Archive for March, 2012

Finalists Announced for Charlottesville Business Innovation Council Awards

Finalists for the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) Awards Gala have been selected in six categories that reflect the gala’s theme: Go for the Gold! The finalists were chosen from a large group of nominees. You can choose the People’s Choice Navigator Award winner by voting online through May 1.  Don’t miss the awards ceremony on May 24 5pm-10pm.

Rocket Award for rapid commercialization of a technology or product.

Spotlight Award for bringing positive attention to the region.

Breakthrough Award for a breakthrough or quantum advance.

Community Award for commitment to improving the quality of life in Central Virginia.

Red Apple Award for inspiring and preparing students to embrace the possibilities of technology.

  • Deanna Isley – Burnley-Moran Elementary School
  • Brian Kayser – Walton Middle School
  • Corrie Kelly – Woodbrook Elementary School
  • Brian Squires – Brownsville Elementary School

People’s Choice Navigator Award* for significant leadership in the local or regional entrepreneurial or high-tech community.

  • Martin Chapman
  • Tracey Danner

For more information about the finalists and about CBIC, click here.


Venture Forward on First Tuesday

Hosted by Venture Forward, U.Va.’s start-up mentoring network, First Tuesdays provides new and experienced entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect, bounce ideas off one another and get their burning questions answered. Venture Forward is a U.Va. Innovation initiative.

Aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs from the University and the community are invited to attend this monthly gathering, held on the first Tuesday of each month. All events will be held at the OpenGrounds Corner Studio (1400 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22903), with light refreshments provided. Parking is available in the 11th Street Parking Garage.

April 3, 2012
OpenGrounds, Corner Studio


Register online by April 2. (Registration is limited to the first 50 attendees.)

For more information, contact Lianne Landers at or 434-243-2196

First Tuesdays partners include the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Darden School of Business, the E* Society, the Entrepreneurship Group at the McIntire School of Commerce and Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development.

Join A Discussion on ‘Open Innovation’

The next installment of U.Va. Innovation’s popular Innovation Roundtable seminar and networking series focuses on how MeadWestvaco, a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions, uses the principles of open innovation to tap into the expertise of employees, suppliers, customers, inventors, competitors and academics and solve its toughest challenges.  Wednesday, March 28 from 5-7 p.m. at CitySpace. Register online by today, here.

The program will feature:

Paul France
Vice President of Open Innovation
MeadWestvaco Corp.

Paul France is the vice president of Open Innovation at MeadWestvaco, where he leads efforts to identify, evaluate and secure breakthrough technologies. He is also responsible for knowledge management and technology partnering to accelerate growth through innovation.

Food and refreshments provided.

For driving directions to CitySpace, click here.

Call for Applications to the U.Va.-Darden Business Plan Competition

The competition provides an opportunity for new business ventures by students, faculty, staff, and alumni. To enter the competition, at least one member of the team should be currently affiliated with U.Va.. Ventures that previously placed in the venture are not eligible.

The competition will be held on April 12, 2012. Submit your application for the U.Va.-Darden Business Plan Competition by April 1, 2012.

When: April 12, 2012

Where: U.Va. Darden School of Business

How to Apply: See details for submissions at

The application deadline is April 1.

For more information, visit the U.Va.-Darden Business Plan Competition.

Call for Applications for the Kauffman Life Science Ventures Summit

Founders of life sciences startups have an opportunity to network and find answers to critical questions about how to grow viable life sciences companies at the inaugural Kauffman Life Science Ventures Summit in June, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The two-day summit will feature industry experts ans successful entrepreneurs who will offer guidance on how to commercialize innovations for medical devices, therapeutics, diagnostics and digital health. The Summit’s speakers include Kim Popovits, CEO, Genomic Health (keynote); Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur and author; Stephen Spielberg, deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco at the Food & Drug Administration; Paul Yock, founder, Stanford Biodesign; Karl Handelsman, managing director, CMEA Capital and more.

When: June 22-23, 2012

Where: Mission Bay Conference Center at the University of California-San Francisco

How to Apply: 200 life science entrepreneurs will be selected under four sectors: therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health, and will be accepted on how much they will benefit from the experience and the commercial viability of their plan.

