Charlotte Venture Challenge Finalists Announced

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17th annual event will feature 13 finalists to compete in three categories

CHARLOTTE, NC- April 16, 2018- On May 1st, the Charlotte Venture Challenge will be held at the UNC Charlotte Center City building beginning at 4pm and feature 13 innovative startup finalists and award over $15,000 in cash awards. This year’s event will introduce these emerging companies to investors, corporate executives and the Charlotte metro business community.

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 (UNC Charlotte)- Guap, LLC (Daniel Peccerilli and Christopher Pereira), Tijarah (Mohamad Aboufoul and Mohamed Salad), Genubot (Treven Stoddard)

University Research and Innovation- NanEx (Jordan Poler), Vector Analytics (Marcia Price), Telli-Technologies (Babak Parkhideh), SmarTrek (Mohamed Shehab), ResArt (Zbigniew W. Ras)

Community Entrepreneurship- Career Unlocked, Inc. (Andrew Lee and Saurabh Sarathe), Med Portal, LLC (Eric Kirsch, Christ Chartrand, Todd Serulneck, Eric Medlock, Jim McGuire), Notable (Lindsey Haaser Braciale, Tim Newman), 27 Software (Lee Larson, Nelson Clark, Chris Chartrand, Graham Kerswell, Paul Mitnick, Sarah Lash), FixMob, Inc. (Nic Gavalas, Mark Vande Guchte, Russell Eldridge)

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), ThoughPost (Chris Dix), Gig Connected (Keith Clithero), Video Collaboratory (Sybil Huskey, Vikash Singh, Celine Latulipe, David Wilson)

The May 1 event will also feature Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA FOUNDATION, as keynote speaker and leading a panel discussion with three former NC IDEA Seed Grant winners: Lisa Ganderson, The Wed Clique, Ivan Howitt, InfoSense, Inc., and Rob Cummings, Deal Cloud, Inc. The panel will highlight their experience in the Charlotte entrepreneurial scene including funding, resources and lessons learned.

A reception will follow where attendees can meet the 17 companies showcasing and vote for the People’s Choice Innovator winner.

Click here for more information on finalists.