Launch Competition

Launch! is the third and final stage of the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup, and its goal is to showcase and provide seed capital to the most compelling student ventures. In past years, upwards of $50,000 in total prize and in-kind resources have been awarded.

This stage of the competition is about commitment, sustainability, and scale. Are the students committed to the venture? Is it likely that that the venture, whether a for-profit or nonprofit, could be sustainable (i.e., financially and operationally viable)? Could this venture grow to have the impact and/or the upside imagined by the founders?

Students at this point are able to provide evidence of real customer and/or stakeholder demand, and can provide a vision for how the venture could become a sustainable business or non-profit. Furthermore, these student ventures have often also begun the process of assembling the team and resources to deliver their product or service to new customers.

KEY DATES:

Friday, March 26, 2021 – Submissions due by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (HIGH NOON) 
Thursday, April 1, 2021 - Finalists are selected and notified by 5:00 p.m. EDT via email 
Sunday, April 4, 2021 - Finalists submit their video pitch by 11:59 p.m. EDT via email 
Thursday, April 8, 2021 - Interviews and announcement of winners; Register to watch the competition LIVE; Watch Finalists Videos HERE

Award Winners and Finalists:

Bingebound- Streaming Made Social - Evan Kirsh, McIntire School of Commerce, 2021; Alexa Rothborth, College of Arts and Science, 2022; Jason Calem, McIntire School of Commerce, 2022
Discover what shows your friends are watching and keep track of your own activity on Binged! Let’s make asking “What show should I watch?” a thing of the past. 

*Second Place ($15,000): Brave Virtual Worlds, LLC - William Kodama, Dhyey Parikh and Evan Magnusson, Undergraduate School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2021
Brave Virtual Worlds (Brave) is developing a full-body wearable for athletes that provides data coaches can use to improve performance, provide more coaching time, and reduce injury. 

Device Manufacturers of Virginia - Andrew Kohler and Korosh Yazdanpanah (Darden School of Business, 2022); Krista Kohler; Daniel Bounds
A physician-owned, patient-centered medical device R&D company providing a non-invasive solution to obstructive sleep apnea. 

Disco - Rishub Handa and Min Jun Kim, Undergraduate School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2022
A platform to help upcoming artists gain exposure to the “early adopters” of the music industry: the listeners with the most potential to become their superfans and drive organic growth.

Fantasy4, LLC - John Palmer and Ethan Silverman, Darden School of Business, 2021
Fantasy4 (“f4”) is a best-in-class dues management service for fantasy competitions that empowers participants to support their favorite charities through fantasy. 

*First Place ($20,000): Grome - Amanda Wiggans, Darden School of Business, 2021
Grome is the first device of it’s kind that keeps houseplants alive while their plant parents are away. 

HUMMINGBYRD - Coco Woeltz and Isabelle Kayal Madison, Darden School of Business, 2021; Masloff, College of Arts and Science, 2021
HUMMINGBYRD has designed the first-ever invisible, front-zipper, horizontal pocket sports bra that fits smartphone, credit cards, keys and other essentials.

Joie de Sans - Cecilia Rios Murrieta, Darden School of Business, 2022
Joie de SANS is an alluring alcohol-free cocktail company that is inclusive, empowering and sophisticated. 

The Million Word Challenge - Daniel Dickey, Darden School of Business, 2021
The Million Word Challenge is a classroom tested program that engages and interests students to read via a friendly competition. Specifically, the initiative uses students' intrinsic competitive nature as a way to motivate them to read one million words before the end of the school year.

*Third Place ($10,000): Transfoam - Alec Brewer, Undergraduate School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2021; Kobe Rogers, College of Arts and Science, 2021; Simonne Guenette, College of Arts and Science, 2022
Transfoam is a Virginia-based LLC developing a cradle2cradle biomanufacturing platform to tackle global plastic pollution. 

*Award Winners

For more information about the Launch! Competition, follow the links below: