VT KnowledgeWorks has announced the finalists in the Student and Open Business Concept Competitions to be held on April 11 at the Fourth Annual Entrepreneurship Challenge at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg, Va. 

The 10 finalist teams will present their business concepts before a panel of angel investors and business leaders as well as challenge attendees.  Participants in the student competition represent Virginia Tech and participants of the open competition represent the New River and Roanoke valleys.  

The winning team in the open competition receives $5,000 in start-up services from VT KnowledgeWorks plus workspace in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for one year.  The winning team in the Virginia Tech competition receives $10,000 in scholarships plus workspace in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for summer 2012.  The winning student team also qualifies to compete in the 2012 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge for which the team will receive a week-long, expense-paid celebration of student entrepreneurship and may win the $25,000 grand prize.

The finalist student teams from Virginia Tech include AcMo Technologies, ECLIPSE, GreenStar, HALO, and YouFolio.  Finalists of the open competition include Cloud Conservatory, Dive Into Research, Feel. Think. Choose., Out of the Box-Informed Choice: College Snapshot, and Universities Inc.

The competition encourages students and entrepreneurs to develop their entrepreneurial ideas, enhances their understanding of the requirements for a successful business venture, and showcases the creativity of students at Virginia Tech and entrepreneurs of the New River and Roanoke valleys.

Because of the generous sponsorship of LeClairRyan and CIT, the fees for this all-day event including competitions, luncheon, and awards presentation are only $30 for students and $50 for non-students.  Email Christine Spalding for details or call 540-443-9100.  Registration is also available online.  

Descriptions of the student finalist teams include

  1. AcMo Technologies: AcMo technology is developing a breakthrough in touchscreen ergonomics which allows women to fluidly interact with their touchscreen devices.
  2. ECLIPSE:  Using simple software solutions, ECLIPSE promises to help institutions and individuals in the geological community to better manage their collections and materials.
  3. GreenStar:  An Affordable, Modular and Fun Solution to Energy Management and Home Automation.
  4. HALO:  Opaque and Transparent Impact/Kinetic Energy Attenuating Systems.
  5. YouFolio:  YouFolio changes the paradigm of the resume with its Web 2.0 content management system that allows members to upload their works and make a portfolio of their abilities that they can share with the world.  

Descriptions of the open finalist teams include

  1. Cloud Conservatory:  Provides on-demand university level music education through the use of recorded music lectures and private Webcam lessons.
  2. Dive Into Research:  Helps researchers raise research resources from public and industry; presents researchers’ work in popular science language to public in real time.
  3. Feel. Think. Choose.:  Algorithm-based, customizable, "white label" enterprise software, available to users in both Web and mobile versions, offered to organizations and corporations who serve populations with behavioral health management needs.
  4. Out of the Box-Informed Choice: College Snapshot:  Web presence database of virtual classroom sample (segments/class) linked by program profile and potentially to work/business connections and eventually to plug in analysis.
  5. Universities Inc.:  Powering the new business model of education through technology driven relationships.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a program of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation) and serves as a connection between the entrepreneur community and Virginia Tech. It is supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors, and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in Blacksburg, Va.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain Inc.; BB&T; Handshake 2.0; Harris Office Furniture; Hodges; Jones & Mabry, P.C.; Hutchison Law Group; LeClairRyan; Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); The Becher Agency (TBA); New River Valley IP Law; and The Branch Group.

Written by Christine Spalding.

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