Tenant Turner wins $10,000 Start-Up prize

The local start-up earned a sweet boost last night.

i.e.*

Update #2 — April 18, 2014; 10:23 AM

Local company Tenant Turner earned a $10,000 prize last night after it was named the Region’s Next Best Start-Up at this year’s i.e.* Start-Up Competition. Tenant Turner was among 16 finalists that last night pitched their company to a panel of judges.

Tenant Turner helps owners and managers of rental properties fill vacancies. “We attract quality rental applicants, screen for better tenants, and provide a platform to manage the landlord / tenant relationship once a lease is signed,” said James Barrett, CEO and founder of the local company. “In short, we reduce the length of a vacancy which means more rent in your pocket and we provide quality tenants which decreases the likelihood of having to evict a bad tenant.”

Judges evaluated finalists based on:

  • Viability of the business
  • Innovative nature of the business
  • Originality of the product or service

In addition to the $10,000 prize, Tenant Turner receives six months free office space at New Richmond Ventures, $3,500 worth of IT strategy and implementation from Imagine Simplicity, and six months of “community membership” at 804RVA.

Another finalists, Cush, won the $2,500 People’s Choice Award through an on-site audience vote. Cush makes a wheelchair cushion that helps prevent pressure ulcers (bed sores) and facilitates healing.

“The caliber of this year’s finalists is astounding,” said Chrystal Neal, Director of Creativity and Innovation at the Greater Richmond Chamber, organizers of the Start-Up Competition. “It is exciting to see that RVA is becoming a place where creative people can turn their innovative ideas into flourishing businesses…Our innovative culture here in RVA is gaining national attention as we put our stake in the ground as a thriving start-up hub.”

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Update #1 — March 31, 2014; 9:21 AM

After last week’s public voting, i.e.* announced the 16 finalists in this year’s Start-Up Competition. Here they are in alphabetical order:

These 16 finalists will vie for a grand prize of $10,000 (see below), at public event on April 17th.

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Original — March 25, 2014

Over 60 fledgling companies have started to compete for $10,000 cash, office space, and IT services as part of the 2014 i.e.* Start-Up Competition.

But before being considered for the grand prize, the 68 businesses–all in operation for less than one year–must first pass through a public voting period beginning today and lasting through the 27th. The ten contestants earning the most votes will continue to the final round.

See the full list of contestants here. The contestants are also grouped into these categories:

In addition to the public vote, eight local entrepreneurs will select the five contestants they feel should continue into the final round.1 Finalists will be announced on March 28th.

On April 17th, those finalists will pitch their company to a panel of judges who will select the winner, which will receive $10,000 cash, six months free office space at New Richmond Ventures, and $3,500 worth of IT strategy and implementation from Imagine Simplicity.

Members of the public are invited to attend that event and vote for the People’s Choice, which will receive $2,500 in prize money.

This round of online voting lasts until 11:00 PM on Thursday, March 27th. People may vote once per day.

Go vote!


  1. Yielding a total of 10 – 15 finalists. The final number of businesses depends on whether there is overlap among the publicly-chosen and entrepreneur-chosen contestants. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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