Brave Launch - 2016 Info

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Testimonials from 2016 Brave Launch Team Members

"When we started, we had a general idea on who our customer was, what they need and how our business could help them. Quickly we learned that some of our assumptions were wrong but more importantly we learned to view things we had not considered and by learning this as a team, we together develop a plan and created a common goal where each one of us knows how to achieve it.  Thanks BL and all the teams."

                                                                                                                                        Erick Scarpone, Eat and Evolve 

"Brave Launch helped me meet people and get 'Out of the building'. The program helped me build a team and make connections with developers, investors, mentors and people who specialize in support for small business. The value of connections to the community was priceless."

                                                                                                                                        Brian P. Anderson, Notionovus, LLC                                   

"Anyone looking for a way to go to the next level this is it!!!  'Discovery'”

                                                                                                                                        Dave Hedrick, Golf Score Changer

"I recommend Brave Launch to anyone who has a business that is at any stage-this program is packed with knowledge, resources and all the tools you need to grow your business or to just get started. Be dedicated and have a clear mindset. Be prepared to work hard. Leave the program knowing you can take your business to the next level. Will miss our 'inaugural' 1st Brave Launch team-We all become family!"

                                                                                                                                         Jan Hedrick, Golf Score Changer                             

"I came into this class with very little business background. However through homework, recommendations and mentorships this experience has been invaluable. It has given any group a “how to” move forward with our business. I would recommend anyone willing to work hard and has an idea this class is for you."

                                                                                                                                        Jana Bueuch, Oakford Group 

"Bradley's Brave Launch is the best program for any start-up business. The connections, knowledge and resources provided through this program are invaluable to any business owner. I have never met a group of people who were more willing to help your business grow than the mentors and advisors through Brave Launch. If you want to improve your business all across the scales, Brave Launch is the program for you. You will not regret your investment of time spent on this program."

                                                                                                                                        Abigail Morin, Eat and Evolve

"Brave Launch was a great opportunity to improve our business model, focus on target market and especially develop networking and build customer and mentoring relationships."

                                                                                                                                        Gabriela Morin, Eat and Evolve                                                   

Brave Launch Team Selection

The Illinois Small Business Development Center and Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley
University are pleased to announce the first phase of the inaugural business program, Brave Launch,
is a success! We received many exciting and business ideas, and have completed the difficult process
of selecting 10 to be part of our inaugural program. Brave Launch is the first program of its kind in Central
Illinois, designed to assist entrepreneurs accelerate their business through innovative curriculum and real
world interaction. Applicants came from a variety of backgrounds: startups, small businesses, corporate
innovation teams, Bradley University students and faculty. The program entails seven weeks of classroom
activity and real world business model development.

Congratulations To The 2016 Teams:

ALM Productions (PopXFit) – Peoria IL

Fitness focused company transforming the lives of individuals by redefining exercise as fun, affordable,
convenient, and accessible.

Eat & Evolve – East Peoria IL

A nutrition-focused company that is the first and only healthy meal delivery service in the Peoria
area delivering freshness, quality and convenience to achieve continuous customer satisfaction.

Golf Score Changer – Clinton IL

An innovative company working to help improve the game of golf with simple solutions for
any level golfer.

Natural Fiber Welding – Peoria IL

Technology company focused on the production and manufacture of sustainable materials that
outperform petroleum-based analogues for applications ranging from building materials to
wearable electronics.

Neuroquantel - Peoria IL

Multi-disciplinary team from OSF Healthcare developing a user-friendly medical device capable
of providing a near real-time quantitative measure of strength in patients suffering from ALS,
while also being suitable for providing telehealth consults to rural physicians.

Notionovus™ – Morton IL

Technology company building a software platform for democratizing middleware. It is expected
to drastically reduce information technology costs.

SAE – Peoria IL

A magazine publishing company that is shaping and equipping the minds of the future generation,
by strategically promoting biblical principles and influencing readers to pursue, discover and fulfill their purpose.

The Oakford Group – Peoria IL

Founded by licensed physical therapists, The Oakford Group, LLC, has created a home exercise
product designed to provide quality manual therapy treatment techniques that were once only
available in the therapy clinic.

