Skip to Main Content

LaunchVT Demo Night celebrates entrepreneurs, awards cash and services

The 2024 Cohort with LaunchVT Director Lauren Bass. Photo by Nick Edwards, Courtesy of Hello Burlington.

BURLINGTON, VT (June 13, 2024) –  Hundreds of business-minded community members gathered at Hula to support LaunchVT’s 2024 cohort at Demo Night, the program’s annual pitch competition and celebration of entrepreneurship. The 2024 cohort presented their businesses to the audience and a panel of investor judges, including Chuck Bush, Myla Lai-Goldman, and Sivan Cotel. Two businesses walked away with cash awards; all eight will receive professional services from local businesses worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Demo Night marks the end of LaunchVT’s annual twelve-week intensive accelerator program, where entrepreneurs in the cohort work with dedicated business coaches and strategic advisors to address their startup’s most pressing needs, including refining their business models, developing their go-to-market strategies, and preparing for future fundraising and investment. 

This is the twelfth year LaunchVT has run the accelerator and Demo Night. “Keeping up with the program this year was no easy feat,” said LaunchVT’s Director Lauren Bass. “We like to say LaunchVT is similar to ‘drinking from a firehose’ due to the speed and intensity of the curriculum, the number of mentors and advisors the cohort teams are expected to engage with, and the many hours dedicated to live learning sessions during the accelerator. This group of founders rose to the occasion and excelled in every way. Collectively, the cohort put hundreds of hours of work into their startups, and that commitment shined through during Demo Night. I couldn’t be more impressed with the quality of their work this season.”  If you missed their pitches on Demo Night, you can replay the live stream by visiting

Taking home the $15,000 Lake Champlain Chamber Award grand prize was Biobe, founded by Bryn Loftness, Nick Cheney, Ellen McGinnis, and Ryan McGinnis. Biobe aims to build data-driven digital health solutions that support families and providers navigating early childhood mental health care.

Winning the $5,000 Audience Choice Award was Brightwater Tools. Founded by Kim Nace, Abe Noe-Hays, and Jacqueline Gold, Brightwater Tools has developed a patented building-scale wastewater nutrient recovery system that converts human waste into valuable core ingredients for nutrient-rich fertilizer.

In addition to the cash awards, the 2024 LaunchVT cohort has been matched with LaunchVT’s generous service partners to provide them with expert professional support where they need it most. “The Lake Champlain Chamber’s mission is to create economic opportunity for all Vermonters, and LaunchVT is one of the ways we do that,” said Lake Champlain Chamber President Cathy Davis. “We are able to support these incredible entrepreneurs thanks to the many organizations that support the Chamber.”

The 2024 cohort included the additional startups who presented at Demo Night:

LaunchVT is made possible thanks to their amazing partners, including All Stage, BootstrapVT, Brady Hoffman, Burlington Telecom, Byron Batres,, Cicada, Codingscape, Consolidated Communications, Convergent Accounting, David Schmidt, Dinse, Doug Merrill, Dudley Fund, Downs Rachlin Martin, Features Capital, Forecast LLC, FreshTracks Capital, Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP, HR Happens, Hula, Inner Citadel Consulting, Jason Mintz, Jeff Chu, Jeff Meller, JHCapital, Laury Saligman, Lee Bouyea, Leonardo’s Pizza, M&T Bank, Manafall, Merrill Family Foundation, Merritt & Merritt, Mila’s Flower Farm, Moulton Law Group, Neil Bainton, Northeast Delta Dental, Northfield Savings Bank, Resonance, Rho Impact, Rival Brands, Ruth and Peter Metz Family Foundation, Scout, Sharon Rossi, Sugarsnap, The Frosty Fern, The Little Things, Tom Messner, Trevor Barlow, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), University of Vermont, Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Department of Economic Development, Vermont Economic Development Authority, Vermont Federal Credit Union, Vermont Startup News, and VSECU. To see a full list of our partners and the foundations supporting our work, visit our Partners page.