September 26, 2023

The Launch Place is pleased to announce the top finalists who will pitch their business plans live on stage at the 11th Annual Big Launch Challenge (BLC) on October 5th at the NC Biotech Center in Durham, NC. 

This year’s BLC will include an opportunity for the following early stage companies to share their pitches with a panel of six judges who represent multiple investor groups from across the nation. These finalists will be given eight minutes to present their business plans on stage, followed by a five minute question and answer session with the judges. 

  • Acta Solutions – Acta Solutions helps local governments streamline their customer service. With Acta, local governments respond to emails and phone calls faster, with consistent information, and issue more revenue-generating services like permits and inspections. 
  • Agricision, Inc. – Agricision, Inc. is a farmer-led ag-tech company dedicated to helping farmers attack invasive pests before major infestations take root leading to costly crop damage, loss, or worse - profit loss. Its solution uses state-of-the-art edge computing and autonomous systems to deliver early and accurate pest detection so they can make “spray/no spray” decisions with confidence. 
  • Boreas Monitoring Solutions – Boreas Monitoring is an innovative technology company built on safeguarding irreplaceable biological materials. They have revolutionized cryotank monitoring with a patented, weight-based remote monitoring system that offers a safe and reliable alternative to the antiquated systems used in laboratories today
  • Bristles AI – Born from personal DIY project struggles, Bristles AI is building the ultimate design platform for home improvement projects. Its AI-powered software transforms your saved photos into interactive design elements for mocking up your creative vision. Find the clarity and confidence to tackle your projects before lifting a paintbrush!  
  • Cosmic Eats, Inc. – Cosmic Eats, Inc. is developing a small footprint, high yield vertically integrated feeding system for military, humanitarian, and space applications with a built-in food processing subunit and user interface to guide production of plants, algae, and fungi to meet targeted nutrition goals.
  • DNAIi – DNAli is driving DNA-based solutions for a rapidly growing bioeconomy. Its first technology pioneers an enzymatic method that produces both existing and first-in-class chemically modified DNAs for diverse applications including the manufacturing of biosensors and diagnostic tests and epigenetics research.
  • Jigsawdio - Jigsawdio is an evidence based multi-sensory engagement device for the Alzheimer’s population. Users play their collection of physical personalized jigsaw puzzles on a displayable frame. Sound pieces play recordings or songs that accompany and narrate the image associated with that piece.
  • Nutribe – Nutribe builds AI Social Workers for healthcare organizations, schools, government entities, and community organizations. 
  • Three Strands Recovery Wear – Three Strands Recovery Wear is dedicated to enhancing the healing journey of post-surgical patients through their revolutionary product, the Resilience Bra, and additional loungewear garments. Its mission is to positively impact every patient's recovery, offering exceptional comfort and support through its recovery garments and community platform. 
  • Tromml – Tromml is an insights solution that allows eCommerce sellers to improve profitability by generating actionable insights from their own data streams. 

The full panel of judges for the BLC includes Dr. Dawn Batts, Director of Growth Capital, Tech Town; Timothy J. Cartwright, Founder and CEO, Fifth Avenue Family Office; Chairman and Founder, Tamiami Angel Funds, LLC; General Partner, Adrenaline Venture Fund; Dr. Silvia Mah, General Partner, Stella Impact Capital; Sumedha Mongia, MD, Physician, Founder, Angel Investor, Healthcare Leader; Rick Timmins, Angel Investor/Venture Capital; Former Chairman, Central Texas Angel Network; Autumn Visser, Principal, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black PLC. Click herefor an in-depth introduction to this year's BLC judges.

The BLC is part of an all-day event that kicks off with the Ann and Bill Payne Angel Capital Association's (ACA) Angel University at 7:30am and culminates with the pitch competition that starts at 2:00pm.

ACA Angel University will offer two courses that provide powerful insights and actionable strategies to make angel investments and startups more successful. The workshops, Due Diligence and Exit Strategies, will be taught by leading experts in angel investing and allows angels and entrepreneurs to network and learn together. Learn more about the ACA Angel University here.

The Big Launch Challenge, a competition targeting the best startups in the country, is a unique opportunity to see 10 leading early stage companies compete for $15,000 in prize money from The Launch Place. Over the past ten (10) years of hosting this competition, The Launch Place has awarded $189,000 to 19 companies. The Launch Place strives to foster an environment for new and serial entrepreneurs to raise capital and have access to support services such as mentoring and business consulting to take their products and/or solutions into the marketplace.

The Challenge is free to attend, but registration is required. Register now!