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2020 Entrepreneurship Scholars Announced

NC State Belltower surrounded by autumn trees

NC State Entrepreneurship Scholarships are awarded to deserving NC State students who have outstanding achievements in or involvements with entrepreneurship activities. The awarded money is intended to cultivate a diverse, multidisciplinary community of emerging leaders as they prepare to address the complex challenges facing society. 

“We are grateful for the philanthropic contributions of alumni and friends that have made these scholarships possible. Last year, NC State Entrepreneurship offered our very first scholarship and this year we have been able to extend that opportunity to 6 scholars,” said Jennifer Capps, Director of Student Learning and Faculty Development at NC State Entrepreneurship. 

2020 Entrepreneurship Scholars

Pippin Payne – e5x Entrepreneurship Scholar and NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Pippin is a senior double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Religious Studies. He also is pursuing a minor in Business Administration from the Poole College of Management.

Pippin’s campus involvement includes being the Student President of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program, a program designed to better develop the next generation of engineering leaders. He is also involved in Consult Your Community, a student organization that provides pro-bono consulting services to local small businesses and non-profits. At NC State, Pippin has served as a business analyst and engagement manager, and he has also served on the national leadership team as a National Innovation Analyst.

Additionally, Pippin is the co-founder of Peak Coffee Processing, an internationally recognized social venture that works to make the coffee industry more sustainable. In 2019, Peak Coffee Processing was awarded 2nd place at the Global Grand Challenges Summit for startups developed by undergraduate engineers, and it also finished in the top 10 environmental groups at the University Startup World Cup, competing against more than 270 startups from 65 countries.

Jared N. Clark – NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Jared is an incoming freshman in the College of Engineering where he is earning his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Renewable Electric Energy Systems (REES). He is also planning on furthering his entrepreneurial background by minoring in entrepreneurship through the Poole College of Management.

When he starts his freshman year at NC State in the fall, the first thing he plans to do is join the SolarPack team. Joining this group of innovative and like-minded peers who are striving to create sustainable transportation by using solar panels will prepare him for his career in renewable energy. Jared also plans on joining the NCSU Chi Alpha Christian Community. 

Flynn Cruse – NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Flynn is currently a Junior in the College of Engineering where he is working towards a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He is also working towards a minor in Business Entrepreneurship from the Poole College of Management. He has been considering adding an additional minor in Computer Science as he has discovered a deep interest in artificial intelligence.

Flynn was recently selected to be a member of the NC State Entrepreneurship Ambassador program. This will allow him the opportunity to share his passion for entrepreneurship with his friends and peers. He has been a member of many organizations at NC State, from club gymnastics, boxing, and intramural soccer to the more professional motorsport’s world with the NC State Baja team!

Katie Lawson – NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Katie is a junior in Industrial and Systems Engineering, minoring in Cognitive Science. She plans to apply for the accelerated Industrial and Systems Engineering masters program at NC State. 

Katie aims to be a leader within the field of neurological research – exploring applications like effective education/communication by measuring neurological activity during social interactions and getting introduced to a neural-controlled prosthesis. Her desire to work with people and improve their quality of life motivates her to pursue challenging research projects and to develop innovative solutions that can be implemented for a positive impact.

Jenna Lehrke – NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Jenna is a senior studying Business Administration in the Poole College of Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Her goal is to launch and run a nonprofit that helps lower-income families market their skills to earn money and support their families in more profitable and enjoyable ways than are conventionally available to them. 

During her time at NC State Jenna joined the Sigma Alpha Omega sorority and serves as Chair. This has given her the opportunity to meet amazing and inspiring young women. This has also given her the opportunity to learn about many diverse views, given the many different backgrounds and majors in the sorority.

Nick Sischo – NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar

Nick is a Senior in the College of Natural Resources, earning a B.S. in Environmental Technology and Management with a minor in Computer Science from the College of Engineering. 

During his time at NC State, he was involved in many unique activities all tied to NC State Entrepreneurship. From winning the first-ever Make-a-Thon and Wolf Den, third place at Lulu eGames, to pursuing two research opportunities and founding his own startup. Most recently, he was named an NC State Entrepreneurship Scholar for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

He is most proud of giving back to NC State Entrepreneurship by working as an Entrepreneurship Mentor in the Albright Entrepreneurs Village. This allowed him to pass his experience on to other residents and provide guidance as they traverse the same challenges as he did. He is proud to have guided programming and events for the Albright Entrepreneurs Village, to cover nuanced entrepreneurship topics, and to help shape the new cohort of NC State entrepreneurs. 

Entrepreneurship Scholarships Available

e5x Entrepreneurship Scholarship

The e5x Entrepreneurship Scholarship was established through a generous donation from JiNan Glasgow George to support NC State student entrepreneurs who have demonstrated initiative, determination, a “Think and Do” attitude and a commitment to entrepreneurial excellence in their daily lives. The concept behind the name of the scholarship is that by supporting students now, there will be a 5x return on investment in future impact.  

NC State Entrepreneurship Scholarship

NC State Entrepreneurship Scholarships are funded through philanthropic contributions of alumni and friends. NC State Entrepreneurship Scholarships are awarded to deserving NC State students who have outstanding achievements in or involvements with entrepreneurship activities.

Sameer Murarka Entrepreneurship Scholarship

The Sameer Murarka Entrepreneurship Scholarship was established in 2019 by Ragini and Ishwar Murarka to honor the memory and entrepreneurial spirit of their son, Sameer.  Sameer displayed the traits of an entrepreneur from a young age: the ability to observe, identify needs and develop creative solutions. Ragini and Ishwar Murarka, Sameer’s parents and the donors to this scholarship, wish to support emerging, ethical entrepreneurs who think beyond boundaries to give people what they never thought possible, just like Sameer did.


To apply for Entrepreneurship Scholarships, students must visit PackAssist.