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LaunchVT Awards $135,000 in Cash and Services

Burlington Code Academy and Northview Weather won the LaunchVT Final Pitch Competition on Thursday, May 17. The startups competed against six other teams to take home the top cash prizes.

LaunchVT winners holding an arm in the air while holding their giant check

LaunchVT provides early stage acceleration programs and resources for business to prep, launch, and soar in Vermont. The annual pitch competition comes at the end of a six-week intensive program where entrepreneurs in the LaunchVT cohort work with a dedicated coach, strategic advisors, and each other to refine their business models and hone their pitches.

Burlington Code Academy, Benjamin Boas (CEO); Alex Chaffee, (CTO) and Alex Horner, (CMO) took home the first prize of $30,000 cash. Burlington Code Academy offers immersive, 12-week training programs that teach students the digital skills necessary to enter a career in tech.

Northview Weather, based in Barton, Vermont took home the Vermont EPSCoR $15,000 Innovation Prize. Northview Weather LLC provides new technology to help electric utilities prepare for major storms, helping to optimize power restoration and grid reliability.

Northview weather - 2nd place winners of LaunchVT holding onto their giant check

The other startups in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort were:

Coraball  – Granville, VT

Rachael Miller – CEO  Megan Bender Director of Sales & Operations  Brooke Winslow – Technical Designer – A microfiber-catching laundry ball, is a consumer-based solution to microfiber pollution that comes from our clothes and home textiles and washes into our public waterways, getting into the marine food web and our own food and water.

EZ-Probate  – Williston, VT

Byron Batres, CFP – Founder – EZ-Probate has developed and refined an online probate process that saves time and money by probating an estate online with little or no need for an attorney.  EZ-Probate prepares ready to sign court forms and provides step by step instructions allowing anyone to probate an estate with ease for a low flat fee.

Still Thyme Botanicals  – Middlesex, VT

Dejung Gewissler – Founder & CEO – Still Thyme Botanicals is a sparkling herbal tea made from organic medicinal herbs and sweetened only with local honey.

Home Outside  – Rockingham, VT

Julie Moir Messervy – CEO/President  Jennifer Silver – Marketing Manager – Home Outside® makes expert landscape design available and affordable for everyone by simplifying the design process through its online program of pre-drawn elements that are part of every property.

Varises  – Stowe, VT

Bryan Huber, MD – Co-Founder  Steven Berlin – Co-Founder – Varises creates immersive simulation systems to bring surgical sales, education and training to a new level. We enhance trusted methodologies with modern technologies for repeatable, measurable and meaningful learning.

Green Mountain Maple Innovations  – Randolph, VT

Jack Beauparlant – Co-Founder  Manny Aretakis – Co-Founder – A new innovative tubing tool used to apply maple spouts to lateral tubing for the maple sugaring industry.

In addition to the cash prizes awarded to Burlington Code Academy and Northview Weather, all eight members of the 2018 LaunchVT cohort will receive valuable in-kind services from local businesses. The value of the in-kind services provided to this year’s cohort totals $90,000. Members of the cohort and their in-kind service pairings are listed below.

Burlington Code Academy – Qwerkal, Merritt & Merritt, Renaissance Information Systems, Gallagher Flynn & Co, Dale Carnegie Training

Northview Weather – Hark, Dunkiel Saunders, Forecast LLC, IOT Conduit, Dale Carnegie Training

Home Outside – Moulton Law Group, Renaissance Information Systems

Cora Ball – Paul, Frank & Collins, Renaissance Information Systems

EZ-Probate – Downs, Rachlin, Martin, ReconciledIt

Varises – VCET, Forecast LLC

Still Thyme Botanicals – Oxbow Creative, Dinse, Knapp, Mcandrew, Dale Carnegie Training

The Maple Connection – Forecast LLC, CWE-Vermont

LaunchVT is made possible thanks to our amazing sponsors, including: the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont EPSCoR, Vermont Department of Economic Development, VCET, People’s United Bank, New England Federal Credit Union, Vermont Works, Vermont Innovation Commons, Dinse, Qwerkal, Seven Days, Dunkiel Saunders, Paul Frank & Collins, FreshTracks Capital, Leonardo’s, Gallagher Flynn & Company, Merritt & Merritt, Vermont Community Foundation, Waitsfield & Champlain Valley Telecom, TD Bank, Encore Renewable Energy, Oxbow, Hark, Hen House Media, BTV Ignite, University of Vermont – OVPR, VEDA, North Country Angels, Redstone, Dale Carnegie Training, Reconciledit, VT Center for Women & Enterprise, DRM, Renaissance Information Systems, Moulton Law Group, IOT Conduit, Forecast LLC, and Main Street Landing.

LaunchVT provides early-stage acceleration programs and resources to help businesses prep, launch and soar in Vermont, and is a program of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. LCRCC is the largest business advocacy organization in the state. The Chamber puts everything into place to help our members grow their businesses: providing innovative member services and programs, promoting our region, and making it an even better place to do business.

To learn more about LaunchVT visit

To learn more about LCRCC visit