Ewedded founder Maya Holihan pitches her wedding e-commerce business to judges during the second Start Peninsula Micro Pitch event of 2021. (Courtesy photo)

The Virginia Peninsula’s startup pitch competition has announced its second set of finalists for 2021.

The creators of an e-commerce platform, a consumer protection service and an augmented reality mobile app will all advance to the final round of the Start Peninsula competition after being selected at the April 22 Micro Pitch event. EWedded, eZverifi and Spellcross will compete for a chance to win $5,000 and access to local resources.

“We are thrilled to be serving as the host community for Start Peninsula 2021 and encourage early-stage businesses to come validate their ideas and enjoy the energy and moment we’ve built,” said Florence Kingston, Newport News director of development, in a news release.

EWedded is an e-commerce platform for wedding industry businesses, said founder Maya Holihan during the event. Part of her business aims to cut down on the waste of wedding dress inventory by allowing retailers to easily sell excess wares.

eZverifi grew from a news item that founder Dennis Woodbury saw one night about an older couple who died after trying to buy a car from Craigslist. Woodbury said he was inspired to create “a trusted and affordable tool to help verify a stranger.” He said the app uses two-factor authentication to verify a smartphone or other device is linked to a specific person.

Spellcross founder Taylor Robertson wants to create an augmented reality game for fans of fantasy series like “Harry Potter.” The app would allow users to “duel” each other with spells using technology popularized by mobile games like “Pokemon Go,” Robertson said during his presentation.

In addition to advancing to the finals, each startup received $500.

The next two Micro Pitch events will be Sept. 15 and Oct. 6. The main pitch event will be Nov. 3. To apply for one of the upcoming Micro Pitch events, visit

The events are hosted by the city of Newport News and sponsored by Hampton, Williamsburg, Poquoson, York County and James City County. Start Peninsula also offers workshops, mentors and guidance to local startups and entrepreneurs.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345,