Press Release - Pitch Day Winners


Brave Launch Pitch Day:  Winners Announced

The Illinois Small Business Development Center and Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University are pleased to announce the successful completion of the inaugural Brave Launch program. Brave Launch is a business accelerator modeled off of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps accelerator program and Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad. The foundation of the program is evidence-based entrepreneurship and agile development, which pushes teams out into the real world to gain insight and develop their business model through customer discovery. Each team participated in a seven week intensive program which culminated in the final pitch-day where participants had the opportunity to pitch to investors and those interested from the community.

These teams have worked hard over the past 7 weeks, focusing on customer discovery and fine tuning their business models, and we are proud to see the growth each team has achieved over the course of the program. They have all shown dedication in the process, and true team spirit in working with the presenters, mentors, advisers, and each other. The comradery created was evident and helped make the program a great success. The Final Pitch day allowed each team to present their business ideas to a group of local investors, and members of the public. This exposure will hopefully result in investment opportunities, allowing the teams to reach their goals. In the spirit of the competition, the teams were judged on several aspects of their business pitches by a group of experienced business leaders. These scores were used to award several cash prizes during the closing ceremony on Pitch Day.

In addition, all audience members were able to vote for their favorite pitch in the “People’s Choice Award”. Join us in congratulating the winning teams!

Best Business Model - $2,000 prize & People’s Choice Award - $1,000 prize The Oakford Group – Peoria IL

Founded by licensed physical therapists, The Oakford Group, LLC, has created a home exercise product designed to provide quality manual therapy treatment techniques that were once only available in the therapy clinic. “We feel Brave Launch has properly prepared us to take the next steps in launching our products by providing confidence through product market fit analysis and the customer discovery process. The funds received from Brave Launch will be used towards our FDA registration fees for the Invertabelt product.” – Andy Champion

Best Business Pivot - $1,000 prize Dukes Business Consulting – Peoria IL

A full service consulting business, delivering in-depth knowledge, guidance and documentation. DBC is a catalyst in culture & strategy tailored to unique business objectives, ecosystem, budget and timing needs in order to maximize the value of minority businesses and help them grow for the future of the community. “Our motto is “Build a Business Create A JOB.” Brave Launch has allowed us to expand our capacity. Through the information we have received we will be introducing a new product into the market, which will be a wholesale catalogue of products for small business. We also will create advertising for those products to consumers. Catalogue will launch in 2017 and will be distributed to the local grocery stores, & retail stores.” – Larrice Dukes

Best Pitch - $1,000 prize MassIt – Peoria IL

Fitness focused team developing an innovative device that allows gym users to quickly break through plateaus and increase strength using a wide variety of gym equipment. “The customer discovery that this program walked us through helped show me what our customers actually wanted.” – Brian Roskuszka

Congratulations to the following teams for successfully completing the program:

EatandEvolve – East Peoria IL - A nutrition-focused company that is the first and only healthy meal delivery service in the Peoria area delivering freshness, quality and convenience.

Golf Score Changer – Clinton IL - An innovative company working to help improve the game of golf with simple solutions for any level golfer.

Natural Fiber Welding – Peoria IL - Technology company focused on the production and manufacture of sustainable materials that outperform petroleum-based analogues for applications ranging from building materials to wearable electronics.

Notionovus™ – Morton IL - Technology company building a software platform for democratizing middleware. It is expected to drastically reduce information technology costs.

NeuroQuantel - Peoria IL - Multi-disciplinary team from OSF Healthcare developing a user-friendly medical device capable of providing a near real-time quantitative measure of strength in patients suffering from ALS, while also being suitable for providing telehealth consults to rural physicians.

PopXFit – Peoria IL - Fitness focused company transforming the lives of individuals by redefining exercise as fun, affordable, convenient, and accessible.


The Brave Launch platinum sponsor was OSF HeathCare.