May 1, 2024

The Launch Place received 115 applications for its 9th IdeaFest Pitch Competition from various start-up companies located in the US and abroad. The top competitors took the stage to present their innovative business ideas at 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Company in Danville, VA today. 

The competition kicked off at 1:00pm, with a keynote from Patrick Gouhin, CAE, CEO of Angel Capital Association. Mr. Gouhin is presently serving in his fifth 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. 

 

Pat Gouin ideafest keynote

The winner of this year’s competition was Mas Refund, who was awarded a $5,000 cash prize. MasRefund is a bilingual Spanish English tax filing app that takes the fear and complexity out of filing taxes by making tax filing as easy as uno, dos, tres.

Second place and a $3,000 cash award went to Social Cascade. Social Cascade is an AI-powered platform reducing health disparities with strategic patient engagement & education. OsRostrum, Inc. took home third place with a $2,000 cash prize. OsRostrum, Inc. is a PhIT (Phenomic Inference Technology) platform that combines patented 3D scanning, computer vision, and machine learning algorithms to help cattle farmers identify novel physical indicators of health and resilience in their cows.

The Dominion Energy Innovation Center $5,000 Clean Bonus Prize was awarded to Scale Materials. Scale transforms industries with better materials.

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 2024 Judges

 

IdeaFest Judges and Master of Ceremonies

 

IdeaFest 2024 Finalists 

  • TeachBase: Interactive planning software that brings all teacher planning materials to one platform. 

  • Grain Fertility: Transformative application that empowers individuals seeking fertility treatment with personalized support and education, essential fertility services, and proactive care management.

  • Predicate: Innovating early sepsis detection with wearable biosensors and natural language processing (NLP).

  • LOOM3D: 3D weaving for apparel production. It is like 3D printing for clothing!

  • Solvacy: All-in-one AI powered digital marketing solution designed to optimize engagement and drive business growth to all of your social media accounts

  • NIRSense Inc.: A medical device company developing advanced hemodynamic and human performance monitors for the Department of Defense that screen, monitor, and manage cardiometabolic disease patients

  • Pool Protection Technologies: A device that actively kills and prevents algae without chemicals for pools.

  • Edenic Energy: Edenic Energy is using a Building Information Engine automating retrofit for outdated properties.

  • Target 2 Zero: Provides rapid event reconsolidation services for groups and individuals that helps reduce the pain and trauma associated with adverse events. 

  • MasRefund: A bilingual SPanish English tax filing app that takes the fear and complexity out of filing taxes by making tax filing as easy as uno, dos, tres.

  • Social Cascade: AI-powered platform in reducing health disparities with strategic patient engagement & education.

  • Tada AI: Chat with internal company documents, automate customer support, and identify churn risk - all with the power of Tada AI.

  • Lukera: Revolutionizing hydrogen production with its cutting-edge smart alkaline electrolyzer technology. 

  • CAC Tech Services Inc: Supports OEM’s, fleets and school districts and utilities to help meet their sustainability goals by helping to integrate zero emission drivelines and green technology.  

  • Brokerbotics: Aims to democratize passive income from stock options for every investor using simple automation, better alerts, and sensible reporting.

  • AnswerThis: Leverages AI model pipelining to quickly and accurately retrieve information from over 200 million research papers and the entire internet to answer complex questions and make the rapidly expanding global knowledge base more accessible and efficient.

  • Scale Materials: Transforms industries with better materials.

  • Nessle: AI-powered parenting co-pilot that supports the parenting journey from fertility through the teen years that delivers curated resources for users.

  • OsRostrum, Inc.: PhIT (Phenomic Inference Technology) platform that combines patented 3D scanning, computer vision, and machine learning algorithms to help cattle farmers identify novel physical indicators of health and resilience in their cows.

  • equalityMD: Healthcare & data analytics platform that provides culturally competent care and actionable new insights to the LGBTQ+ community that restores humanity to the healthcare experience.


 

A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

IdeaFest 2023 Sponsors