The Pizza Peel – Lacon IL

A family-owned pizza restaurant with great customer focus and regional recognition, offering dine-in,
carry-out and delivery of hand crafted, fresh pizzas.

Weightmaster – Peoria IL

Fitness focused team developing an innovative device that allows gym users to quickly break through
plateaus and increase strength using a wide variety of gym equipment.  The system will enable gyms
to increase their member retention and draw in new members.

Brave Launch Pitch Day:  Winners Announced

The Illinois Small Business Development Center and Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University are pleased to announce the successful completion of the inaugural Brave Launch program. Brave Launch is a business accelerator modeled off of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps accelerator program and Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad. The foundation of the program is evidence-based entrepreneurship and agile development, which pushes teams out into the real world to gain insight and develop their business model through customer discovery. Each team participated in a seven week intensive program which culminated in the final pitch-day where participants had the opportunity to pitch to investors and those interested from the community.

These teams have worked hard over the past 7 weeks, focusing on customer discovery and fine tuning their business models, and we are proud to see the growth each team has achieved over the course of the program. They have all shown dedication in the process, and true team spirit in working with the presenters, mentors, advisers, and each other. The comradery created was evident and helped make the program a great success. The Final Pitch day allowed each team to present their business ideas to a group of local investors, and members of the public. This exposure will hopefully result in investment opportunities, allowing the teams to reach their goals. In the spirit of the competition, the teams were judged on several aspects of their business pitches by a group of experienced business leaders. These scores were used to award several cash prizes during the closing ceremony on Pitch Day.

In addition, all audience members were able to vote for their favorite pitch in the “People’s Choice Award”. Join us in congratulating the winning teams!

Best Business Model - $2,000 prize & People’s Choice Award - $1,000 prize The Oakford Group – Peoria IL

Founded by licensed physical therapists, The Oakford Group, LLC, has created a home exercise product designed to provide quality manual therapy treatment techniques that were once only available in the therapy clinic. “We feel Brave Launch has properly prepared us to take the next steps in launching our products by providing confidence through product market fit analysis and the customer discovery process. The funds received from Brave Launch will be used towards our FDA registration fees for the Invertabelt product.” – Andy Champion

Best Business Pivot - $1,000 prize Dukes Business Consulting – Peoria IL

A full service consulting business, delivering in-depth knowledge, guidance and documentation. DBC is a catalyst in culture & strategy tailored to unique business objectives, ecosystem, budget and timing needs in order to maximize the value of minority businesses and help them grow for the future of the community. “Our motto is “Build a Business Create A JOB.” Brave Launch has allowed us to expand our capacity. Through the information we have received we will be introducing a new product into the market, which will be a wholesale catalogue of products for small business. We also will create advertising for those products to consumers. Catalogue will launch in 2017 and will be distributed to the local grocery stores, & retail stores.” – Larrice Dukes

Best Pitch - $1,000 prize MassIt – Peoria IL

Fitness focused team developing an innovative device that allows gym users to quickly break through plateaus and increase strength using a wide variety of gym equipment. “The customer discovery that this program walked us through helped show me what our customers actually wanted.” – Brian Roskuszka

Brave Launch 2016 Award Winners

Congratulations to the following teams for successfully completing the program:

EatandEvolve – East Peoria IL - A nutrition-focused company that is the first and only healthy meal delivery service in the Peoria area delivering freshness, quality and convenience.

Golf Score Changer – Clinton IL - An innovative company working to help improve the game of golf with simple solutions for any level golfer.

Natural Fiber Welding – Peoria IL - Technology company focused on the production and manufacture of sustainable materials that outperform petroleum-based analogues for applications ranging from building materials to wearable electronics.

Notionovus™ – Morton IL - Technology company building a software platform for democratizing middleware. It is expected to drastically reduce information technology costs.

NeuroQuantel - Peoria IL - Multi-disciplinary team from OSF Healthcare developing a user-friendly medical device capable of providing a near real-time quantitative measure of strength in patients suffering from ALS, while also being suitable for providing telehealth consults to rural physicians.

PopXFit – Peoria IL - Fitness focused company transforming the lives of individuals by redefining exercise as fun, affordable, convenient, and accessible.

Brave Launch 2016 platinum sponsor was OSF HeathCare