April 25, 2024

9th Annual IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition - May 1, 2024

IdeaFest Logo

IdeaFest is a business pitch competition where finalists will pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges and a live audience.  The top three competitors will be awarded $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place. In addition, Dominion Energy Innovation Center is sponsoring a $5,000 Clean Energy Bonus Prize.

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 is a live event that will be held at 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co. located at 209 Trade St, Danville, VA. Register to attend.

Register Now

Meet the IdeaFest Finalists

TeachBase - Claire Benton

Grain Fertility - Joe Cody

Predicate- Dr. Morrison Nguyen

Loom 3D - Brian Kelly

Solvacy - Kenneth Harkness

NIRSense Inc. - Dr. Casey Boutwell

Pool Protection Technologies - Garrett Stigall

Edenic Energy - Thomas Hunter

Target 2 Zero - Scarlett Williams

MasRefund - Dr. Simon Karmarkar

Social Cascade - Dr. Lucy Kosturko

Tada AI - Cameron Dixon

Lukera - Brian Worfolk

CAC Tech Services Inc - Chad Burchett

Brokerbotics - Siddarth Dalal and Ahan Dalal

Answer This - Ayush Garg and Ryan Mccarroll

Scale Materials - Liudmyla (Liuda) Prozorovska

Nessle - Dr. Carly Buxton

OsRostrum, Inc. - Catie McVey

equalityMD - Justin Ayars

Meet the IdeaFest Judges

Patrick Gouhin

Keynote Speaker

Patrick Gouhin, CAE

CEO, Angel Capital Association

Patrick Gouhin is presently serving in his fourth year as the CEO of the Angel Capital Association. ACA is a professional society for accredited angel investors, North America's most prolific early-stage investment class. ACA represents 15,000+ member accredited angel investors, 250 angel groups, accredited platforms and family offices and more than 30,000 entrepreneurial companies that are in ACA member investment portfolios. Before joining ACA, Mr. Gouhin spent 12 years as the Executive Director and CEO of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and then 15 years with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). During his tenure at ISA he provided leadership toward the creation of many new initiatives and companies. At AIAA, Mr. Gouhin served as the Chief Operating Officer whereby his leadership contributions resulted in significant revenue growth and the successful management of 300+ project teams through development and delivery of multiple products and services.

Mr. Gouhin also served as the first Vice President of Operations and Technology Transfer for the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) at Langley Research Center. This was a start-up resulting from $69 million government contract award to build a world-class research and education institute. Mr. Gouhin has experience in corporate divestitures and acquisitions, business construction and relocation, strategic standardization management, business planning, project management, process mapping and reengineering, and serving as a company wide change agent. He has served on the board of directors of multiple non-profits including the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) where he is a past president.

He has a bachelor of science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from The Ohio State University and a master’s in engineering management from George Washington University. He has also completed the executive development program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the advanced management college of Stanford University. Mr. Gouhin is a Certified Association Executive or CAE.

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


A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

IdeaFest 2023 Sponsors