News

Entrepreneurs get boost at annual Peninsula startup event

From INSIDE BUSINESS by

Neil Hailey with French Slide gets his prize packet from Start Peninsula emcee Chris Davidson as another winner, John Coggins with Atlas Quick-Clip, looks on at Hampton University Nov. 3.
Neil Hailey with French Slide gets his prize packet from Start Peninsula emcee Chris Davidson as another winner, John Coggins with Atlas Quick-Clip, looks on at Hampton University Nov. 3.

The eighth annual Start Peninsula contest during the first weekend of November attracted some of the strongest pitches for early-stage business concepts yet, regular emcee Chris Davidson said.

This year’s three winners are:

• Atlas Quick-Clip: an attachment that makes it easier and faster to reload ammunition into the magazine of a firearm,

• French Slide: a patio door that both slides left and right and also opens like a French door for a wide entryway and

• Vestalyze: an investment tracking and analytics software company and platform that allows individual investors to optimize their portfolio.

The winners will receive $5,000 each and will have access to business-growing resources, including memberships to local chambers of commerce and the Retail Alliance, Davidson said.

Nearly 30 entrepreneurs initially pitched Nov. 1 at the McGrew Towers Conference Center at Hampton University. Judges selected 10 businesses to refine their concepts with mentors for the final pitches Nov. 3.

John Coggins pitched the Atlas Quick-Clip, which he said he designed with a patent pending. The 18-year-old Carrollton native is studying mechanical engineering at Liberty University and said business is his passion.

He said he hopes to eventually expand into creating other products and would like to supply the military and law enforcement. As a college freshman, the prize money will definitely help in developing the business, he said. Winning the contest also gave him validation.

“It makes me feel like I’m on the right path,” Coggins said.

Neil Hailey co-founded French Slide with friend Matthew Sozio while both were attending Virginia Commonwealth University. Hailey said they were trying to move a large sectional couch through a sliding glass door and thought there should be a better way. Their idea was to combine the benefits of a sliding glass door and a French door.

The French Slide maximizes space efficiency when opening doors, he said. The business concept is 3 years old and Hailey came down from Richmond to pitch it.

“We’re definitely in a position where we can use the money and put it to good use,” Hailey said.

Tyler Chianelli started Vestalyze because he wants to enable smaller businesses or individuals with more moderate income to access sophisticated reporting, metrics and tracking analysis on their investment portfolios, including with complicated index and equity derivatives, also known as options. Some service providers give detailed derivatives tracking, but the cost is often a barrier, he said.

Tyler Chianelli
Tyler Chianelli

Now with a team of five, the software platform has been in development for a year based on Chianelli’s 17 years of experience as a stock and options trader with a specialty in index and equities derivatives strategies. The founder of Uptrend Capital in Virginia Beach is also incorporating feedback from his time as a financial educator.

Chianelli said he pitched at Start Peninsula last year, but wasn’t one of the 10 selected finalists. Yet, he didn’t quit and refined his pitch. He came to network with other entrepreneurs and investors and to get the word out about his startup.

“I’m pretty much all in,” he said. “I know what’s possible.”

Start Peninsula will take place in the greater Williamsburg area next year. For more info, visit Startpeninsula.com. The College of William & Mary will be a partner, said Jim Noel, York economic development director.

Tara Bozick, 757-247-4741, tbozick@insidebiz.com

John Coggins, left, with Atlas Quick-Clip, Neil Hailey with French Slide and Tyler Chianelli with Vestalyze were the three Start Peninsula winners Nov. 3 at Hampton University. - Original Credit: Tara Bozick/Staff - Original Source: Handout
John Coggins, left, with Atlas Quick-Clip, Neil Hailey with French Slide and Tyler Chianelli with Vestalyze were the three Start Peninsula winners Nov. 3 at Hampton University. – Original Credit: Tara Bozick/Staff – Original Source: Handout (HANDOUT)
Start Peninsula 2019 Winners

Winners Announced for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             Media Contact: Dan Girouard

Nov. 4, 2019                                                    757-727-6237; dgirouard@hampton.gov

 

Winners Announced for Start Peninsula

 

Following another unforgettable weekend of entrepreneurship, networking and strategizing, Start Peninsula is pleased to announce its three winners for 2019:

  • Atlas Quick-Clip – An attachment for the magazine of a firearm that relieves the spring tension making it easier to reload ammunition into a magazine
  • French Slide – The patio door reinvented to encompass both sliding and hinged door features
  • Vestalyze – An investment tracking and analytics software company that allows individual investors to optimize their portfolio

 

Each winner will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and will also have free access to local resources including memberships to local chambers of commerce.

