2018 Charlotte Venture Challenge Finalists

The May 1st program will introduce a “new, interactive format that focuses on promising innovation emerging from UNC Charlotte research and the Charlotte community,” says Ventureprise Associate Director Devin Collins. The Charlotte Venture Challenge will feature three categories, each awarding a top prize during the event. The Student category will have three UNC Charlotte teams pitching their ventures. These finalists were selected from a preliminary campus 49er iChallenge. The other two categories will consist of a panel discussion moderated by Paul Wetenhall and Devin Collins.

University researchers and students will be featured in the University Research and Innovation category, spotlighting teams selected from Ventureprise Launch NSF I-Corps program. The third category, Community Entrepreneurship, will promote top participants in Ventureprise Launch NC IDEA customer discovery program. Collins adds, “This is a fresh, new format for our 17th year and we look forward to highlighting companies that have concentrated on customer focused innovation.”

The 2018 Charlotte Venture Challenge finalists are listed below.

Student Category

Guap, LLC (Daniel Peccerilli and Christopher Pereira)

Addressing the moving and hauling needs of the Charlotte area while simultaneously providing college students with opportunities for additional income with a very flexible schedule.

Tijarah (Mohamad Aboufoul and Mohamed Salad)

Expediting the shopping experience through an app that allows users to scan items as they walk through stores and checkout with one swipe of their phone.

Genubot (Treven Stoddard)

An application created for students taking calculus that uses machine learning to determine what topic they need to improve on.

University Research and Innovation

NanEx (Jordan Poler)

NanEX developed a functionalized nanomaterial that effectively removes organic contaminants from drinking water supplies at rates and efficiencies not achievable with any existing treatment approach.

Vector Analytics (Marcia Price)

Provides predictive analytics that discover emerging technology trends and benchmark innovation, R&D, and product/tech development.

Telli-Technologies (Babak Parkhideh)

High frequency electronic power system

SmarTrek (Mohamed Shehab)

Smartrek a theory driven mobile app to prevent alcohol use among college students based on motivational intervention.

ResArt (Zbigniew W. Ras)

Recommender system for visual objects like paintings.

Community Entrepreneurship

Career Unlocked, Inc. (Andrew Lee and Saurabh Sarathe)

Certified veteran-owned business focused on making tools that connect companies and talent.

Med Portal, LLC (Eric Kirsch, Christ Chartrand, Todd Serulneck, Eric Medlock, Jim McGuire)

Promoting engagement within the medical community through a unique platform and business process.

Notable (Lindsey Haaser Braciale, Tim Newman)

Technology to help companies look beyond “fit” to find diverse candidates that will continue to add value for the long-term.

27 Software (Lee Larson, Nelson Clark, Chris Chartrand, Graham Kerswell, Paul Mitnick, Sarah Lash)

Technology offering a methodology shift away from hand coded development and support to model driven enterprise development and support.

FixMob, Inc. (Nic Gavalas, Mark Vande Guchte, Russell Eldridge)

A mobile app that allows customers, tenants and employees to quickly and easily report maintenance issues to facility teams, increasing small business efficiency and improving customer experience.

In addition to the 13 finalists, four Ventureprise Launch alumni have been selected to showcase their innovation and are qualified to compete for the People’s Choice Award.

Additional teams to showcase:

Queen City Farms (Julian Walker)

Using controlled environment agriculture, and growing 100x more than a conventional farm while using 90% less water, we are bringing sustainable, organic, local fresh food to the Charlotte area.

ThoughtPost (Chris Dix)

Platform for conversational agents, or chatbots, which connects small businesses with their audience through social media at a reasonable cost.

Gig Connected (Keith Clithero)

Mobile friendly web application that provides construction employers direct access to a pool of skilled and unskilled workers for commercial, residential, or road construction projects by posting open jobs and allowing workers to respond.

Video Collaboratory (Sybil Huskey, Vikash Singh, Celine Latulipe, David Wilson)

Web-based, private application designed for group collaboration around video documents allowing co-workers and friends to mark up, analyze and discuss the video from multiple locations.