Camras Vision, a startup based at the First Flight Venture Center in RTP, took home the top honor of $15,000 in the Big Launch Challenge, a joint effort of the First Flight Venture Center and The Launch Place in Danville, Va.

Camras Vision is developing a device to stop the progression of glaucoma.

The competition took place in Danville earlier this week, matching six finalists in an event that drew 37 applicants from across nine states.

Tom & Jenny’s Candy, a cavity-preventing and diabetic-friendly candy company, and Velosal Medical, a medical device firm that is developing a video laryngoscope, tied for second.

“This Challenge allows us to identify potential candidates for possible investment into their new starts-ups through the Seed Fund, or the Pre-Seed Investment Program, if they meet our criteria,” said Eva Doss, President and CEO of The Launch Place. “The Launch Place has the unique capacity to work with serial and emerging entrepreneurs in need of seed funding and other business support services.”

Company summaries from the organizers:

  • Camras Vision has created the Camras Shunt, a patented device that provides the first-ever personalized pressure control to attain the highest level of efficacy in stopping glaucoma progression. The Camras Shunt provides an unprecedented long-term solution that is bundled in a safe, quick, and simple surgery. No current therapy can achieve a personalized pressure in the eye to prevent vision loss for all patients.
  • Tom & Jenny’s Candy creates naturally-sweetened, cavity-preventing and diabetic-friendly candies that do not compromise on taste. Founded by a dentist in her home kitchen, Tom & Jenny’s developed an innovative sugar-free caramel preferred over sugar caramels by 60% of blind taste-testers, and which is attracting growing consumer attention. The candies use an innovative blend of natural sweeteners that have been proven to reduce cavity-causing bacteria by up to 70%. Additionally, the candies have a low glycemic index and have fewer calories than standard sugar candy.
  • Velosal Medical, Inc. develops innovative medical devices for critical care and emergency medicine. Velosal is committed to acquiring, developing and commercializing products that reduce risk and improve patient outcomes. The company plans to introduce its first product during 2016, the VAIDb -First Pass laryngoscope.