Sixteen startups will be in Charlotte vying for more than $100,000 in professional services as part of the annual competition at UNC Charlotte.

Startups will be competing in five categories.

The finals are set for April 9 at the university’s Barnhardt Student Activities Center.


Biotechnology – Pharmaceutical

• Alaeras (Cary, N.C.) – Developing the first dry powder nasal vaccine using device innovation, partnered with proprietary drug formulation and manufacturing methods.
• Countervail Corporation (Charlotte, N.C.) – A repurposed Alzheimer’s drug is used to protect against exposure to nerve gas and pesticides.
• Inhibikase Therapeutics (Smyrna, Ga.) – A new class of drug that is simultaneously effective against bacterial and viral infections in humans.

Biotechnology – Devices

• HepatoSys, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.) – Develops products related to the preservation and restoration of organs for transplantation.
• Ligamar, Inc. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) – A biomaterials company with patented products and processes for healthcare manufacturing and diagnostic applications.
• Microscopy Research Innovations, Inc. (Knoxville, Tenn.) – Has created a guidance system for physicians that track a needle’s location inside a patient’s body.

Information Technology/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

• Balaya, LLC (Savannah, Ga.) – Provides a set of a social media tools for businesses to use internally as an enterprise solution or externally as a consumer-facing engagement tool.
• BestMedical, Inc. (Savannah, Ga.) – Combines existing leading-edge and proprietary technologies to create a web-based solution for users to answer virtually any question about medical conditions and the related ongoing life challenges.
• Fulcrum Technologies, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.) – Has created a wholesale online automotive dealer-to-dealer auction and vehicle shopping portal that can be privatized for established dealer networks.


• Buttons of Hope (Charlotte, N.C.) – Has developed and employed a state of the art interactive website where users can create high-quality customized photo buttons delivered in days.
• T1 Visions, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.) – Developed cutting-edge technology solutions that provide a unique multi-media experience to restaurant patrons.
• TrakLok Corporation (Knoxville, Tenn.) – A product and service company deploying a solution to secure and globally track intermodal shipping containers.


• CLT Blog (Charlotte, N.C.) – A web-based software environment designed to manage a new generation of citizen journalists.
• Entogenetics (Raleigh, N.C.) – Discovered how to transfer the spider’s silk production gene into the common silk worm, creating the means for large scale, inexpensive spider silk production.
• Lisugo Corporation (Charlotte, N.C.) – Created a product called Dad’s Lil’ Helper, that enables parents to bottle feed a baby while at the same time have one hand free to use the remote control, have something to drink or a quick bite to eat.
• Student Relief for Higher Learning of America, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.) – Provides a solution for college students to lease text books which can reduce course materials costs up to 60% over the duration of their career.