Champlain's LaunchVT Team Heads to Collegiate Competition

Michael Wold and Ezekiel Terkiel of Pure Investments, LLC>

LaunchVT will hold its third annual LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition on Feb. 15 at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Teams of student entrepreneurs from six Vermont schools will battle it out for thousands of dollars in cash prizes and a spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort.

The Collegiate competitors will be judged by a panel of local investors on their market opportunity, business plan, and overall presentation. The first-place team will receive $4,000 and the opportunity to participate in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort. The second and third place teams will win $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

LaunchVT provides early-stage acceleration programs and resources to help businesses prep, launch and soar in Vermont, and is a program of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's President Tom Torti praised the competition as an "excellent opportunity to see the incredible innovation among Vermont's college students-individuals that are primed to share their talents with our community if they understand what a great place this state is to start and run a company."

Champlain's Representative

On Feb. 8, five Champlain students competed in the third annual LaunchVT @ Champlain competition, for a $2,000 first prize and the chance to represent Champlain College at LaunchVT Collegiate Business Pitch Competition. The students delivered a seven-minute business pitch to three judges, and then answered questions from the judges. Judges were Stiller School of Business professors Kylie King, Tom Myers and Joe O'Grady.

Michael Wolf (ITS '21) Pure Investments, LLC. - providing training and analysis to people interested in learning about and trading cybercurrencies. Wolf, and business partner Ezekiel Terkiel (ITS '21) won the First Place prize of $2,000.

Winifred Breese (SSB '21) Susakit - a web portal/ e-commerce site focused on marketing comic book art and other valuables to comic book fanatics. She won Second Place and $600.

Andersen Pinckney (CCM '20) Trumped Tweets - an entertaining card game reminiscent of Cards Against Humanity, utilizing real Tweets by real celebrities. He won the Third Place prize of $400.

The other competitors were:

Nate Boland (ITS '20) Synergy Squared - a web portal for skill game enthusiasts e.g. yoyo, kendama

Michael Kimball (SSB '21) Kimball's Kebobs - a new fast food concept derived from a middle eastern food favorite

All five students say they plan to continue developing their business ideas.

Along with Champlain College, LaunchVT Collegiate's participating institutions are Middlebury College, St. Michael's College, the University of Vermont, Norwich University and Vermont Technical College.

LaunchVT Collegiate is sponsored by NCFCU, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the University of Vermont, Champlain College, Middlebury College, St. Michael's College, Norwich University, Vermont Technical College, and VtSBDC. LaunchVT is a program of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the largest business advocacy organization in the state. 

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit