April 21, 2022

Braden RawlsWe're excited to share this year's keynote will be delivered by Braden Rawls, CEO & CoFounder, Vital Plan. The Launch Place invested in Vital Plan in 2018 and has enjoyed seeing the growth this company has achieved over the years.

Braden Rawls 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.

Vital Plan is an e-commerce holistic health company offering premium natural supplements paired with step-by-step health education and support to lead customers to reach their wellness goals. A certified B Corporation®, Vital Plan is building more than a customer base; they are empowering a community of people to live healthful, sustainable, purpose-filled lives. Thanks to Dr. Rawls’ expertise and thought leadership combined with extensive R&D and a complex global supply chain, Vital Plan is able to deliver a unique and robust product line, step-by-step wellness plans, and unparalleled support to meet and exceed customers' needs and expectations.

 Still time to register to attend!

The 7th IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2022 starting at 1:00pm. IdeaFest is a pitch competition where 20 finalists will pitch their startup business idea to a panel of judges and a live audience. A total of $10,000 will be awarded to the top 3 competitors.

Watch a Video Recap of 2019

Winners of the competition will also be eligible to receive twenty-five hours of free business consulting from The Launch Place.


  • 1st Place $5,000
  • 2nd Place $3,000
  • 3rd Place $2,000

IdeaFest is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to attend any part of the day’s activities. Community members of all ages and professions are invited to attend to learn about the region's startup development resources, to network with a wide range of business professionals and to explore entrepreneurship as a career option.


IdeaFest 2022 Judges

  • Dr. Iulian Bobe, Chief Technology Officer of CIRC
  • Corey Davis, Woods Rogers, Business and Corporate and Emerging Growth
  • Jan Davis, Retired CEO, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation; Investor and Vice Chair, Triangle Angel Partners
  • Shawna C. Lemon, J.D., Ph.D., Angel Investor, Co-Founder xElle Ventures
  • Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director, Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation; Board Vice-Chair, The Launch Place Seed Fund

Click here to learn more about the 2022 Judges



Register to attend IdeaFest on Thursday, April 28 from 1pm - 6pm at Cottontail Weddings and Events, 600 Craghead St., Danville, VA.

Register to attend



For additional information, contact Varun Sadana at vsadana@thelaunchplace.org.



A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

IdeaFest 2022 Sponsors