PartyRVA is named Region’s Next Best Startup
CodeVA is named Best Social Innovation Startup
Ginger Juice wins crowd-sourced favorite
The Greater Richmond Chamber is pleased to announce that PartyRVA was named the Region’s Next Best Startup and CodeVA was named the Best Social Innovation Startup by a panel of judges at the i.e.* StartUp Competition finale. PartyRVA was awarded $10,000 to invest in its idea of providing everything needed to create memorable private parties and events. CodeVA was awarded $10,000 to invest in its idea of teaching kids to code.
Another finalist, Ginger Juice, won the $2,500 People’s Choice Award via on-site audience vote. Ginger Juice intends to provide the Richmond Community with the fuel our bodies need to run our best race, each and every day.
The event marks the finale of the Chamber’s i.e.* Entrepreneurial Trilogy, a series of programming designed to support entrepreneurial activity in the Richmond Region. Each of the StartUp Competition’s 14 finalist teams had the opportunity to pitch concepts and field questions before a panel of eight local judges and a live audience at Richmond CenterStage.
Kim Scheeler, President & CEO of the Greater Richmond Chamber, presented PartyRVA with a check for $10,000. Molly Dean Bittner, Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Services, The Community Foundation, presented the $10,000 check to CodeVA. Both winners will receive six months of free office space at New Richmond Ventures, $1,500 worth of website strategy and managed hosting services, ongoing mentoring from Lighthouse Labs and $2,400 worth of co-working (a 6-month Roaming Wolf Coworking membership) form 804RVA. 804RVA is also donating six months worth of community co-working memberships to all finalists.
“Once again, we have been astonished by the caliber of this year’s finalists. It is thrilling to see that RVA is becoming a place where creative people can turn their innovative ideas into flourishing businesses, thanks to remarkable support from the region’s entrepreneurial and corporate communities,” said Chrystal Neal, Vice-President, Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurism at the Greater Richmond Chamber. “Our innovative culture here in RVA is gaining national attention as we put our stake in the ground as a thriving startup hub.”
The i.e.* Startup Competition was made possible by a network of local corporate and community partners.
“Congratulations to PartyRVA and CodeVA, and all of our finalists. We hope each and every contestant will find success based in the exposure and networking provided during the Entrepreneurial Trilogy,” said Kim Scheeler, President and CEO, Greater Richmond Chamber.
About the Competition and i.e.*
The fourth annual i.e.* StartUp Competition was free to enter and required contestants to be either in business for less than one year or not yet be licensed. The winner must establish headquarters within the Richmond Region. The finalists were selected in two ways. A group of local successful entrepreneurs from Lighthouse Lab Mentors and the 804RVA Mentor Network selected five contestants from the overall pool based on the following criteria:
- Evaluation of the viability of the business to be successful
- Evaluation of the innovative nature of the business
- Originality of the product or service in the market
The remainder of the finalists was selected by online public vote March 25 – 27 on ie-rva.org, resulting in 14 finalists.
The first of its kind in Central Virginia, the i.e.* StartUp Competition is produced by the Greater Richmond Chamber’s i.e.* initiative, which was launched in June 2011 to highlight the Richmond Region’s talented workforce, make cross-industry connections and encourage new innovation and growth.
Finalists and Judges
2015 Finalists (in alphabetical order):
Marilyn & Michelle
New Network Jr.
Richmond Rides Bicycle Tours
2015 Judges (in alphabetical order):
Marti Beller, Co-Founder and CEO, Plan G
Shawn Boyer, Co-founder & Principal at Gazzow and Founder of Die Happy
Vanessa Diamond, Director & Co-Founder of Hands On Greater Richmond and Vice President of The Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence
Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Will Loving, CEO of Altron Coportation and Chairman of the Altron Foundation
Aaron Montgomery, Co-Founder and COO of Carlotz
Ting Xu, Creator & President, Evergreen Enterprises
Sam Young, President, Astyra
For more information about i.e.*, contact Chrystal Neal, (804) 783-9310, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ie-rva.org
Entrepreneurial Trilogy Partners:
Region’s Best Startup Sponsor: Greater Richmond Chamber
Best Social Innovation Startup: The Community Foundation
People’s Choice Award Sponsor – First Capital Bank
Celebration Sponsors – Capital One
Office Space Award Sponsor – New Richmond Ventures
IT Support Award Sponsors – Groundwork Design
Mentoring Award Sponsor – 804RVA
Mobile Application Sponsor – Shockoe
Gold Sponsors: MWV and Gather
Silver Sponsor: Altria and VCU Innovation Gateway