Charlotte Venture Challenge entries sought

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Charlotte Venture Challenge business innovation competition is accepting applications from early-stage entrepreneurial companies; the deadline is 8 p.m., Friday, March 1.

The Charlotte Venture Challenge (CVC) has become the premiere start-up competition in the Southeast attracting more than 117 entries in 2012. Organized by UNC Charlotte’s Charlotte Research Institute and Ventureprise, the competition has a history of showcasing the region’s most successful early-stage companies. Teams will compete for $75,000-plus in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize.

Top business leaders, including some of the area’s most successful entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists, will judge the competition. Winning companies will be selected in six categories: new energy and high tech; IT and Informatics; life and biotech sciences; consumer products and services; student undergraduate ventures; and student graduate ventures.  Student Ventures must be operated by individuals enrolled in community colleges or four-year institutions.

In its 12th year, the Charlotte Venture Challenge is open to companies in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

“We are excited about the growth of the competition in terms of companies competing, business community mentor support, and the fact that we are attracting investors to Charlotte from throughout the southeast,” said Devin Collins, assistant director of business and entrepreneurial development at UNC Charlotte’s Charlotte Research Institute.  “Innovation executives from local Fortune 500 companies are now participating in CVC in order to connect with new products and technologies further accelerating and growing our entrepreneurial community.” 

The competition includes a series of five workshops for registered start-ups beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6. During the next three months, participants will learn about opportunity assessments, the business model canvas, receive mentoring and connect with other entrepreneurs. The competition finals and awards will be held on Wednesday, May 1.

Apply online at the Charlotte Venture Challenge website.