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Danville’s IdeaFest business pitch contest returns for a 5th year

by Conaway Haskins | Jan 13, 2018

The Launch Place – the creative startup incubator in Danville, VA – is looking for entrepreneurs to participate in the fifth installment of its IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition. This year, 20 ­finalists will promote their startup concepts to a panel of judges and a live audience. The top three competitors will each receive an award – $5,000 for ­first place, $3,000 for second place and $1,500 for third place. Attendees will have a chance to vote on a $500 Audience Choice Award.

The competition will start at 1pm on Thursday, March 29 at Cottontail Weddings & Events, 600 Craighead St., Danville, VA. A reception will follow at Ballad Brewing beginning at 5pm.

The driving motivation behind IdeaFest is to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship to diversify the Dan River Region’s economy. For entrepreneurs, it’s a forum to develop ideas by pitching ventures and receiving constructive feedback that will help them grow their new enterprise. The winning competitors walk away with cash prizes (no strings attached) to use for their business. The other key element of IdeaFest is the networking – entrepreneurs can connect with each other, future customers, and prospective investors including The Launch Place. The host organization follows the progress of the participants with an eye toward making future investment from its Pre-Seed or Seed Funds.

Ideas and concepts pitched must be in the initial stages of development where existing funding does not exceed $50,000. The Launch Place wants to sure that the concepts are paired with a solid business model that can proceed onto the market validation phase of the life-cycle. The prize money can enable the validation to be conducted through either pilot-phase customers or a third-party review. Any entrepreneur who has a venture-worthy idea should apply to IdeaFest.

Applications open on January 4 and the deadline to apply is February 13, 2018.

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