VCU Demo Day
April 29, 2022
Every year the da Vinci Center hosts VCU Demo Day to highlight student ventures and award prize money. This year student entrepreneurs from VCU Pre-X, Shift Retail Lab, the Master of Product Innovation program, and more will pitch their ideas on stage and compete for People’s Choice Award for $500.
VCU Demo Day will take place in person and will also be live-streamed.
Participation in Pre-X is not required to pitch at Demo Day this year. If you want to pitch at Demo Day 2022, sign up and we'll contact you with more information.
As CEO of GCOM, Kamal Bherwani has built GCOM into an outcomes-driven company. Historically, government success on IT modernization projects was defined by being on-time and on-budget, overlooking the importance of actual community outcomes. Through Bherwani’s leadership, GCOM has become a company that understands that the value of technology is defined by its human impact, and that modernization efforts must be driven by community outcomes.
Todd B. Waldo
Todd B. Waldo is the Founder and Principal Consultant for Hugh Helen LLC, a team of passionate problem solvers developing solutions for client success and social good. As a strategic partner, Hugh Helen comes alongside executives and their teams for the deep, transformational work that moves organizations forward towards their vision and outcomes building consensus along the way. The result is a strategic system grounded in empathy and affirmed with data. Practice areas include economic development, executive leadership, operations and technology.
Garret Westlake, Ph.D.
Executive Director, da Vinci Center for Innovation at VCU
Dr. Garret Westlake is leading the transformation of VCU into one of the nation’s leading universities for cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovation. As executive director of the da Vinci Center for Innovation, Dr. Westlake advances university-wide student innovation and entrepreneurship through curriculum as well as through curated experiential education opportunities.
Sitting at the intersection of design, business, and technology, Isaiah Harvin is a product leader that has a passion for bringing ideas to life, focusing on research, agile methodologies, people, and products. Isaiah has a broad range of experience working on flagship brands in corporate settings, researching, designing, and building for social good. He is now shaping culture and conversation through product with his role as Product Manager at HBO Max, leading app growth and experimentation.
Introducing the Pitches
Entrepreneur: Briana Williams
LipLoveLine provides customers with Ingredient-conscious lip care products to empower self-expression in the best and cleanest way possible: through the lips. Briana is a current participant in Lighthouse Labs and has recently been recognized in Style Weekly’s 40 under 40.
C'est Lä Vé
Entrepreneur: Yosef Mirakov Cohen
C’est La Vé is a 100% vegan snack-sized pack. Yosef aims to create an affordable, on-the-go, vegan snack pack for anyone who wants to save time and effort to get a healthy protein-packed quick bite.
Entrepreneurs: Miguel Rao and Pranav Neyveli DocPal is an asynchronous video communication tool that improves patient comprehension and clinical outcomes by allowing doctors to efficiently communicate follow up steps with patients
Entrepreneurs: Bella Lubinskas, Brenna Gill, Hayden Taylor
Better2gether is a local Richmond nonprofit that provides non medical assistance to families with children who have complex medical illnesses. Better2gether understands that patients and their families’ needs don’t end after leaving the doctor’s office.
Entrepreneurs: Amir Behdani
KBHealth is introducing the Proactive Comprehensive Diversion Monitoring Program (ProCDM), a system that can accurately and efficiently assess every chain of custody gap in controlled substance management in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Since last September, the program has been implemented at a 114-bed acute care rehabilitation hospital and has been able to reduce manual diversion tracking hours from over 40 hours to minutes per month.
Entrepreneur: Peyton Spangler
Peyton wants to create a toy that gives children the ability to create their own worlds. Noodlers bring children away from screens and into the world of their imagination. They are made from high quality, sustainable natural rubber, lessening the environmental impact of plastic in landfills. Peyton is a current student at the VCU Brandcenter.
Last year VCU Pre-X and VCU Healthcare Innovation Sprint came together to compete for 2 top prizes of $5k and 2 People’s Choice Awards for $500. Eight teams from VCU Pre-X participated in a semester-long program to identify, support, and launch high growth and high potential startups and founders. And eight teams joined a 2-week Healthcare Innovation Sprint to explore solutions related to COVID-19 through health care and innovation.
What is VCU Pre-X?
VCU’s Pre-X program educates students in communicating their ideas in a format designed for pitching to investors, sponsors, and accelerator programs. The experience culminates in Demo Day which over the past three years has connected more than 140 students from across VCU to potential funders and employers. Students from the VCU Pre-X program have gone on to regional and national accelerator programs as well as to work for Fortune 500 companies.
The VCU Pre-X is free and all VCU students are eligible to sign up.
How VCU Pre-X Works
- 3-week commitment: March 29 - April 14 (T/W/TH)
- Sign up by April 1st
- Build your venture portfolio: Executive Summary, Pitch Deck, and Video Pitch
- Connect with Mentor from the Richmond Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
- Meet with Subject Matter Experts
- Network with peers from other disciplines
- Build presentation skills
- Refine program materials (pitch deck, executive summary, and pitch delivery)
- Earn digital badges through Credly’s Acclaim Platform
- Work on cross-disciplinary teams
- Receive valuable feedback to move their venture forward
- Learn about entrepreneurial ecosystem resources
- Work with mentors and experts from the Richmond Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
- Get real-world experience at presenting your ideas to win seed funding on Demo Day