Success Stories/Awards

Charlotte Venture Challenge logo

(Formally called Five Ventures)

Fix it yourself garage


Year Competed: 2010 - Fix-it-Yourself Garage - Will Rice (UNC Charlotte 10’) reports back - “Five Ventures helped me by taking my idea and turning it into a plan that was vetted through a process that I would have otherwise paid a lot of money for. I didn’t win the contest but I met my business partners and early investors,” he added. You can visit Fix-it-Yourself Garage at


Trak Lok Corporation Worldwide Tracking World Class Security


Year Competed: 2009TrakLok – Eric Dobson Reports Back – “This is an exciting time for us. We launched our product last quarter and began shipping on our first PO’s this quarter. So, we have crossed the revenue line. Since we presented at FV, we have been able to raise $2.0M in Series A equity capital and have completed an acquisition/merger. So, we are well positioned and finally got the capital to move into our growth phase.”
“We won our category at FV and it helped us tremendously. Winning gave us credibility with a number of individuals and groups. It also helped in our vetting process by forcing us to refine our offering and our message. FV was an important stepping stone on our way to success”. You can visit the TrakLok Corporation at


T1Visions Soccal Touchscreen Solutions


Year Competed: 2009T1Visions – Michael Feldman reports back – “We participated in Five Ventures in 2009. At that time, we had no revenues, no offices and 4 people in our company. Since then we have raised over $2 million in investment and have installed our technology at more than 10 locations in the US and the Caribbean. Some of the locations where you will find our technology include: Cow Fish, Harpers and T1 Tapas in the Charlotte area, Sparians in Raleigh, Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records in Jamaica and several locations in the Dallas area.” You can visit T1Visions at



Year Competed: 2009Countervail – Bill Basinger reports back – “We were a winner a couple of years ago. I made an effort to take advantage of the preparation training and spent a significant amount of time with my coaches. They helped me look at our business from an investor’s viewpoint and streamline my message to cut to the essence of the opportunity. One business relationship that evolved from my Five Ventures coaching group was with Paul Pedigo who is now our patent attorney.” You can visit Countervail at


Year Competed: 2009HepatoSys, a UNC Charlotte Spin-off – Mark Clemens Reports Back – “Our Company’s real strength has been in the development of the technology, but competing in Five Ventures really made us focus on the business development aspects. The coaching that we received was invaluable not only in the competition, but also in putting together a business plan for a subsequent successful SBIR Phase II grant application. The exposure that our company received in Five Ventures has also allowed us to greatly expand our network of potential future investors.” You can visit HepatoSys at


Blue Nano


Year Competed: 2008Blue Nano – Being a first place winner at the Five Ventures competition helped Blue Nano tremendously. With offices at the Ben Craig Center and in China, we are becoming one of the most disruptive energy focused nanomaterials companies in the world. The money received and the connections resulting from the event has helped Blue Nano grow to over twenty employees, debt free and with commercial contracts to further help grow our technology while keeping Blue Nano in the black. Although Blue Nano has not taken outside funding, Five Ventures competition has led to numerous Angel and VC inquiries, which will be helpful as we expand to new products and markets. You can visit Blue Nano at




Year Competed: 2007KIYATEC – David Orr reports back - KIYATEC Inc. was very fortunate to win the 2007 Five Ventures Business Competition and leveraged this publicity to gain additional inroads with investment partners. KIYATEC has since completed our Seed funding rounds and is actively pursuing Series A investment of $3.5 million. Our team launched the first of a series of products into the life science research markets beginning in August 2010 with successive product launches in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011. KIYATEC has established a robust research and development effort geared toward full validation of 3D cell-based assays for use in drug development and clinical diagnostics. You can visit Kiyatec at


Soy Meds Biotech Research


Year Competed: 2006SoyMeds, a UNC Charlotte spinoff that is developing medical products with soybeans such as edible vaccines for a staph-produced toxin has procured over $1.5 million in financing since winning the Five Ventures $5,000 grand prize in 2006. Ken Pillar reports back that the “$5000 came at a critical time and paid for key start-up needs.” You can visit Soymeds at




Year Competed: 2006 YAP has gone from a Five Ventures winner to being named as one of North Carolina's Companies to Watch. Yap provides software processed speech recognition services and has a partner list that includes Microsoft, Sprint, Ring Central and Vocalocity. Igor Jablokov reports back "Five Ventures allowed us to publicly test a refocused idea for a new enterprise and gauge the public's reaction to it, especially since iterative feedback is the lifeblood of innovation. Thanks to the positive reception at the event, we were able to find our first investor and board member, shortly thereafter completing a financing process to launch our Company." You can visit Yap at




Year Competed: 2005Bioptigen – "Five Ventures was great opportunity for Bioptigen to test its mettle in an early-stage business plan. It forced us to think about our business model, both in preparation for Five Ventures and as an outcome. The reviewers and panelists were well informed and very insightful. We have had lasting benefit through a strengthened business plan and valuable relationships developed with the service provider and investment community." Eric Buckland, President and CEO Bioptigen. You can visit Bioptigen at




Year Competed: 2005Ometric – Ometric received an initial investment of $250,000 from Trelys Funds, a Five Ventures service provider. Jason Williamson reported back “We just concluded the sale of Ometric to Halliburton a couple of weeks ago. In fact, the royalty payment that the University of South Carolina received is $2.75 million making it the largest in the school's history!” You can visit Ometric at


UPT United Protective Technologies


Year Competed: 2004Nanotech now United Protective Technologies – Brent Barbee reports back “I will say that the Five Venture's event for us was the trigger point for the development of our business/technology culture.” “Since the event we have moved from a 10k sf leased space to 20k sf in our own building. We have expanded our product and coatings portfolio, and now not only supply protective films and coating to US military customers, but to several large domestic and foreign non military OEM's. UPT has grown from 5 to 21 employees, with 75% holding Engineering or Science based degrees.” You can visit UPT at


InsituTech Precision In process Solutions


Year Competed: 2003InSituTec, is a UNC Charlotte Spin- off – Shane Woody reports back “we have found our success commercializing measuring tools for emerging nanotechnology markets. The five ventures program was instrumental in helping us connect and establish an advisory board including VCs, legal and business professionals. The guidance and lessons learned were invaluable to guide and direct our company forward.” You can visit InSituTec at


Calyptix Security

Year Competed: 2003Calyptix Security Corporation, a UNC Charlotte spinoff developed and commercialized an all-in-one hardware and software advanced security technology solution for business. Lawrence Tao reports back “Calyptix has sold more than 1,000 AccessEnforcer firewalls across the United States and internationally including Canada, UK, and Australia with well over an estimated 20,000 end users. Calyptix was one of the Five Ventures finalists in 2003. Being part of Five Ventures helped Calyptix greatly in the early years where we received crucial commercialization advice from successful business leaders, a lot of which we are still applying every day. You can visit Calyptix Security Corporation at