Final startup spot in the program will be offered to
the winner of the Tom Tom Founders Festival's Crowdfunded Pitch
Night to be held 9 April
By Amy Halliday
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation today
announced the ventures accepted into the 2014 W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (i.Lab) incubator. The i.Lab is a
University-wide initiative, housed at the Darden School, which
includes an incubator supporting early-stage business ventures from U.Va. and the
The 2014 cohort is the largest in the 14-year history of the
incubator program. The 26 ventures in the group, chosen from 47
applications, include 14 founded by Darden students; six started by
current U.Va. students, faculty members or recent U.Va. graduates;
and six created by members of the local Charlottesville
The final spot will go to the winner of the Crowdfunded Pitch Night, which kicks off the Tom Tom Founders Festival, a
five-day celebration of music, art and innovation in downtown
Charlottesville, sponsored by Darden's Batten Institute. At the
Pitch Night event to be held 9 April at The Haven, the contestants
will have three minutes to sell their business ideas to the crowd,
which will then vote on a winner. The deadline to apply for
a spot to compete is 24 March.
The i.Lab incubator provides participating ventures with a
$5,000 grant, office space, mentoring support, networking
opportunities with local entrepreneurs and investors, and access to
legal, accounting and technological expertise. The program consists
of a 10-week summer accelerator followed by a one-year residency,
during which participants develop and refine their business ideas
and participate in a community of fellow entrepreneurs. Kathryne
Carr, a venture capitalist and longtime mentor of early-stage
businesses, serves as director of the i.Lab incubator.
"The 2014 i.Lab incubator class represents some of the best and
brightest ideas from Darden, U.Va. and Charlottesville," said Philippe Sommer, director of Darden's Center for
Entrepreneurial Leadership and of the i.Lab. "We're excited to
bring together such a talented and diverse group of businesses. The
i.Lab incubator gives aspiring entrepreneurs the knowledge, support
and community they need to take their ventures to the next level,
and we're thrilled to provide this program to our students as well
as the broader U.Va. and Charlottesville communities."
Participates share the enthusiasm surrounding this opportunity.
"We're excited about the expertise of the mentors and alumni
associated with the incubator," said Darden Second Year student
Ares Manos, whose venture, K2 Dental Arts, was chosen for the 2014
class. "Wisdom on how to grow our business the right way will be
Darden has been home to a business incubator since 2000. The
i.Lab, established in 2010, was renovated and reintroduced in 2013
as the W. L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (i.Lab) — a
collaborative endeavor among all 11 schools at U.Va., the Provost's Office and
The ventures in the 2014 cohort represent industries such as
medicine, technology, fashion, the arts, new media and social
Among this year's ventures:
- K2 Dental Arts was founded by Darden
Second Year students Philip Kim, Ares Manos and Dwight Emerine and
helps dentists adopt the latest digital oral scanning technology
for use in the manufacture of crowns and other restorations.
- Revamp Labs was created by Darden First Year
student Kris Subhash and provides digital marketing solutions for
local businesses. The company's core product is Virginia Vinehopper — a mobile app that serves as a guide to Virginia's wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries, and offers a mobile marketing
platform for those businesses.
- MapLab was founded by community members
Madeleine Hawks and Matthew Slaats and offers specialized tools,
scientific expertise and research capabilities to help clients
create striking visual representations that clarify strategic
initiatives, present arguments and publish information for the
- Fluensi was conceived by U.Va.
undergraduates, Aakash Shah, John MacLaughlin and Nicole Abba and
offers a variety of learning tools, including immersive
language-learning software that simulates the experience of living
in a foreign country. The company's web, mobile and Google Glass
applications will work together to provide a superior learning
Among the many success stories from previous incubator classes
- Green Powered Technology was founded
by Darden alumnus Phillip Green (MBA `11) and recently honored as a
White House Champion of Change. Green Powered Technology
provides sustainable, cost-effective energy solutions to
governmental, commercial and energy-impoverished clients.
- Husk Power Systems is a venture cofounded by Darden alumni
Manoj Sinha (MBA `09) and Chip Ransler (MBA `09) that provides
electricity to rural India and was awarded the prestigious 2011 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in the International Category.
Husk Power Systems designs, installs and operates
biomass-based power plants, creating a better quality, cheaper way
to provide electricity to over 200,000 people in rural India.
- hotelicopter is a global hotel search and
direct connect platform founded by Darden alumni Adam Healey (MBA
`05) and Charles Seilheimer (MBA `05), acquired by Room Key in 2011. The hotelicopter platform
connected more than 160,000 hotels to hundreds of sites and
millions of travelers.
About the i.Lab at the University of
The i.Lab is a University-wide initiative that creates a nexus
for entrepreneurship and innovation education. Its mission is to
foster deep cross-collaboration with no boundaries, across
disciplines, schools or ways of thinking. The i.Lab provides
coaching, courses and incubation to students, faculty and community
members innovating the future. The i.Lab is a collaborative effort
of 11 schools of the University, the Provost's Office, and UVA
Innovation, and is operated by the Batten Institute at the U.Va.
Darden School of Business.
About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of
the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and
Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines
the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances
global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit
learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders
who are ready to make an impact.
About the Batten Institute
The Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business improves
the world through entrepreneurship and innovation. The institute's
academic research center advances knowledge that addresses
real-world challenges and shapes Darden's curriculum, and the
Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers one of the world's top
entrepreneurship programs. The Batten Institute was established
with gifts now totaling over $100 million from U.Va. alumnus Frank
Batten Sr., a media pioneer, visionary and founder of The Weather
For questions or information, contact Matt Charles or a member of the Communication team.
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