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Kickoff Reception Welcomes 2017 Brave Launch Teams

We attended the Brave Launch Kickoff Reception on Tuesday where we met the teams competing this year.

This year, there are nine teams competing. They come from a variety of different backgrounds: startups, small businesses, corporate innovation teams, and more. Some of them even competed in Keystart earlier this year!

Erick Scarpone from Eat and Evolve, a Brave Launch graduate, networking before the reception.

At the kickoff reception, teams presented their business idea, met mentors and sponsors, and were able to network with last year’s graduates of the program.

Brave Launch

In case you’re not familiar with the program, Brave Launch is a seven-week business accelerator managed by the Small Business Development Center at Bradley University. It is the first program of its kind in central Illinois, and it assists entrepreneurs in gaining real world insight and developing their business model through customer discovery.

In the first week of curriculum, each team will spend three twelve-hour days in the classroom. Each team will hold meetings with mentors, outline a business model canvas for their business, and improve on their business pitch. In the following weeks, they will complete a wide array of tasks on their own time. These tasks will help them in the customer discovery process.

Meet the teams

  • 4:8 Home Services – Dunlap. This team intends to save customers’ time by providing a subscription-based service to perform basic home-maintenance tasks.
    Andrew Agostini from Scious Inc, Brave Launch participant, explains Tradekeeper.
  • Aunt Yogi’s Kitchen – Germantown Hills. This team offers a meal-centered grocery store concept designed to reduce shopping and planning time for customers.
  • CRC Life – Peoria. Centered around support, advocacy, and survivorship programs, this nonprofit aims to improve quality of life for those affected by colon cancer.
  • Digital Dipstick – Tremont. This team created a digital device that reads oil levels for farmers. This can save each farmer up to seven hours during harvest season.
  • Mobile Mount LLC – Germantown Hills. By creating a cup holder for smartphones, this team provides stadiums with an innovative product and a space to sell advertisements.
  • Ring Bandits LLC – Goodfield. A functional bracelet created by this team can hold small customer essentials at one’s wrist.
  • Rio Technologies LLC – Peoria. This team re-imagined technicians’ vests so that they are able to keep both hands free at all times while working on machinery.
  • Scious Inc – Peoria. By analyzing insider trading, this team provides customers with “buy” and “sell” decisions from the world’s most influential investors.
  • The Veggie Cart – Peoria. This team is committed to bringing healthy, vegetarian, and vegan foods to the Greater Peoria area by providing this food cart option.

We’re so happy to sponsor this event and cannot wait to see where this program takes each of the teams!

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