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The Launch Place and Dominion Energy Innovation Center Announce IdeaFest Collaboration and Additional Prize Opportunity

DANVILLE, Va. (February 27, 2024) –  The Launch Place will collaborate with Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC) for the 9th Annual IdeaFest on May 1, 2024 at 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co. in Danville. IdeaFest is a business pitch competition where 20 finalists pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges and 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. In addition, DEIC is sponsoring one $5,000 Clean Energy Bonus Prize intended for companies pitching concepts with a focus on climate tech and sustainability solutions.

According to Eva Doss, The Launch Place President and CEO, “We are thrilled to welcome DEIC to this year’s IdeaFest competition. DEIC is a catalyst for progress and innovation throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and is committed to supporting clean energy concepts and companies in the Dan River Region. The Launch Place invests in and advises many companies that are focused on ag-tech and clean tech. This partnership with DEIC is an extension of our mission to attract more clean tech entrepreneurs and startups to our ecosystem.”

“As we embark on this journey of climate innovation and collaboration, we are proud to partner with The Launch Place for IdeaFest. This collaboration exemplifies our shared commitment to nurturing sustainable solutions and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit throughout the Dan River Region. Together, we’re empowering visionaries to transform ideas into impactful realities, driving positive change for our communities and our planet,” said Braden Croy, Program Director of the DEIC.

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 plans.

IdeaFest applications are open through March 29, 2024. The competition exposes The Launch Place’s services and funds to start-up companies that are seeking early stage capital. Also, The Launch Place could potentially invest in the company from its Seed and Pre-Seed Funds. 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.



Braden Croy
Program Director
Dominion Energy Innovation Center