By: Sarah Olivarez
Photography: Jason Roberts
This year’s 2nd Annual Venture Challenge concluded with a bang! Over 120 individuals joined us at the International Center Ballroom on Thursday, May 4, to celebrate the culmination of Launch SA’s Venture Challenge program.
Venture Challenge is a goal-setting competition that awards seed funding to high performing entrepreneurs who set realistic business goals through the six challenges set forth before them. From over 130 applicants, 11 entrepreneurs were selected to move on and pitch to Launch SA’s panel of judges.
At this year’s competition, five finalists were awarded seed funding! The following are those finalists:
• The grand prize of $20,000 went to NovoThelium, a biotechnology company that developed a bioengineered nipple for breast reconstruction that maintains projection, has natural pigmentation, and improved sensation.
• The $10,000 prize was awarded to Whiskr, a flight deals website for travelers who are serious about seeing the world.
• The remaining $5,000 award was given to In the Weeds Skin Care, a 100% natural skin care and aroma therapeutic product company using natural and essential oils.
• The veteran’s award of $10,000 went to Madge’s Food Company, which provides fermented, healthy, vegan, live products to the beverage and snack market.
• An exciting new award, the Judges’ Choice award of $3,000, was given to Calma, an organization which provides educators tools to practice mindfulness to children and youth, leading to a more productive classroom.
The 2017 sponsors were: The Hartford, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Bank of America, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Jefferson Bank, Paychex, BB&T, Heavy Heavy, SA2020, NHome, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Ms. Entrepreneur Role Model Search.