This year, Burlington Bytes has been able to try something new. We’re able to sponsor organizations that we are proud to be associated with, and who are doing incredible and necessary work for our communities. After being in business for five years, we’re able to start giving back to the community that has given us so much.
To that end, we’re both proud and excited to be sponsors of the 4th Annual LaunchVT business plan competition, and tonight, 7 incredibly deserving entrepreneurs will compete for a combined purse worth of $100k in cash and support. If you’re inclined to see the next wave of Vermont entrepreneurs, please join us at the Main Street Landing this evening.
To the contestants: Congratulations, and good luck!
I have been mentoring and advising with this competition since Emily Piper & Nick Grimly launched it in 2012. But I can honestly say I’ve never been more hopeful about the group of startups competing this year. Why? Because many of the contestants this year are tackling problems that affect millions of people at a time, many of whom are the most vulnerable. This isn’t to say that the past year’s contestants weren’t excellent, (they were), but it is to say that looking at this years group (listed below) is cause for incredible hope and optimism.
They impact Vermont’s economic future, while tackling difficult problems. They are poised to create jobs, and they improve the quality of lives of their customers. And perhaps most importantly, they are advancing industries through their innovations, and they are making meaning, globally.
Julie Lineberger – Wheelpad is a temporary, eco-friendly, handicapped-accessible bedroom and bathroom that can be attached to a home.
Andy Peters – Agewize is a social media platform which helps family members and caregivers coordinate the care of their loved one in need. It is easily navigable and allows the person in need to maintain independence.
Greg Kelly, James Mix, and Randy Rowland – Hortlabs is a cloud based technical system for monitoring and managing the growth of any kind of plant in indoor growing environments.
Ken Puzey – Solar Water Boiler is a portable unit which can be propped up and used anywhere to provide clean water. Each boiler can provide drinking water for a family of four.
Abbott Stark, Alex Stark, and Mark Rice – Ogee is an organic skincare line which consists of about 10 skin care items. Each item is based on jojoba seed oil (a product from the Arizona desert) which has a molecular structure similar to that of the human skin.
Chas Smith, Charles Smith, and Nikita Salmon – Sap! Maple Water is a carbonated drink made up of Vermont maple sap with about 40% of its water content boiled away.
Matt Giles and Cullen Jemison – Thermouse (LaunchVT Collegiate Winner) is a moldable computer-gaming mouse based on the qualities of thermoplasticity.
Please check out the descriptions of the businesses above, and if you haven’t already, go to their website, like their Facebook pages, follow them on twitter, and share them with your friends. These teams have worked hard to build their companies, and we should support the incredible work they’re doing!
See you tonight!