As is a tradition for Entrepalooza, the entrepreneurship festival showcased a wide variety of products and services representing different markets—from eco-friendly products that employ women across the world, to energy drinks, sustainable fashion, and supplement shakes to name a few.
Although the event on Sept. 24 marked the 6th anniversary of Entrepalooza, this year was the first time it was held digitally. “As many universities across the globe have realized, taking a traditionally in-person event and translating it to a virtual environment is tricky, to say the least; however digital events are virtually opening up the door to participants from coast-to-coast as well as alumni that have not been able to participate in the past given distance barriers,” said Monica Smith, Marketing and Community Development Manager for NC State Entrepreneurship. The festival also attracted faculty, staff and community members, and even some friends from Denmark, India, Taiwan and Australia.
Digital Entrepalooza started with an introduction by host Cedric Clyburn, an entrepreneurship ambassador and engineering sophomore. Attendees were then able to experience entrepreneurship at NC State through interactive demos and activities hosted by student, faculty/staff and alumni ventures. This year’s demo showcase included 19 ventures including 321 Coffee, 700 Rivers, Angry Angel Energy Drinks, Albright Entrepreneurs Village, Arts Entrepreneurship, Betabox, College of Engineering, Folux Labs LLC, Hempsmith, NC State Entrepreneurship, NC State Libraries, Paradigm Innovation, Proteios Shakes, Raleigh Founded, Reborn Clothing Co, Sani, SKEMA, Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Uncapped Calligraphy
Following the demo, Lewis Sheats, Assistant Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Clinic, led a fireside chat with Ritika & Niki Shamdasani, Co-founders of Sani, and Carol Vercellino, CEO and Co-founder of Oak City Labs.
After the fireside chats, ten brave students participated in Minute-To-Pitch-It, our rapid-fire elevator pitch competition where students submit a 1-minute pitch for the chance to win $1,000 for the audience choice award and $1,000 judges choice award. To their surprise, and thanks to the generosity of University Advancement, three student teams walked away with a cumulative total of $4,500. Senior Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Thomas Miller, announced this year’s winners and had the opportunity to bring each winning team to the digital stage so they could say a few words of thanks. This year’s Minute-To-Pitch-It participants were:
- Covfefe – An alternative, sustainable way to grow coffee to fill the diminishing land that is currently able to produce coffee. 1st place, audience choice award.
- Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats – Empowering differently-abled adults to pursue meaningful careers and community involvement through our dog treat business. 2nd place, audience choice award.
- Kalia Health – A biotech company committed to improving access to maternal health care around the world. 1st place, judge’s choice award.
- Edge – Edge is a cloud-based platform that simplifies the scholarship search and application process.
- EXO MECHANICS – A brain-controlled exoskeleton device designed to restore full physical activity to paralyzed and injured individuals.
- I/O Smart Devices – A proximity-based smart outlet that turns on and off devices based on your location, which effectively reduces your phantom electricity consumption.
- Swypl – A multiplayer app that finds the perfect spot for a group or couple’s outing with an intuitive card-swiping interface.
- The 365 Project – An analysis of Restorative justice benefits for social reform and overall mental health awareness.
- Traumatic Direct Transfusion Devices LLC – Optimizing the medic’s ability to perform life-saving interventions by improving hard and soft systems to make the medic more efficient in the field.
- Whaleshark – An autonomous robot that uses a very cheap and eco-friendly method to remove microplastics from water.