 

The pitch competition began on Friday, Nov. 1 with 30 pitches and a keynote by

Warren Haber Jr. Haber has been a venture capitalist and angel investor for over 20 years and he has specialized in software and internet ventures. Following a 90-second pitch, 10 early stage businesses were selected to work on their business during the event. Throughout the weekend, participants worked with Haber to refine their businesses. On Sunday, winners were selected after completing a five-minute pitch presentation and five minute question-and-answer session with the judges.

 

Judges included:

  • Gary Hunter, Director of Development, Hampton University
  • Blake Luse, Director of Ferguson Ventures
  • Ronda Markus, President of Lee Telecom, Inc.
  • Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director of CIT
  • Evans McMillion, Executive Director of 757 Accelerate.

 

Start Peninsula was hosted by the City of Hampton and held at the McGrew Towers Conference Center, 24 Indian Road, located on the Hampton University campus. The weekend-long event stimulated entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to validation, opportunities and resources. Thirty entrepreneurs connected with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event. Start Peninsula is held annually in different Peninsula localities. Start Peninsula began in 2012.

 

Next year’s event will be hosted in the Greater Williamsburg region. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit its website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

Download a PDF of this news post.

Start Peninsula 2019

Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor Warren Haber Jr. Announced as Keynote Speaker for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sep. 27, 2019

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that Warren Haber Jr. will be the opening keynote speaker for Friday night’s event. Haber has been a venture capitalist and angel investor for over 20 years and he has specialized in software and internet ventures. Haber currently works for Exoventure (Exo).  Exo has partnered with thousands of early stage tech entrepreneurs to build innovative global companies. Haber has worked for Crossbar Capital, Mellon Ventures, Grand Central Holdings and GE Equity. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business and his BA from Brown University and is based in New York, NY.

Start Peninsula is fortunate to have Haber participate the entire weekend beginning on Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 3.  Attendees and participants will be able to interact with him all weekend and hear about his experiences as a venture capitalist and angel investor. He will provide comments and feedback to select companies.

On Sunday, the keynote speaker will be Erica McMannes, the cofounder/COO of Instant Teams. Instant Teams (previously known as MadSkills) was a Start Peninsula winner in 2017. McMannes worked as a founding member of two Silicon Valley startups and now helps create and manage remote teams for companies across the nation through workforce solutions.

Tickets to attend Start Peninsula are now on sale. General admission is $30 through Tuesday, Oct. 15. Price increases by $5.

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula.  The application fee is $75 before Oct. 1 and $100 after. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 1 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. All three winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and will have access to local resources.

Start Peninsula 2019, is being held at Hampton University and is hosted by the City of Hampton, in partnership with the Cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. To learn more about Start Peninsula, please visit its website, Facebook page or the FAQ page.

Media Contact:
Dan Girouard
757-727-6237; dgirouard@hampton.gov

Download a PDF of this news post.

Start Peninsula 2019

Pitch Perfect Events Return in Preparation for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sep. 19, 2019

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that Pitch Perfect events will return in preparation for the November event. Pitch Perfect events provide training on how to effectively pitch your idea in 90 seconds while including the necessary elements and delivering your pitch with confidence. Each Pitch Perfect event is presented by Tim Ryan, president of Arcphor and Gary Plaag, communications expert from Couragio Consulting.

Pitch Perfect costs $10 and those interested can sign up online. If you are already signed up to pitch at Start Peninsula, Pitch Perfect workshops are free! View the flyer online.

Dates and locations are as follows:

  • Sept 19: Piggly Wiggly Community Room, 3101 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607
  • Sept 26: Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator, 4345 New Town Avenue, Suite 200, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • Oct 3: York County Chamber of Commerce, 4102 George Washington Memorial Highway, #101, Yorktown, VA 23692
  • Oct 8: Ferguson Heritage Center, 618 Bland Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23602
  • Oct 16: Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator
  • Oct 23: Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick BoulevardNewport News, VA 23608
  • Oct 25: Dress rehearsal event, location to be decided

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 1 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. Each of the three winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources.

Start Peninsula 2019 is hosted by the City of Hampton, in partnership with the Cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit its website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

Media Contact:
Dan Girouard
757-727-6237; dgirouard@hampton.gov

Download a PDF of this news post.

Start Peninsula 2019

Start Peninsula Returns to City of Hampton for Annual Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sep. 4, 2019

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that it will return for its eighth annual event in Hampton. Start Peninsula will be held Nov. 1-3, 2019 at the McGrew Towers Conference Center, 24 Indian Road, located on the Hampton University campus. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.

