The votes are in and everybody agreed that the I.E competition was a great success. Teams who had survived to the final round took the stage one last time to showcase their creative ideas to the audience and a panel of judges. The remaining group of finalists brought a large crowd who were excited and ready to vote. More than 800 people voted mobile via android/iPhone/and other mobile devices and over 160 people downloaded the iPhone App to vote.

Bonfire Funds managed to pull in an impressive amount of votes (over 250!) to win the “Crowd Favorite”. It was inLieu, however, that won the judges approval and came out on top and won the competition. After being crowned as the regions next best start-up, Kailey Raymond and Geoff Weathersby walked away with $10,000 to launch their idea off the ground. The young entrepreneurs were also was awarded six months of free office space and a $500 gift certificate to La Difference furniture to help them transition into the business world.

inLieu runs on the power of gift-giving and redirects people to charitable causes instead of non-essential items. The socially responsible company was backed by a flexible business plan that impressed all of the judges. inLieu had managed to win against 142 other contestants who were all worthy competitors. Chrystal Neal, the Director of Creativity and Innovation at the Greater Richmond Chamber, noted…

 “All of our finalists, and indeed all of our contestants, should be tremendously proud of the creativity, energy, and dedication they’ve shown throughout the Entrepreneurial Trilogy. We could not have asked for a more diverse pool from which to select our eventual winner. It is our hope that all will experience momentum based on the exposure and networking provided during this process.”

Thanks to I.E for exposing Richmond’s diverse group of talented visionaries!  Start-up businesses require lots of determination and creative innovation and the I.E competition showed that Richmond has no shortage of supply.