A device that aims to revolutionize energy efficiency in homes is $10,000 closer to becoming a reality.
Palmyra, Va.-based Intelligent Service Panel won the first Tech Challenge Hanover, a contest designed to reward promising technology startups.
The Dominion Resources Innovation Center, an Ashland accelerator program for emerging companies, hosted the event Thursday evening. About 100 people attended the program at Randolph-Macon College.
Intelligent Service Panel co-founder Holly Chen said the company’s product, which users would place in their homes, contains microprocessors that monitor and optimize energy usage. It’s still in the concept stage, and the company will use the $10,000 to buy the components to assemble a prototype.
Bryan Bostic, CEO of portable storage company SmartBox and one of the judges at the event, said the Intelligent Service Panel device could eventually be a must-have for all new homes.
In addition to the prize money, Intelligent Service Panel will receive free office space and mentoring from the center.
Any tech startup under five years old can enter the contest, whether or not the company is located in Hanover. The contest is open to new entrepreneurs with an idea and established businesses that already have investors. Forty-three contestants entered the challenge, and judges selected 15 semifinalists and five finalists.
These companies made the finals:
Tuee (second place) – A tablet that lets restaurant owners increase customer retention and get instant feedback on their dishes.
Choose.It (third place) – A new spin on deal of the day sites. Customers pitch the deals they want and work with merchants to make it happen.
NimblePitch – A presentation tool and content management system that lets users see exactly how their presentations are being received.
Turanto – A tool that allows users to develop their own mobile and web applications without programming experience.
These companies made the semifinals:
Dashboard Innovation (Mechanicsville)
Maxx Potential, LLC (Richmond)
P.A.R.S. Physical Activity Reward System (Glen Allen)
S2D2 BioChar (Charlottesville)
School Mobile App Fundraising (Richmond)
Smart Meter (Glen Allen)
Speakeasy (Glen Allen)