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Partner Event: 9th IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition

IdeaFest is a Business Pitch Competition where 20 finalists pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges and a live audience.  The top three competitors will be awarded $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place. The Launch Place is also pleased to announce that we are partnering with Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC) for an additional $5,000 Clean Energy Bonus Prize. This year’s event will be hosted at 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co. in Danville, Virginia.

Winners of the competition will also be eligible to receive twenty-five hours of free business consulting from The Launch Place. The Launch Place, assists with business formation, job creation and retention through its business consulting services and investment funding, while having a dual responsibility to recruit and retain entrepreneurs to the Dan River Region. The IdeaFest competition exposes The Launch Place’s services and funds to start-up companies that are ready to establish or seeking early stage capital. The Launch Place could potentially invest in the company from its Seed and Pre-Seed Funds.

In addition to the Clean Energy Bonus Prize, DEIC will also host a Meet-Up Lunch where members of the community or anyone interested in climate tech startups can attend and meet the team to learn more about DEIC’s mission, initiatives and programs. Registration is required for the Meet-Up Lunch from 12-1pm. 

DEIC will also facilitate a panel discussion during IdeaFest that addresses how startups can secure financing and incorporate clean energy best practices into their business plan. 

  • 1st Place $5,000
  • 2nd Place $3,000
  • 3rd Place $2,000
  • DEIC Clean Energy Bonus Prize $5,000

IdeaFest is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to attend any part of the day’s activities. Community members of all ages and professions are invited to attend to learn about the region’s startup development resources, to network with a wide range of business professionals and to explore entrepreneurship as a career option. 

IdeaFest applications are open through March 29, 2024. For more information and to apply, visit


The Launch Place offers a range of premier business consulting, Seed and Pre-Seed investment, and mentoring/training services that are unparalleled  in equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to successfully launch and grow their company.

The Dominion Energy Innovation Center is Virginia’s premier energy-focused non-profit incubator/accelerator, supporting the high-tech, advanced energy and climate technology entrepreneurs driving the innovations needed to achieve a net-zero carbon economy. Since 2009, we have offered collaborative space, guidance, and resources. Founding partners include Dominion Energy, Activation Capital, the Town of Ashland and Hanover County.

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