The Motley Fool can trace its humble beginnings to a shed behind David Gardner's house, where David and Tom posted answers to financial questions on Prodigy's and America Online's bulletin boards. Tech goliath Apple was born in a garage in Silicon Valley, where the company's two famous Steves -- that is, Jobs and Wozniak -- built the first Apple Computer. Larry Page and Sergey Brin also began their life's work in a garage, where they created BackRub -- now known as Google.

Every company we know and love began as a small, local passion project.

As Foolish investors, we love these inspiring stories of entrepreneurship, so we've partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) to learn more about some of the best and brightest local start-ups. Several times each year, MAVA hosts TechBUZZ -- a day for companies to pitch their start-up stories to private equity investors and other entrepreneurs. The Motley Fool was on hand at the most recent TechBUZZ, at AOL's FishBowl Labs, and we're excited to share the stories of 10 of the start-ups who presented. Click on a company name below for the full article.

Company NamePresenter Title 
Athena Power  Raj Lakhiani  CEO
Attentiv  Daniel Russell  Founder
Bubbl  Mauhan Zonoozy  CEO

Buzzmark

 Mathias Entenmann  Co-founder and chairman
Esplota  Ranieri A Mestroni  Founder
First Mile Geo  Matt McNabb  CEO
Jewelbots   George Stocker  VP, software engineering
RelishMBA   Sarah Rumbaugh  CEO
YOPP  Shana Lawlor  Founder and CEO

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.