LaunchVT, Vermont’s statewide business pitch competition announced its 2015 contestants and the addition of a new second place cash prize. Six contestants, including Shelburne’s own Cyrus Schenck and his company, Renoun, were chosen to participate in the competition which concludes with a pitch session on May 7. A new second place cash prize has been added to the competition this year. The competition will now award a first place company $30,000 in cash and more than $45,000 of in-kind support with a new second place prize awarding $15,000 in cash and $25,000 worth of in-kind support.
Catherine Davis, Vice President for Strategy and Public Affairs with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce explained that the Chamber hosts LaunchVT “Because we saw a real need to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and we are thrilled with the growth of the program.” Davis announced the new prize with Patrick Clemins, Cyber Specialist for Vermont EPSCoR. Clemins commented that “VT EPSCoR is excited to partner with LaunchVT to offer the new $15,000 VT EPSCoR Innovation Cash Prize, a significant addition to our efforts to stimulate innovation and research in Vermont.” Davis added that “the addition of the EPSCoR Innovation Second Prize will allow a second innovative company to access the financial and community resources that our previous winners found so useful in growing their companies.”
Lee Bouyea with FreshTracks Capital and Chair of the LaunchVT Advisory Board announced the 2015 contestants who will pitch at the final competition on May 7. The contestants self-describe their companies as:
• Alice & the Magician: Using our in depth understanding of human olfaction, the complex science of aroma, and the art of perfume, we have perfected a way to capture the true essence of flavor, bottle it and distribute it in easy to use, beautifully designed fragrance atomizer. Edible fragrance represents the “true to nature” aromas that we all crave and are severely lacking in most eating and drinking experiences.
• LaunchPad: Launchpad is a powerful web app that streamlines curriculum planning and tackles teacher “pain-points” head on. This revolutionary, collaborative design tool supports and inspires teachers in developing high-quality, real-world, personalized projects. The Launchpad community will connect innovative teachers and awesome learning opportunities, helping redefine students’ experience in school to help them thrive in life.
• MEDSINC: Our solution will address the shortage of physicians and nurses in LMIC by expanding the capacity of unskilled frontline community healthcare workers who constitute the task-sharing healthcare workforces in these countries. Our group of Pediatric and Global health experts has developed and successfully tested an evidenced-based, integrated, medical-intelligence software product called MEDSINC.
• Navali Bags: Navali derives from the Latin word navalis, meaning “pertaining to ship”. Our products are a practical companion for a lifestyle of adventure, passion, and ambition that remind us of the power of water and the early explorers who built civilizations by taking to the sea. We are working on bringing our nautical style to men world-wide. Navali bags and accessories blend durable, washed canvas with soft, distressed leather trim.
• PunchPass: Punchpass is web software fitness studios and independent instructors use to run their business. They use Punchpass to track the passes they sell to customers, their class attendance, and enable online booking and pass purchases. Punchpass is the core software they use to manage their business.
• Renoun: New material. We are the first in the world to incorporate a Non-Newtonian Hyper-Damping material into a ski. A material that doesn’t follow Newton’s Laws of Physics, it is unlike 99.9 percent of materials in the world. Non-Newtonian materials allow Renoun skis to instantly change in dampness depending on how and what you’re riding. This means the skis have the ability to be stiff when needed, and soft when desired.
For more information visit Launch VT.com.