LEXINGTON, Ky. — Launch Blue hosted their second Demo Day on June 15, virtually utilizing the Stonks platform. Eight startups from the University of Kentucky and others based in the midwest and southeast regions participated in seeking investment.
Demo Day allows founders to pitch their startups and connect with investors worldwide. The startups pitched to an expert investor panel which included Nassir Criss of Sixty8Capital, Abhinaya Konduru of M25 and Joshua Taylor of Capital Factory. During Demo Day, approximately 240 live attendees culminated in 24 investor introductions and $2,210,000 in total interest.
The featured startups were raising a pre-seed or seed round of investment. UK startups Cellie Coping Company and Neocycl, as well as Fair Chance Works, Learnhall, Moolathon, Melanated Healthcare, Pav*r and Enomalies RSET participated.
Cellie Coping Company was founded by Megan Marsac, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and a faculty associate at the Center on Trauma and Children. The company’s mission is to support children and families after a medical diagnosis. “Coping kits” are created to help children and their families manage the challenges that occur with their illnesses.
Joshua Werner, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mining Engineering, is the chief technical officer for Neocycl. Neocycl’s mission is to provide critical metals for a sustainable future. They have a groundbreaking, zero-emission, patent-protected process that produces high-quality cathode grade metal from industrial waste and end-of-life materials.
“The experience working with Launch Blue to ready Neocycl for the Demo Day event was transformative. We were introduced to amazing startup coaches, met fellow pre- and post-startup founders, and had the opportunity to listen to a multitude of angel and venture capital investors,” said Neocycl CEO Kevin Hubert. “Through the process, our pitch deck improved, our milestones became laser-focused, and our technology and financial outlook have never been better. Neocycl’s pitch at demo day was ultimately well received and garnered an amazing $1.7 million from interested parties, representing 340% over our initial ask for the event. I highly recommend participating in Launch Blue’s Demo Day for any aspiring startup.”
Laura Halligan, executive director of Launch Blue, hosted the event. Launch Blue is an intensive accelerator with a mission to support promising technology startup founders and university innovators in Kentucky and beyond.
“We are proud to showcase our startups and see them pitch on a national stage,” said Halligan. “We hope that events like Launch Blue Demo Day will allow our UK startups to raise investment funding successfully.
During Demo Day, some startups received connection introductions for potential new customers or brand champions.
“I am elated by the high level of activity among attendees and investors with our startup founders at Demo Day,” said Taunya Phillips, director of UK’s Office of Technology Commercialization and chair of the Launch Blue Advisory Board. “These interactions are invaluable to achieving commercial success, along with the experience and exposure from pitching — literally to the world.”
Launch Blue is part of the UK Office of Technology Commercialization, responsible for managing UK intellectual property and commercialization of research through licensing and startup ventures.
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