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Posted on: November 6, 2018

Winners Announced for Start Peninsula

Start Peninsula logo

The pitch competition began on Friday, Nov. 2 with 30 pitches and a keynote by serial entrepreneur and author, Jason Calacanis. Following a 90-second pitch, 10 early stage businesses were selected to move on to Sunday’s final round.  On Sunday, 3 winners were selected after working on their business ideas all weekend and then completing a five-minute pitch presentation and five minute question-and-answer session with the judges.

Judges included:

  • Monique Adams, Executive Director of 757 Angels
  • Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director of CIT
  • Rick Gdovic, President & CEO of ComServe Wireless
  • Tom Henneberg, President & CEO of BNNT Materials
  • Jeff Johnson, Director of Tech Center Research Park
  • Evans McMillion, Executive Director of 757 Accelerate.


A memorable entrepreneurial event, Start Peninsula is a prime example of regional collaboration including both public and private sector participants. This year both 757 Angels and 757 Accelerate played an active role. Start Peninsula is pleased to announce its three winners for 2018:

  • Nuekie, an innovative health and beauty company making products for people of color;
  • Safety Nailer, a patented tool that makes hand nailing easier, protects your fingers and reduces nail buckling;
  • Senior Runs, a company helping senior citizens and those that care for them to keep their lives "Movin Forward" through community-based transportation support


Each winner received $5,000 to fuel their business growth and will also have free access to local resources, including one-year memberships to the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the York County Chamber of Commerce.

Start Peninsula was hosted by the City of Newport News and the event was held at the Applied Research Center across from Jefferson Lab and adjacent to Tech Center. The event is held to create awareness of the thriving Peninsula entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulated entrepreneurial growth in the local community by connecting early stage businesses to mentors and resources to further validate their business concepts. Dozens of entrepreneurs connected with business leaders and mentors during this exciting event. Start Peninsula has been held annually in different Peninsula localities since 2012.


Start Peninsula 2019 will be hosted by the City of Hampton, in partnership with the Cities of Newport News, Williamsburg and Poquoson, and the Counties of James City & York.

For more information about Start Peninsula, please visit their website or Facebook page.

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