inLieu wins $10,000 start-up prize

A local company wins $10,000 to help people across the world raise money for good causes.

Local company inLieu was named the region’s “Next Best Start-Up” at last night’s i.e.* Start-Up Competition finale. The winning business was selected among 143 contestants and earned $10,000 in prize money, free office space for six months, and $500 credit at LaDifference.

The finale concluded a series of events, called the i.e.* Entrepreneurial Trilogy, designed to foster successful start-ups and to support overall entrepreneurship in the region.

“We could not have asked for a more diverse pool from which to select our eventual winner,” said Chrystal Neal, Director of Creativity and Innovation at the Greater Richmond Chamber, who help organized the contest. “It is our hope that all will experience momentum based on the exposure and networking provided during this process.” The finale was sponsored by Tumblr, the micro-blogging company with offices in the city.

Founded by Kailey Raymond and Geoff Weathersby, inLieu provides an alternative to traditional gift giving. The organization’s website will redirect monetary gifts from birthdays, graduations, weddings, and other events to causes needing financial support, similar to sites like Kickstarter and RocketHub. inLieu retains 10% of all funds to cover operating expenses. The company was chosen among 13 finalists who pitched their business ideas to a panel of eight local judges at Richmond CenterStage. Among the attendees was Governor Bob McDonnell.

“The success of the Greater Richmond Chamber and the i.e.* Startup Competition is a testament to the vibrant community of entrepreneurs we have here in Central Virginia,” said Gov. McDonnell. “Job creation is led by entrepreneurs with new ideas creating new opportunities for themselves and for others.”

The i.e.* Start-Up Competition was limited to businesses that operated for less than one year with headquarters in the Richmond region.

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