March 22, 2019

IdeaFest Winners

The Launch Place received 99 applications for the 6th Annual 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 speech from Sanjay Patel, Founder & CEO of TiO, a portfolio company of The Launch Place. Short for “Turn it On,” TiO is the only smart home system designed with builders in mind. TiO creates simple hardware and software products that allow for wireless control of the home through various mediums: a single app on a homeowner’s phone or tablet, wall touch switches and through voice control. TiO was selected as a Sound & Vision magazine “Top Pick” in 2016 and a 2017 Consumer Technology Association Mark of Excellence winner. 

Winner of this year’s competition was Pocket Protector who was awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Pocket Protector is a medical device company aiming to prevent pocket hematomas (the buildup of blood) after pacemaker implantation. The product is a simple device that applies even pressure to the “pocket” of a patient after pacemaker implantation. The applied pressure to the region prevents blood from pooling into the pocket through the muscular fascia or blood vessels. 

Second place and a $3,000 cash award went to NIRSleep. NIRSleep is developing a more accurate and native method to measure sleep to enable better patient outcomes. Battery Xchange took home third place with a $2,000 cash prize. Battery Xchange is a rental platform that provides portable batteries to cell phone users on-the-go. 

Check out all the pitches on The Launch Place's Facebook Page.

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:

 IdeaFest 2019 Finalists

  1. wirl
    • Presenter: Benjie Davis
    • Description: wirl is the only marketplace which helps everyday people find and hire affordable personal stylists so they can dress confidently!Location: Durham, NC
  2. QuickTech Medical
    • Presenter:  Glenn Feit, Gregory Grande and Jacob Merizian
    • Description: QuickTech makes arthritic recovery faster, easier, and cheaper while improving patient outcomes by introducing new technologies such as 3D scanning and artificial intelligence (AI) into orthopedic clinics.Location: Blacksburg, VA
  3. NeuroView Diagnostics
    • Presenter: Omar Uribe
    • Description: NeuroView's mission is to improve the detection of stroke using artificial intelligence and the camera in your pocket.Location: Charlottesville, VA
  4. NIRSleep Inc
    • Presenter: Ember Melcher
    • Description: NIRSleep is developing a more accurate and native method to measure sleep to enable better patient outcomes. Location: Richmond, VA
  5. SWELL Systems, Inc
    • Presenter: Derek Schmidt
    • Description: SWELLEnterprise is an all-in-one business management application that allows creative agencies and b2b startups to manage their administrative, sales and production in one integrated system. Location: Wilmington, NC
  6. Single Baked Sweets 
    • Presenter: Melissa Stefaniak
    • Description: Single Baked Sweets provides single-serve, bake-at-home dessert kits that come with the pre-measured dry ingredients, bakeware and simple instructions needed to make a delicious homemade treat for one!Location: Charlottesville, VA
  7. Groove Watersports
    • Presenter: Drew Bartek
    • Description: We bring music to Watersports through a patented vest with integrated speakers. Location: Charlotte, NC
  8. Pocket Protector
    • Presenter: Kayla Burkholder
    • Description: A Medical device company aiming to prevent pocket hematomas (the buildup of blood) after pacemaker implantation.Location: Richmond, VA
  9. Everywhere Ad
    • Presenter: Dezbee McDaniel & Rashaad Galloway
    • Description: Everywhere Ad is a mobile rideshare advertising platform that pays Uber, Lyft and other rideshare drivers to advertise small and local businesses in their vehicles.Location: Raleigh, NC
  10. Chirp!
    • Presenter: Andrew Bowker & Praneet Mocherla
    • Description: Since half of all house fires originate from the kitchen stove, we created Chirp: an IoT-enabled Smart Home device that leverages a combination of sensors guided by a proprietary algorithm to monitor the stove and immediately address threats to help reduce emergency response times by an estimated 50%. Location: Raleigh, NC
  11. Gig Connected
    • Presenter: Keith Clithero
    • Description: A mobile-friendly web application that streamlines the construction staffing process.Location: Charlotte, NC
  12. Kwistr
    • Presenter: Thad “TC” Parker
    • Description: Kwistr is a SaaS based automated regression testing solution for web apps, mobile apps, APIs, and websites.Location: Raleigh, NC
  13. Rendyr, Inc.
    • Presenter: Martin Angst
    • Description: Rendyr has developed a portable laser cutter to make rapid product development accessible to everyone.Location: Blacksburg, VA
  14. Decidedly by Pathos Ethos
    • Presenter: Greg Akinbiyi
    • Description: “Decidedly” is a next-generation productivity intelligence platform that helps organizations automate meetings, streamline their decision-making process, and leverage data to remove bias when measuring performance.Location: Durham, NC
  15. Brise-solette
    • Presenter: Chandana Muktipaty, Joshna Seelam, Aniket Kulkarni, and Kashyap Venuthurupalli
    • Description:  Brise-Solette -- enables neonatal care providers to precisely control the amount of light received by premature infants hospitalized in NICU chambers, positively impacting the critical cognitive, optical and overall physical development of this most vulnerable infant population.Location: Richmond, VA
  16. Housebyrd
    • Presenter: Chris Phillis
    • Description: Get an immediate answer on buying your dream home. Location: Charlotte, NC
  17. Vortix Apparel 
    • Presenter: Alan Sexten 
    • Description: Swimming trunks with waterproof pockets, so you can carry your phone, wallet, keys, and other valuables in and around water.  Location: Liberty University Lynchburg VA
  18. Nanomosaic
    • Presenter: Sheeba Dawood
    • Description: Extraction of lithium using nanomaterials: A network of solutions. Location: Greensboro, NC
  19. Battery Xchange
    • Presenter: Desmond Wiggan 
    • Description: A rental platform that provides portable batteries to cell phone users on-the-go. Location: Charlotte, NC 
  20. iMonitR 
    • Presenter: Emmanuel Borkor Nuakoh
    • Description: iMonitR is a mobile application for preventing credit/debit card fraud in real time using machine learning and human collaboration.Location: Greensboro, NC 
Media Coverage