Charlotte Venture Challenge seeks applications

The Charlotte Venture Challenge business-innovation competition, formerly known as Five Ventures, is organized by the university’s Charlotte Research Institute  and Ben Craig Center . Entrants will compete for $100,000 in funding and services.

A panel of entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists will select winning companies in six categories: new energy and high tech; information technology; life and biotech sciences; consumer products and services; student ventures and social enterprises.

Southwest Airlines to fly out of Charlotte Douglas

Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co. will begin service at Charlotte Douglas International Airport as part of its acquisition of AirTran Airways.

On Friday, Southwest named Charlotte among 22 AirTran markets that will eventually be converted to Southwest service areas. The others are Flint, Mich.; Rochester, N.Y.; Pensacola, Fla.; Dayton, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Key West, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Akron- Canton, Ohio; Wichita, Kan.; Des Moines, Iowa; Branson, Mo.; Portland, Maine; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Aruba; San Juan Puerto Rico; Bermuda; Nassau, The Bahamas; Mexico City; and San Jose Cabo, Mexico.

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