June 15, 2016

The Launch Place and First Flight Venture Center partner again to host the 3rd Annual The Big Launch Challenge for startup companies
Danville, VA (June 15, 2016) – The Launch Place, an established entrepreneurial development organization headquartered in Danville, Virginia, and First Flight Venture Center, the largest technology incubator in the Research Triangle, North Carolina, have come together once again to host The Big Launch Challenge with awards totaling $30,000. The competition is designed to showcase technology-driven business ideas in a highly competitive environment.

This year’s challenge will feature a total of three elimination rounds with the final pitch event to be held on September 20, 2016, starting at 1 p.m., at the Research Triangle Park Headquarters located at 12 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC. Application submission opened today and must be submitted by August 1st at http://bit.ly/TLP_BLC.

“Based on the number of inquiries, The Big Launch Challenge has become a highly anticipated event in the region,” said Eva Doss, President and CEO of The Launch Place. “Not only does the competition provide entrepreneurs with prize money, but it also serves as a platform for them to learn about The Launch Place’s entrepreneurship services and investment opportunities in Danville, Virginia.”

Tom and Jennys CandyThe 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.
To be eligible to participate, companies must be willing to locate a part of the operations and/or manufacturing for this business in Danville, Virginia and also be willing to receive mentorship and guidance from The Launch Place and First Flight Venture Center teams.
Judges and six finalist companies in 2015
“We are excited to be working again with The Launch Place on The Big Launch Challenge,” said Andy Schwab, President of First Flight Venture Center. “This event brings together talented entrepreneurs and start-ups, all in an effort to help find good ideas and build sustainable businesses.”

To register for the event and for more information, go to http://bit.ly/TLP_BLC.

About The Launch Place:
The Launch Place, from a $10 million grant received from the Danville Regional Foundation in 2012, assists with entrepreneurship and business development, and job creation and retention through its business consulting, mentoring and training, residential and office subsidies, and two seed investment funds in the Dan River region of Virginia.
Website: www.thelaunchplace.org

About First Flight Venture Center:
Founded in 1991, First Flight Venture Center was created to foster innovation and grow sustainable companies. Today, First Flight is one of the nation’s largest and most stable incubators, playing host to more than 37 high-science, high-impact annually. In total, First Flight company startups number 267 and growing. Several of the most notable graduates include United Therapeutics (NASDAQ: UTHR), SciQuest (NASDAQ: SQI) Athenix (acquired by Bayer, NASDAQ: BAYRY), Advanced Liquid Logic (acquired by Illumina, NASDAQ: ILMN), Bloodhound Technologies (acquired by Verisk), Ganymede Software (acquired by NETIQ IPO) and Exam Design (acquired by Person PLC, NASDAQ: PSO).
Website: www.ffvc.org