The Start Peninsula main event is a weekend-long event to stimulate entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to validation, opportunities and resources. Start Peninsula combines a pitch competition with business education throughout the year and is also a celebration of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event that showcases early stage businesses.

“We are excited to host Start Peninsula at Hampton University. Start Peninsula has proven to be a valuable entrepreneurship initiative on the Peninsula and we are thrilled to welcome early stage businesses to pitch at this year’s event,” said Chuck Rigney, Director of Development for the City of Hampton.

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula. If a business is invited to pitch at Start Peninsula, they must pay a fee of $75 before Oct. 1 or $100 after. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 1 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. Winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources.

In 2018, Start Peninsula was hosted by the City of Newport News at the Applied Research Center. The winners included Safety Nailer, Senior Runs and Nuekie. Since 2012, an average of 27 businesses have pitched their ideas each year during the event.

Experienced business professionals are invited to sign up to participate in the event as mentors by applying online. Mentors should have experience in marketing, sales, technology, finance, risk management, law, human resources or business ownership.

Start Peninsula 2019 is hosted by the City of Hampton, in partnership with the Cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit its website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

Media Contact:
Dan Girouard
757-727-6237; dgirouard@hampton.gov

Download a PDF of this news post.

757 Acclerate

757 Accelerate Now Accepting Applications for its 2019 Cohort

Beginning May 1st through June 21st, 757 Accelerate will be accepting applications for its second cohort of early-stage companies. 757 Accelerate is a selective startup accelerator program providing founders with capital, connections and customers.

If accepted into 757 Accelerate, companies will receive $20,000 in startup capital and connections with customized mentors, investors, support services, working space and a lean startup education.  The program also provides an intensive 3-month program to engage with customers, validate products, test business models and prepare for next-stage funding.

To be eligible, companies must have a committed, full-time founder, be solving a disruptive problem and providing a scalable solution with growth potential. Information about the application, as well as additional information about 757 Accelerate, can be found at https://757accelerate.org.

Download a PDF of this news post.

Start Peninsula 2018

Winners Announced for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 6, 2018

The pitch competition began on Friday, Nov. 2 with 30 pitches and a keynote by serial entrepreneur and author, Jason Calacanis. Following a 90-second pitch, 10 early stage businesses were selected to move on to Sunday’s final round.  On Sunday, 3 winners were selected after working on their business ideas all weekend and then completing a five-minute pitch presentation and five minute question-and-answer session with the judges.

Judges included:

  • Monique Adams, Executive Director of 757 Angels
  • Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director of CIT
  • Rick Gdovic, President & CEO of ComServe Wireless
  • Tom Henneberg, President & CEO of BNNT Materials
  • Jeff Johnson, Director of Tech Center Research Park
  • Evans McMillion, Executive Director of 757 Accelerate.

A memorable entrepreneurial event, Start Peninsula is a prime example of regional collaboration, including both public and private sector participants.  This year both 757 Angels and 757 Accelerate played an active role.  Start Peninsula is pleased to announce its three winners for 2018:

  • Nuekie, an innovative health and beauty company making products for people of color;
  • Safety Nailer, a patented tool that makes hand nailing easier, protects your fingers and reduces nail buckling;
  • Senior Runs, a company helping senior citizens and those that care for them to keep their lives “Movin Forward” through community-based transportation support.

Each winner received $5,000 to fuel their business growth and will also have free access to local resources, including one-year memberships to the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and the York County Chamber of Commerce.

Start Peninsula was hosted by the City of Newport News and the event was held at the Applied Research Center across from Jefferson Lab and adjacent to Tech Center. The event is held to create awareness of the thriving Peninsula entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulated entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to mentors and resources to further validate their business concepts. Dozens of entrepreneurs connected with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.

Start Peninsula 2019 will be hosted by the City of Hampton, in partnership with the Cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York.

For more information about Start Peninsula, please visit our Facebook page.

View the official press release by clicking here.

Media Contact:
Sam Workman
757-926-3785
sworkman@nnva.gov

Start Peninsula 2018

Pitch Perfect Events Return in Preparation for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 6, 2018

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that Pitch Perfect events will return in preparation for the November event. Pitch Perfect events provide training on how to effectively pitch your idea in 90 seconds while including the necessary elements and delivering your pitch with confidence. Each Pitch Perfect event is presented by Tim Ryan, president of Arcphor and Gary Plaag, communications expert from Couragio Consulting.

Pitch Perfect costs $10 and those interested can sign up online.

