2011 GRA/TAG Business Launch Competition Announces Semifinalists

Atlanta, GA, April 07, 2011 --(PR.com)-- The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) and Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) are today announcing the semifinalists for the GRA/TAG Business Launch 2011. Preliminary Application Judges have selected 11 semifinalists to compete for $50,000 in cash and over $400,000 in services. The semifinalists for this year’s competition are Arrivu, Telineage, Soket, Transaxion, TripLingo, Pave Systems, Merlin Mobility, AuditMyBooks, Nexpense, Soneter, Viscid Technology.

GRA/TAG Business Launch supports Georgia’s burgeoning start-up community by helping local entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Since it was founded in 2006, it has become one of largest competitions of its kind in the United States, providing $450,000 in cash and over $1,000,000 in donated services, and has helped more than 130 young entrepreneurs connect with successful entrepreneurs and investors in mentoring relationships.

Over two days, the Prelimiary Application Judging Team reviewed 39 business plans and executive summaries of those companies vying for a semi-finalist position. Each company made a five minute pitch to the judging committee, followed by five minutes of Q&A with the judges. This judging committee was led by Mike Eckert, Executive Chairman, Atlanta Technology Angels, and also included Lawrence Guillroy, CEO of Racemi; Adrian Sawczuk, Senior Manager, Accenture; Jeff McConnell, CEO of Whisper Communications; Melanie Leeth, Vice President of Imlay Investments; Lance Weatherby, ATDC; and Richard Spencer, president of R.S. Spencer Company.

The 11 semi-finalists will compete April 19-21 with a new set of judges and with an updated and modified business plan and summary. Judges for the semi-finals stage will then pick three finalists to move on to the finals competition on May 24th. The semi-finalists judging panel includes Dave Eckoff, Evolutionary Partners; Sid Elliott, Georgia Research Alliance; Dave Gould, TechOperators; Mark Greef, Grant Thornton; Sami Jajeh, Arketi Group; Paul Judge; Vasant Kamath, Cox Communciations; Jamie Kennedy, Cox Enterprises; Sig Moseley, Imlay Investments; Michael Price, CEO Ventures; Martin Tilson, The Tilson Group LLC; and Judi Vitale, VitaleCFO.

The Business Launch Competition culminates on May 24, 2011, with a finals competition at the IBM Hillside Facility on Northside Parkway, from 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Attendance is open to the public for a nominal entry fee with lunch provided. For more information visit http://www.tagonline.org/businesslaunch.php.

About The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA)
The Georgia Research Alliance is a private, non-profit organization that brings together the state’s academic, industry and government leaders to grow Georgia’s economy through scientific discovery. Key programs are recruitment of top scientific talent (GRA Eminent Scholars), development of centers of research excellence, and commercialization of university R&D (GRA VentureLab). GRA has helped to generate more than 200 new technology companies from university research.

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
TAG is a leading technology industry association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of the state's technology industry. TAG provides leadership in driving initiatives in the areas of policy, capital, education and giving, and also brings the technology community together through events, initiative programs and networking opportunities. TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 27 special interest groups, or societies, including Women in Technology (WIT). Additionally, TAG’s charitable arm, the TAG Education Collaborative, is focused on helping science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives thrive. For more information visit the TAG website at http://www.tagonline.org or TAG’s community website at http://www.TAGthink.com .

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Becky Biggs