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EEP Team Represents NC State at the 2022 ACC InVenture Prize Entrepreneurship Competition

Meet the team representing NC State and competing against 14 other ACC schools at this Shark Tank-style competition being held at Florida State University on April 2, 2022.

Abilihand logo

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize Competition is an entrepreneurship competition like no other. Every year, each of the 15 ACC schools selects their best entrepreneurial team to go and compete in this Shark Tank-style event awarding students $30,000 in cash prizes. The competition is broadcasted live on PBS stations across the ACC, highlighting the exceptional creativity and ingenuity of the student competitors. This year, Florida State University serves as the host university and the competition will take place on April 2 at 7 p.m. E.T.

“Participating in national and international competitions is a great way for NC State Entrepreneurship students to broaden their horizons.  Not only do they gain valuable experience in pitching their ideas, but they also increase their own personal visibility, along with the visibility of NC State Entrepreneurship, to other universities,” said Jenn Capps, Interim Assistant Vice Provost for NC State Entrepreneurship and ACC InVenture Prize faculty advisor. “Of course, we always hope that NC State teams will bring home the prize money as well, but in our eyes, they are winners regardless!  We proudly support these teams as they show off their hard work and earn recognition for their efforts,” Capps added.

Meet the Team Representing NC State 

Representing NC State is team Abilihand, a team of 6 College of Engineering students with a mission to help those who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. This debilitating disease causes weakened grip strength and does not allow normal functionality in the hands, affecting half of all men and one-fourth of all women by the age of 85.

Abilihand is a 3D-printed wrist-attached exoskeleton that increases the person’s grip strength and fine tunes motor skills in the hand. First, compression textiles reduce pain and inflammation in the joints and a powered exoskeleton is layered on top applying the desired amount of force to greatly improve grip strength.

The team has already undergone a virtual round of Q&A with the judges and will be flying to Florida State University for the live competition on April 2.

Meet the Abilihand Team Members

The team came together while completing their engineering senior design project through the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program. This program allows students to choose an engineering problem and form an entrepreneurial venture or product aimed to solve or mitigate the problem. In a small team environment, students take on challenges, create solutions and prepare products, such as Abilihand, for the market.

“The Abilihand team contains highly motivated engineering students, and the team has picked a problem faced by Brandon’s uncle, who has Rheumatoid arthritis,” said Marshall Brain II, Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program. “This is a perfect example of the kinds of projects that students are able to work on in the EEP. Teams all start with a blank sheet of paper. They pick the problem or pain point they want to solve, and then they create a product and a startup company around their solution,” Brains shared.

Team Members

Help Abilihand Win $5,000

The team needs your help collecting votes to earn the $5,000 People’s Choice award. To vote, text NCState to 415-965-7445. Votes will be accepted from March 28 through April 2.

You can learn more about People’s Choice voting and view pitch videos for all competing teams by visiting this website

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