Dates and locations are as follows:

  • 12: Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, 21 Enterprise Parkway #100, Hampton, VA 23666
  • 20: Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator, 4345 New Town Avenue, Suite 200, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • 26: Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, 21 Enterprise Parkway #100, Hampton, VA 23666
  • 2: City Center, Newport News, 700 Town Center Drive (James Room), Newport News, VA 23606
  • 10: Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
  • 17: Launchpad, the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator
  • 25: Dress rehearsal event at the Start Peninsula location, Applied Research Center, 12050 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606

Start Peninsula will be held Nov. 2-4, 2018 at the Applied Research Center across from Jefferson Lab and adjacent to Tech Center. It is a weekend-long event to stimulate entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to validation, opportunities and resources. Start Peninsula combines a pitch competition with business education and a celebration of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event that showcases early stage businesses. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula. If a business is invited to pitch at Start Peninsula, they must pay a fee of $75 before Oct. 1 or $100 after. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 2 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. Each of the three winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources.

Start Peninsula 2018 is hosted by the City of Newport News, in partnership with the Cities of Hampton, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit their website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

View the official press release by clicking here.

Media Contact:
Sam Workman
757-926-3785
sworkman@nnva.gov

Start Peninsula 2018

Serial Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis Announced as Keynote Speaker for Start Peninsula

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 17, 2018

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that Jason Calacanis will be the keynote speaker for the event. Calacanis is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, podcaster and writer. He released a best-selling book Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups: Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 in July 2017.  Calacanis has invested in 150 early-stage startups including six that have already achieved billion-dollar valuations. His investments include Uber and Thumbtack.

Calacanis will be at Start Peninsula on Friday, Nov. 2, attendees and participants will hear from him about his experiences in Silicon Valley, as an angel investor and entrepreneur. Calacanis owns several entrepreneurial-centric ventures including a podcast called “This Week in Startups” and LAUNCH incubator. To purchase tickets to hear Calacanis speak, look for updates on the Start Peninsula website. Limited seating will be available for this exclusive event.

Start Peninsula will be held Nov. 2-4, 2018 at the Applied Research Center, 12050 Jefferson Avenue, across from Jefferson Lab and adjacent to Tech Center. It is a weekend-long event to stimulate entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to validation, opportunities and resources. Start Peninsula combines a pitch competition with business education and a celebration of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event that showcases early stage businesses. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula. If a business is invited to pitch at Start Peninsula, they must pay a fee of $75 before Oct. 1 or $100 after. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 2 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. Three winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources.

Start Peninsula 2018 is hosted by the City of Newport News, in partnership with the Cities of Hampton, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit their website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

To learn more about Calacanis please visit his website or Facebook page.

View the official press release by clicking here.

Media Contact:
Sam Workman
757-926-3785
sworkman@nnva.gov

Start Peninsula 2018

Start Peninsula Returns to City of Newport News for Annual Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 16, 2018

Start Peninsula is pleased to announce that it will return for the seventh annual event in Newport News. Start Peninsula will be held Nov. 2-4, 2018 at the Applied Research Center, 12050 Jefferson Avenue, across from Jefferson Lab and adjacent to Tech Center. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.

Start Peninsula is a weekend-long event to stimulate entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to validation, opportunities and resources. Start Peninsula combines a pitch competition with business education and a celebration of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dozens of entrepreneurs connect with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event that showcases early stage businesses.

“We are excited to welcome the Start Peninsula event to the Applied Research Center. Start Peninsula helps grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the Peninsula and we are delighted to welcome early stage businesses to pitch at this year’s event,” said Florence Kingston, Director of Development for the City of Newport News.

Early stage businesses are invited to apply to pitch at Start Peninsula. If a business is invited to pitch at Start Peninsula, they must pay a fee of $75 before Oct. 1 or $100 after. Thirty businesses will be invited to pitch on Friday, Nov. 2 and three winners will be selected on Sunday, Nov. 3. Winners will receive $5,000 to fuel their business growth and free access to local resources.

In 2017, Start Peninsula was hosted by the Greater Williamsburg region at the Stryker Center in the City of Williamsburg. The winners included MadSkills, Affordify and Muddy Marley’s Dog Wash. Since 2012, an average of 27 businesses have pitched their ideas each year during the event.

Experienced business professionals are invited to sign up to participate in the event as mentors by applying online. Mentors should have experience in marketing, sales, technology, finance, risk management, law, human resources or business ownership.

Start Peninsula 2018 is hosted by the City of Newport News, in partnership with the Cities of Hampton, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York. For more information about Start Peninsula please visit our website, Facebook page or their FAQ page.

View the official press release by clicking here.

Media Contact:
Sam Workman
757-926-3785
sworkman@nnva.gov