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.

The competition is in its 11th year and seeks to accelerate the growth of scalable new ventures in the region and to build recognition of Charlotte as a center of innovation. The value of cash and services provided to winning firms has been doubled from last year.
“The challenge has launched a number of significant companies in its history,” says Paul Wetenhall, president of the Ben Craig Center. “Our new sponsors and increased prize money are indicative of the accelerating activity and growing support infrastructure that the entrepreneurial community enjoys in the Charlotte region.”

The competition includes a series of five workshops for registered firms beginning Feb. 1. Participants will learn about opportunity assessments, receive mentoring and connect with other entrepreneurs for three months. The finals and awards will be held April 19.

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