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August 24, 2017 9:40am

2017 Vogt Award Winners Revealed

(Louisville, KY) – Six local startups are the 2017 Vogt Awards recipients. Each winner will receive $25,000 in non-dilutive funding and an additional package of valuable services and mentoring for early-stage entrepreneurs.


The winning companies are:

Eidolon LLC protects families threatened by the dangers of vacant properties through the deployment of proprietary devices that alert EMS when a property catches fire. Customers pay per device per month and a one-time installation fee. Eidolon successfully finished a 6-month pilot with Louisville Metro Government and will begin roll out in the third quarter of 2017. Eidolon’s growth is focused on cities and Property & Casualty insurers. Nathan Armentrout, James Gissendaner, and David Jokinen founded Eidolon.


HeXalayer LLC is an innovative technology startup focused on the exponential improvement in lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. The material used in their patent pending technology has been extensively studied, with reproducible methods of synthesizing. It was integrated into 30 prototype battery cells, tested and the reproducibility of the battery performance was confirmed. This new material improves battery capacity by 400% with 15 times less weight for the unit battery cell. The company is run by CEO Harutyun Vardanyan and CSO Tereza Paronyan. www.hexalayer.com


The Lokator Pitching Academy LLC is a patented strike zone system for baseball and softball pitchers that is used for instruction, evaluation, and predictive analysis. The company developed vision technology for the iPhone that detects the location, velocity, and trajectory of pitches thrown, and then exports big data to their proprietary online database. The product is unique in that it is the first to use vision algorithms to automatically document pitch location with a mobile phone camera.  Stephen Stemle is the company’s founder. www.lokatorpitchingacademy.com


Meta Construction Technologies LLC is a construction-tech firm that’s giving control to the asphalt industry with its innovative Fleet Dispatch software solution, BlackTop, a mobile app. The asphalt industry loses $1B annually due to avoidable trucking related expenses. Typical GPS Fleet Solutions use expensive hardware and are built for companies that own trucks, not companies that subcontract them. MetaCT Contractors request trucks from trucking vendors and tracks drivers using BlackTop. Nick Mcrae is the company’s CEO and Maxwell Kommor is the founder. www.meta-ct.com/


RCM Brain, Inc. helps healthcare providers collect more revenue from insurance companies by analyzing their contracts and claim payment information. The initial contingency fee service offering is designed to identify missing revenue from contractual underpayments and invalid denials. A planned subscription software platform will automatically identify billing and collection opportunities, while increasing the speed of claims processing with detailed productivity tracking. RCM Brain is led by John Williamson, CEO, Lee Hyman, COO, and Ren Decena, CTO.


WeatherCheck, Inc. monitors residential property addresses 24/7/365 via a SaaS subscription model. They then provide a historical report giving actionable steps to help property owners and service providers complete the insurance claims filing process. WeatherCheck decreases the overall cost of typical home improvements by 85% and increases claims filing success by 90%. Demetrius Gray is WeatherCheck’s CEO and Jermaine Watkins is their CTO. www.weathercheck.co


The Vogt Awards help startup founders develop product ideas into viable and successful businesses by providing not only funding, but also dedicated mentorship and focused workshops.


“We had a record number of applicants for this year’s program,” Ellie Puckett, Commercialization Director for EnterpriseCorp, said. “Out of 64 companies, we feel that these six early-stage startups are developing the most scalable business models through innovative, technology-based products. We are looking forward to accelerating their growth even faster over the next several weeks.”


Henry Vogt Heuser Sr., who established the Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation of Louisville, had a strong vision for growing innovation in Greater Louisville. Heuser pioneered the creation of multiple inventions during his career. The Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund, an endowment at the Community Foundation of Louisville, was created to help support entrepreneurial efforts of engineers and innovators to fund the product development and commercialization of their ideas.


“The success of this program is a testament to the legacy of Henry Vogt Heuser,” said Susan Barry, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Louisville.  “His generous gift to the Community Foundation of Louisville is what accelerated companies like Inscope Medical, MailHaven, FreshFry, and many other Vogt Award winners.”

“The effort of the Vogt Selection Committee is so valuable. A dozen local, experienced entrepreneurs each reviewed dozens of applications online, and devoted a challenging 9-hour day to scrutinize a pool of finalists in person, before selecting the award recipients,” Greg Langdon said. “We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to this vital program.”

EnterpriseCorp will conduct the Vogt Awards’ mentoring programming throughout the fall. There continues to be broad support for the accelerator program where the Vogt Award winners are introduced to a wide range of mentors and experts.

Last year, fifteen executives dedicated their time to work with the recipients during the Vogt program, including three CEOs of prominent Louisville tech startups who met weekly with the companies in the Vogt accelerator.  The Louisville business community dedicated a total of 300 hours of unpaid effort to make the Vogt Awards program a success, and to enhance the benefits provided by the generous grant from Henry Vogt Heuser.

Vogt Demo Day will be held in November during Global Entrepreneurship Week and each winner will have the opportunity to showcase their business to the community and share the progress they are making thanks to the funding, collaboration, mentorship, and support services.


For more information, visit http://www.vogtawards.com/.




About The Vogt Awards & Henry Heuser

Henry Vogt Heuser, who died in 1999, was an exemplary corporate citizen and a gifted inventor and entrepreneur. He was a native of Louisville who spent his entire career working for Henry Vogt Machine Company, including 28 years as its president. Whenever Henry had an idea about how to make something better, quicker, or easier, all he had to do was walk out to the shop floor to assess its viability and commercial potential. The endowment he created at the Community Foundation of Louisville to establish this award will allow engineers and entrepreneurs to access the same kinds of resources. The Vogt Award is intended not only to memorialize Henry’s legacy, but also to inspire more inventors to pursue their goals right here in Louisville.


About Community Foundation of Louisville

The Community Foundation of Louisville is a force for good. As a leader in philanthropy, we connect donors, nonprofits and civic partners to create lasting impact in community so people and place thrive.

Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with $485 million in assets and more than 1,450 charitable funds.  Each fund has its own name and charitable purpose as defined by its donors.  In 2016, these funds made over 9,000 grants totaling $52 million, approximately 80% of which stayed in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to support area nonprofits. To learn how you can be a part of this force for good, visit www.cflouisville.org.

About EnterpriseCorp
EnterpriseCorp is the entrepreneurial arm of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) – the region’s leading economic development organization and the Louisville Regional Office for the Kentucky Innovation Network (KyIN). GLI’s EnterpriseCorp is dedicated to building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture for early stage and fast growth companies. For more information, visit EnterpriseCorp.com.

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. - the Metro Chamber of Commerce is focused on growing the regional economy. As the region’s largest convener of business leadership, GLI leads economic and global outreach strategies focused on business attraction; nurtures the entrepreneurial eco-system; and champions the development of the community’s talent base.  As the voice of Greater Louisville’s business community, GLI advocates for a pro-business environment and facilitates businesses engagement on issues that impact regional competitiveness.  For more information, visit www.greaterlouisville.com.