Applications are open for the 14th Annual Charlotte Venture Challenge startup competition. Over 600 companies have participated since the competition began with five teams in 2001. Since the competition expanded in 2012, cash prizes exceeding $150,000 have been awarded. The competition is open to student and non-student companies located in the southeast and are due by March 3rd 2015.
The 2015 competition promises to be the most exciting ever through the first-time collaboration with the Southeast Venture Capital conference. The combined events will draw 600+ private investors to Charlotte. The events will also feature great speakers, including Steve Wozniak “The Woz”, Co-founder of Apple and Scott Kupor Managing Partner of the $4billion venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. A distinctive feature of the Charlotte Venture Challenge will be expanded as innovation executive and tech scouts from Fortune 500 companies participate in viewing entrepreneur pitches.
“This will be the first time that our region’s emerging companies will have a chance to present to and connect with such a large audience of investors and potential first customers” said Devin Collins, Assistant Director of Business and Entrepreneurial Development at UNC Charlotte’s Charlotte Research Institute.
The Competition is open to early-stage companies from the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Washington, D.C. Commercial companies compete in one of four categories: 1) New Energy & High Tech, 2) IT & Informatics, 3) Health IT and Biotech Sciences, 4) General including consumer products. Student teams will compete in either Graduate Student Ventures or Undergraduate Student Ventures.
Finalists will be selected by selection committee that includes past winners of the competition. Finalists will pitch to Innovation executives and tech scouts from Fortune 500 companies, angel investors, and venture capitalists during the Southeast Venture Conference.
Read the full press release here.