All four team members are NC State seniors majoring in materials science. They developed a clear nail polish, which turns a color in the presence of date-rape drugs. The woman wearing the polish only needs to stir a painted finger in her drink to detect if it has been spiked. Team member Tyler Confrey says it is a “discrete” option compared to the test strips and drink coasters currently on the market.
With their prize money (totaling $12,250), the team plans to continue improving the reaction time of the polish, and then sell Undercover Colors online and on university campuses. According to Confrey, UNC Chapel Hill has already showed interest in making it available at freshman retreats.
Lesson #3: Get your “whys” straight.
“Your purpose needs to be clear,” says Moody. He explains how entrepreneurs need to know what their foundation is, as well as their reason for working the long hours start-ups require. When his first prototype for AuthenTec didn’t work, his wife served as his support system and champion to keep going. When AuthenTec went public, his children rang the Opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. For Moody, family is a very big “why.”
But Moody is quick to add that there is also the motivation to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Many of the services and products at the eGames attempt to do just that. The Ilithyia Birthing Bed gives mothers additional options for positions during labor and aims to reduce Cesarean section rates. The start-up ephRemedies uses an established drug to combat heart muscle damage after a heart attack.
Moody remembers a particular time when his impact on others became clear. “The day the iPhone 5s came out,” he recalls, my daughter sent me a text which said, ‘Every 5s sold in the world has your product. You may have changed cellular devices forever’.” Moody tells the students, “That’s what it’s all about.”