Launch Greensboro – a program to promote entrepreneurism in Greensboro and Guilford County – has chosen the winners of the Capital Connects 2023 Pitch Competition.

The program is somewhat reminiscent of the popular television show Shark Tank where hopeful entrepreneurs seek startup capital.

Launch Greensboro picked its two winners at its annual pitch competition held on Wednesday, March 15 at Union Square Campus in Greensboro.

Sarilla, which won the “6 Minute” competition, is an alcohol-free sparkling beverage made with organic, fair-trade tealeaves and botanicals grown using sustainable farming methods. Sarilla was awarded $7,500 and in-kind services as their prize.

Hybridwerx, the winner of the “2-Minute” battle, provides camera-based solutions meant to help “streamline administrative processes and reduce risk in workplaces.“  The company’s current focus is on surgeons and hospital settings.   Hybridwerx received $1,500 and in-kind services.

Twelve other up-and-coming businesses also gave pitches at the Capital Connects competition including Acuity Health, AE Academics, Airzey, Beam Dynamics, Champly, DEI Directive, Digital Health Navigation Solutions, Fresh AF, Little Light Series, Minerva Lithium, Renaissance Fiber, and Riot Golf.

The Fan Favorite winner of the night, chosen through a vote of audience members, was  Little Light Series – a literary and arts education company on a mission “to energize, enlighten, and empower kids through children’s books, art classes and more.” Unfortunately there was no cash prize for winning the Fan Favorite competition.

Ursula Dudley Oglesby and the Dudley Family received the 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The well-known family has had the entrepreneurial spirit for generations.  Over the last half century, various members of the Dudley family have run a magazine, a hotel, a travel agency and founded a global beauty brand that includes Dudley Beauty Corp and the Dudley Cosmetology University.

Ursula Dudley Oglesby now heads up Dudley Beauty Corp .