When I entered the auditorium, the palpable feeling of ambition and passion were undeniable. It so filled the room that I couldn’t help but to stop and marvel at all the young, yet brilliant talent at every corner.
The Lulu eGames
has quickly become a hallmark for the young and vibrant NC State entrepreneurship community. Backed by the Entrepreneurship Initiative, which has grown to nearly 700 student members that span across colleges, the university has inspired students to believe, now more than ever, that they can be entrepreneurs and make a difference.
The afternoon started with the testimonies of three exceptional young entrepreneurs, all products of the Entrepreneurship Initiative. The panel consisted of Sharon Bui
, the co-president and marketing director of sorority fashion startup Frill LLC
, Tyler Confrey-Maloney
, CEO and co-founder of the maker of date rape preventing nail polish called Undercover Colors
, and David Shaner
, founder of Offline
, the app that helps people find things to do in their city.
As I begin to scribble down notes I can’t help but note the common thread between the group, the fact that each founded their companies while in school. That adds some gravity to all they’ve accomplished relatively quickly in their short careers. It also makes them new role models for the aspiring entrepreneurs at NC State—proof of the endless career possibilities when they step out on a limb and chase their dreams.
While there were many valuable takeaways from the panel, three points stuck out to me as valuable for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs.
Point 1#: It’s not where you start, but where you end up.
Frill and Offline never made it past the first round of the eGames. Both Sharon and David spoke on the effect that the failed experience had on the trajectory of their businesses. It not only motivated them to get better, but also helped to propel them forward. Sharon swiftly noted that, “It taught me to really know the ins and outs of my business.”
Here’s the full list of winners:
HQ Membership Winner: 1.) Royal Falcon Art 2.) Warpspec Diagnostic 3.) Awear headband 4.) Snap Pack 5.) Inventive Artist
Design/Prototype Challenge 1.) Bee Downtown 2.) Autotap 3.) Hammersight
Judges choice: Split between all winners
Arts Feasibility Study 1.) Inventive Art 2.) Artline 3.) Royal Falcon Art
Judges Choice: Brushwell & Minimail
Verizon Student Challenge 1.) Freshspire 2.) Campus Tradition 3.) Walk Potato Judges
Choice: All 4 participating companies got money
New Venture Challenge 1.) Warpspec Diagnostic 2.) Bee Downtown 3.) Purple Sticker
Judges Choice: Bee Downtown, Impact Tech, & Awear Headband