Each institution will select a student entrepreneur/entrepreneurial team to represent the institution at the Feb. 19 LaunchVT Collegiate Finals, which will be held at Champlain College's Alumni Auditorium from 3 to 6 p.m. Recent Champlain College graduate Jack Carpenter '15 will MC the free event that is open to the public.
Each collegiate team will have 10 minutes to present their business pitch, followed by Q&A. It need not be an operating business. A panel of three judges will determine if the plan is viable and offers a likelihood of meaningful growth and successful business. The winning team will receive a cash prize of $7,500 and the opportunity to participate as a finalist in the LaunchVT competition on May 5.
"It is important to note that college-age students have fared well in the past three LaunchVT events, including winning two of the three years it has been held," Bloch said.
Thermouse's Champlain College student Matthew Giles '19 & University of Vermont student Cullen Jemison '18
First-year student Matthew Giles ’19, an International Business major, and his partner, sophomore Cullen Jemison, a mechanical engineering major at the University of Vermont, were selected at the Champlain College representative based on their pitch for a start-up company called "Thermouse," which is developing an ergonomically superior computer mouse. They received a $2,000 prize from BYOBiz.
Black Market U Project Manager Josh Miller, Founder David Helebert and Lead Developer Jonah Allibone.
Earning second place was David Helebert ’16, who pitched his company "Black Market U," a commercial version of the Champlain Black Market Facebook page, which Helebert created along with Josh Miller ’16, Jonah Allibone ’18, and Peter Orzell ’16. The prize was $500.
Michael Roberts, Vsevolod Tysh and Jadd Serhan of Ici/La.
Rounding out the competition in third place was founder Vsevolod (Sev) Tysh ’16, who pitched an online service called "Ici/La" to provide a social networking site for "foreigners in a foreign land”, along with Chief Marketing Officer Jadd Serhan ’16 and Chief Technology Officer Michael Roberts '18. The prize was $100.