionally-trained physician who discovered the value of herbal therapy during his recovery from chronic Lyme disease. Their shared goals of providing clinical-grade herbal extracts, formulation transparency, and unparalleled customer support and education formed the foundation principles of the company. As CEO of this B Corporation®, Braden is an advocate for the change that enlightened choices in consumerism can bring, and for empowering customers through product transparency and education. 

ideafest 2022 winners

Winner of this year’s competition was Acta Solutions who was awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Acta has developed a solution for public agencies. Public agencies are constantly fielding inquiries and collecting information from customers to deliver municipal services. This creates long conversations, frequent follow-ups, and back-and forth email chains--decreasing the revenue agencies make from service fees. Acta Mustang™  streamlines customer conversations—giving them time back for higher-value responsibilities, and recapturing lost revenue for public agencies. 

Second place and a $3,000 cash award went to My Relief Wear LLC. My Relief Wear is a casual cold therapy clothing company with patent-pending technology changing the process of icing pain by fusing ice packs and clothing. Steelbasis took home third place with a $2,000 cash prize. Steelbasis was built for boutique real estate developers to have an advantage over their competition by relieving the administrative burden of managing their vendors. 

Winners of the competition will also be eligible to receive twenty-five hours of free business consulting from The Launch Place. The Launch Place, located in the River District of Danville, assists with business formation, job creation and retention through its business consulting services and investment funding, while having a dual responsibility to recruit and retain entrepreneurs to the Dan River Region. The IdeaFest competition exposes The Launch Place’s services and funds to start-up companies that are ready to launch, or are seeking early stage capital. The Launch Place could potentially invest in the company from its Seed and Pre-Seed Funds that were established from a grant awarded by the Danville Region Foundation. 

IdeaFest Judges and Master of Ceremonies:

  • Judge: Dr. Iulian Bobe, Chief Technology Officer of CIRC
  • Judge: Corey Davis, Woods Rogers, Business and Corporate and Emerging Growth
  • Judge: Jan Davis, Retired CEO, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation; Investor and Vice Chair, Triangle Angel Partners; Board Vice-Chair, The Launch Place
  • Judge: Shawna C. Lemon, J.D., Ph.D., Angel Investor, Co-Founder xElle Ventures
  • Judge: Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director, Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation; Board Vice-Chair, The Launch Place Seed Fund
  • Master of Ceremonies: Mark Friedman, The Launch Place Seed Fund Portfolio Manager; President and Co-founder of RTP Capital Associates; CEO of Lakeview Business Advisory

Learn more about the Judges.

 

IdeaFest 2022 Finalists

 

 

Company Name

Description

1

Mercier

The company has invented and developed a new method of washing and drying clothes.

2

Avex Motion

Avex Motion empowers physical therapy by Robotics and Reinforcement Learning.

3

VAROS Technologies, Inc.

Virtual & Augmented Reality Organ Systems (VAROS) Technologies Inc. has built for pharmaceutical companies a product that is immersive, study-specific extended reality designs that provide hyper-realistic visual and interactive experiences to aid in patient education.

4

My Relief Wear, LLC

My Relief Wear is a casual cold therapy clothing company with patent-pending technology changing the process of icing pain by fusing ice packs and clothing.

5

Southern Drone Company

Southern Drone Company (SDC) bridges the gap between modern technology, forestry and agriculture operations, through unique drone, sensory, and analytical services we provide for clients within the agriculture and forestry industries.

6

V-Card

V-Card: The Sexual Health Navigation App is the current ideation of a sexual health solution for sexually active young adults whose goal is to give people the tools necessary to take initiative in making well informed decisions.

7

Jabin Beverage Co

Jabin is a beverage company centered around using fresh, functional ingredients to power athletes and adventurers by replenishing the body and preventing cramping after exercise all while being great tasting and enjoyable to drink.

8

Steelbasis LLC

Steelbasis was built for boutique real estate developers to have an advantage over their competition by relieving the administrative burden of managing their vendors.

9

TSV Analytics

TSV Analytics is a predictive social media analytics platform designed to help social media marketers increase their social media ROI by providing insights and information around the next viral topic in their business areas of interest.

10

Relai, Inc.

Relai provides sustainable parcel management for the last mile by innovating how smart parcel lockers are placed and used.

11

Acta Solutions

Acta Mustang™  streamlines customer conversations between public agencies —giving them time back for higher-value responsibilities, and recapturing lost revenue for public agencies.

12

ChxmpionChip, LLC

A secure online gambling and gaming platform.

13

EZread LLC

EZread enables college students who are struggling with their textbook readings come to our website, find their textbook, and peruse high-quality summaries chapter by chapter.

14

Stitch Partners

Stitch Partners is a B2B company with a disruptive technology, a textile air filter, that provides safe and healthy indoor air for homes, schools, businesses and transportation.

15

Veather

Veather aims to make leather out of fruit waste as a cost-efficient and a greener alternative to animal leather.

16

Luuup

Luuup's events platform and services enables small business owners to simplify their event marketing process, save valuable time and increase their bottom line, all while community members easily find out about all their fun events.

17

Ditto.

Ditto is a payments platform purpose-built for project-based work whose product automates administrative tasks and mitigates risk for contractors and their clients.

18

BLKResumes

BLKResumes is a recruitment platform that uses today's most unique sourcing strategies to find, develop and deploy Black + Brown Talent.

19

Divergene

Divergene's proprietary bioinformatics algorithm accelerates gene therapy and editing to save lives by breaking down data silos and harnessing machine learning to extract insights from large data sets to improve analysis and gene therapy development.

20

FJ

FJ is working on a technology solution that will make grocery shopping easy for people with visual impairment.

 

 


The Launch Place is excited to release its new Podcast series!

Listen in to our first episode guest hosted by Tom Snyder, Executive Director of RIoT, with special guest Desmond Wiggan, CEO & Co-Founder of BatteryXchange. BatteryXchange was a winner in the 2019 IdeaFest pitch competition.

Learn about BatteryXchange's startup journey - including customer discovery, funding, and scaling, and how participating in IdeaFest was integral to the company's innovation opportunities and long term success.

 

 


A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

IdeaFest 2022 Sponsors