November 17, 2020

Big Launch Challenge 2020Today, The Launch Place, a venture development organization with offices in Danville, VA, and the Research Triangle Park, NC., is pleased to announce the top 8 finalists who will be pitching their businesses on stage at the seventh annual Big Launch Challenge held virtually on November 18th

Although there will not be a pitch competition with prize money awarded in 2020, The Launch Place is focused on fostering the support system entrepreneurs need by providing the opportunity for company introductions to investors. This year’s BLC ‘Lite’ edition will include an opportunity for 8 companies to share their pitches with a panel of 5 investors representing multiple investor groups located across the country. After each pitch, investors will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on each company’s pitch. Entrepreneurs will be able to ask investors questions about their pitches as well. TLP’s goal is for each company to walk away with valuable insights on their pitch that can help them secure investment funding in the future. 

These finalists will be given eight minutes to present their business plans to a panel of judges and followed by a question and answer block. 

  • Gina Health – Swipe, Match, Heal. Charlotte, NC
  • IO – Energy IoT company. Denver, CO
  • OpenGait Prosthetics – Developing modular, adjustable rehabilitation devices. Raleigh, NC
  • GrowSquares – Gardens at the intersection of nature and technology. Brooklyn, NY
  • Lara Health, Inc. – Using AI and automation to make remote healthcare available to everyone. Philadelphia, PA
  • Davos Inc. – Lender match platform that underwrites and guarantees loans. Durham, NC
  • BlueRecruit – Software platform connecting skilled workers to companies. Raleigh, NC
  • Freeman Capital - Hyper-personalized wealth journeys building generational wealth for all. Charlotte, NC 

The full panel of judges includes Tim Cartwright, Co-Founder and Partner of Fifth Avenue Family Office, Founder and Chair of the Tamiami Family of Angel Funds; Mike Eckert, Founder and Chairman, NO/LA Angel Network; Maneesha Ghiya, Founder and Managing Partner, FemHealth Ventures; Robbie Hardy, Founder and Chair of xElle Ventures; and Karen LeVert, Venture Partner, Pappas Capital. Mark Friedman, President and Co-founder of RTP Capital Associates, CEO of Lakeview Business Advisory, The Launch Place Seed Portfolio Manager, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. 

The Challenge is free to attend, but registration is required. Registration can be found at

The Big Launch Challenge ‘Lite’ is taking place during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) which is an international movement – powered by thousands of partner organizations dedicated to making it possible for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company. The Dan River Region Entrepreneur Ecosystem (DRREE) is hosting the local GEW 2020 which will be celebrated from November 16 – 22, 2020.


The full Schedule of public GEW events can be viewed here, and, all GEW 2020 event updates can be found on the DRREE Facebook page:


“The Launch Place is looking forward to GEW and hosting this year’s Big Launch Challenge ‘Lite’ competition” said Eva Doss, President & CEO, The Launch Place. “We’re looking forward to providing the opportunity for company introductions and pitch feedback to start-ups from investors located across the country. Our goal is for each company to walk away with valuable insights on their pitch that can help them secure investment funding in the future” said Doss.