The application deadline is April 2.

For more information, see the Foundation’s application forms.

U.Va. Cancer Center to Partner with Virginia-based companies to improve care

An innovative new initiative at the University of Virginia Cancer Center is looking to accelerate the development of cancer treatments through public–private partnerships. The center’s Technology Partnership Initiative will fund research collaborations between U.Va. cancer researchers and Virginia-based technology or biotechnology companies.

“U.Va. is dedicated to advancing discovery through collaborations with industry,” said W. Mark Crowell, executive director of U.Va. Innovation and associate vice president for research at U.Va. “By paving the way for these innovative partnerships, the Technology Partnership Initiative is fostering the accelerated development of discoveries that could lead to new cancer treatments.”

The initiative will fund up to five partnerships at the $50,000 to $150,000 level. Letters of intent are due to the U.Va. Cancer Center by April 1, with full applications due May 15. For additional details and to apply, visit the application website.

For more information, see the U.Va. Health System News Release.


U.Va. Students are Invited to Compete for the $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge

Do you or your friends have innovative ideas for developing new energy technologies?  Then the $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge is for you!

Through a a series of five regional competitions, the Department of Energy is awarding $2 million to student-entrepreneurs for new, viable clean energy solutions. U.Va. students are encouraged to enter the $100,000 ACC Clean Energy Challenge for a chance to compete for the Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington D.C. this summer.

Important dates and steps to remember:

March 23: Executive Summary (3 pages) and an Investor Video Pitch (3-5 minutes) are due. In this preliminary round, students compete with teams from their university.

April 10: Teams notified of advancement to Southeast Regional Competition.

April 20: Full Commercialization Plans due.

April 24-25: Fifteen teams gather at the University of Maryland to make 20-minute presentations and compete for top prizes.

For more information on the ACC Challenge, see the registration page and more complete rule, click here.

If you a student at U.Va. and you want to submit an entry, contact Professor Bernie Carlson at

U.Va. Student Startup Wins Pitchfest at SXSW Interactive Conference

University of Virginia students Duylam Nguyen-Ngo and Ashutosh Priyadarshy, founders of WalkBack, won the Student Startup Madness inaugural pitchfest at the South By Southwest Interactive Conference. WalkBack is a personal safety mobile app that targets college students who help friends walk home late at night by synching their smart phones with one another and check their safety and location.

As winners, Nguyen-Ngo and Priyadarshy walked away with a prize package valued at more than $3,000 and one-on-one networking session with the pitchfest judge Brian Cohen, chairman of New York Angels.

Each selected team was given 15 minutes to pitch their ideas and answer questions from a panel of judges that included Cohen, his son Trace, president of, Elisa Miller-Out, president of Singlebrook and Nancy Spears, president of genConnect. The students’ ideas were judged on business merit, investment opportunity, strength of the idea and the team and market size and traction.

“All five teams did a great job describing their product or service and answering questions from the judges, but the top teams really stood out with their understanding of their market and articulating their business model,” said Sean Branagan, SSM founder and director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, in a press release. “The WalkBack app got the attention of the judges because it solved a growing problem on many college campuses.”

For more information, see the conference press release.

ATCC-U.Va. Partner to Fund Postdoctoral Fellowships

The University of Virginia and ATCC, the premier biological materials resource and standards organization, recently announced a partnership to fund six, two-year postdoctoral research fellowships aimed at developing technologies and tools in cell biology, microbiology and genomics research.

Beginning this summer, the selected fellows will split their time between U.Va. and ATCC. They will kick start their research at the University, where they will spend a minimum of nine months and will complete up to 15 months at ATCC’s laboratories. Fellows will have a sponsor at each institution, who will offer joint advising throughout the project.

“Through this strategic partnership with ATCC, we are able to provide U.Va. researchers with incredibly valuable training – in industry as well as the academic setting – that will serve them throughout their careers,” said W. Mark Crowell, executive director of U.Va. Innovation and associate vice president for research at U.Va. “The University is proud to partner with one of Virginia’s largest biotechnology companies to provide excellent opportunities to our fellows and to foster discovery and new-product development in this important space.”

Interested candidates can access the request for proposals here.

For more information, see the press release here.