Press Release - Pitch Day Winners

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2017 Brave Launch Completion -

The Illinois Small Business Development Center and Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University are pleased to announce the successful completion of the 2017 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

Ring Bandits – Goodfield IL   

Bandit /'ban.dit/ : a stylish, functional bracelet with a hidden zipper pocket

Bandits are designed around everyday life & some of our most extraordinary adventures. In believing that everyone was crafted with purpose, we strive to encourage the #beYOU mentality & to do the best you can do in life. Bandits was home grown from a simple idea & we continually strive to learn every step in the Bandits brand not only to better our lives, but better yours too.

People’s Choice Award - $1,000 prize and Best Pitch - $1,000 prize

Mobile Mount – Germantown Hills IL   

Mobile Mount is a new piece of inventory for sports venues to generate more sponsorship revenue. Mobile mount is a new revenue generator for venues, a prime placement for maximum exposure for sponsors, and an added convenience for the fans. 

Best Business Pivot - $1,000 prize

Digital Dipstick – Tremont IL

Digital Dipstick provides a digital dipstick to farmers with combines in order to simplify their maintenance routines and minimize equipment down time. This product can expand into grain bins, construction, autonomous equipment, large engine generators/pumps, military, railroad, mining, chemical, drinking wells and marine applications.

Congratulations to the following teams for successfully completing the program:

4:8 Home Services – Dunlap IL

4:8 Home Services offers its customers peace of mind and more free time by taking care of necessary basic home maintenance tasks.

Aunt Yogi’s Kitchen – Germantown Hills IL

Aunt Yogi’s Kitchen is a meal-centered grocery store concept designed to reduce planning time and time spent in the store by combining into one location all the items needed to make a particular meal.

CRC Life – Peoria IL
CRC Life is a 501 c 3 Non Profit that improves the quality of life for survivors, caregivers and families through Support, Advocacy and Survivorship Programs.

Rio Technologies LLC – Peoria IL
This vest is a new design that has a provisional patent application. The vest
will provide convenience to anyone in the service industry that relies on having proper lighting and multiple storage options on them at all times during their job.

The Veggie Cart – Peoria IL

The Veggie Cart is a vegetarian food cart with vegan options to the Greater Peoria Area. This company is committed to bringing healthier, delicious, and affordable cuisine to the citizens in the Peoria area!

Scious Inc – Peoria IL

Scious is a data sourcing and visualization company.

Quotes from our 2017 Brave Launch Teams

"Brave Launch was a key player in helping us discover more ideas about our product, and how we can improve our product to better serve our customers."                                                                                         

                                                                                               Mario West, Rio Tech

"Get ready to learn… FAST! "

                                                                                               Andrew Hoerr,  Mobile Mount

"Helps set up verify + grow business!"

                                                                                      Sidney Frietsch, Ring Bandits LLC

"Brave Launch pushes you forward."

                                                                                      Wendy Lewis,  CRC Life

"The Brave Launch program has been a great asset to my knowledge base. I now feel like I am better prepared to start, get, keep and grow this business and any other ideas I may have in the future."

                                                                             Keisha Alexander, The Veggie Kart

"Brave Launch is a great way to quickly gain access to knowledgeable people that will teach you to start a start-up and will help you to learn before you burn."

                                                                                     Laura Stiverson, 4:8 Home Services Inc

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