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March 26, 2015 | Tom Ballard

General Graphene finalist in next week’s “Charlotte Venture Challenge”

Charlotte Venture ChallengeBy Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

Oak Ridge-based General Graphene is one of 30 start-ups that will be presenting at next week’s “Charlotte Venture Challenge” (CVC).

The company, Vig Sherrill’s seventh start-up, was selected from more than 110 applicants. We have previously profiled General Graphene in a multi-part series on Sherrill. One of last year’s winners in the competition was Oak Ridge-based Clodico.

The March 31 event showcases 30 finalists selected from throughout the Southeast. The day-long session is designed to introduce the emerging companies to investors, corporate executives, and the business community.

“Our motivation (in applying) was to find capital,” Sherrill told us, adding that participation “will be a good prep” for upcoming presentations that the General Graphene team will be making to potential investors.

The 2015 CVC is being held in partnership with the Southeast Venture Conference (SEVC), giving finalists access to 600+ investors and Fortune 500 innovation executives. The event features speakers such as Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, and Scott Kupor, Managing Partner of Andreessen Horowitz.

“The Charlotte Venture Challenge continues to attract innovative early-stage companies” said Devin Collins, Assistant Director, Charlotte Research Institute. “We are excited to connect these companies with the investors at the Southeast Venture Conference.”

The 2015 CVC finalists by category are:

  • General – SnapYeti (Raleigh, NC), GuideOn (Whispering Pines, NC), GivStream (Simpsonville, SC), Halo Smart Labs (Charlotte, NC), Tiger Eye Sensor (Clayton, NC), and FotoSwipe (Raleigh, NC).
  • Health IT and Biotechnology – dReiniger (Chapel Hill, NC), StethoBarrier (Carrboro, NC), Surgilum (Wilmington, NC), Magna Solutions (Boone, NC), and Tarian Orthotics, (Mount Pleasant, SC).
  • IT and Informatics –  Akili Software (Raleigh, NC), BountyMiner (Chapel Hill, NC), Quorum (Washington, DC), ShomoLive (Charlotte, NC), and KWIPPED (Wilmington, NC), DYME (Charlotte, NC).
  • New Energy and High Technology – Verdante Bioenergy Services (Lenoir, NC), General Graphene, EcoH20 Innovations (Charlotte, NC), and Bluecell Energy(Research Triangle Park, NC).
  • Student Ventures – SmartBrush (UNC Charlotte), The Citizen (Lenoir-Rhyne University), MYO’bility (Appalachian State University), TeacherLoop (NC State), RightOn (Pfeiffer University), Waterless Buddy’s, LLC (UNC Chapel Hill), CommuniGift (UNC Chapel Hill), SquaddD (Elon University), and LoboStim (NC State)

Those interested in attending the CVC and SEVC should visit to register.

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