The Launch Place, an entrepreneurial development organization based in Danville, VA, in partnership with First Flight Venture Center in Research Triangle Park, NC, is accepting submissions until August 27 for its fifth annual Big Launch Challenge.

This business plan competition provides startups nationwide with  business networking and investment opportunities, and a chance to get  exposure for their brands. Winners receive access to resources from The Launch Place and First Flight Venture Center, including training, networking, mentorship and early-stage prototyping.

After two elimination rounds, ten finalists will participate in a live pitch event November 7, 2018. Each will have 12 minutes to pitch to a panel of judges followed by a question and answer session. Startups should have fewer than 10 employees, potential to grow and locate at least part of their business to the Dan River region.

“The goal of the Big Launch Challenge is to provide early-stage startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors, and for The Launch Place Pre-Seed and Seed Fund to generate deal flow,” says The Launch Place President and CEO, Eva Doss in a statement. “It’s always a different experience every year, and I look forward to seeing the types of startups who apply this year.”

This year, Paul Singh, founder of Disruption Corporation and serial investor in 2,200+ companies, will be the keynote speaker for the event