The Entrepreneurship Initiative recently announced the finalists for the 2017 Lulu eGames, NC State’s biggest startup competition. Students can compete in 6 categories – New Venture, Design and Prototype, Social Impact, Built on Cloud, Arts Venture and the Daugherty Endowment which is by invitation only. The Social Impact category was added last year in collaboration with NC State Poole College Business Sustainability Collaborative and supports student ventures that demonstrate they are using the power of business to solve environmental and social challenges
This year, the Lulu eGames had a record number of entries. 68 ventures entered the competition with 168 across all categories. Student teams can submit in multiple categories. The Social impact category received a record 33 entries, up from 15 last year, representing close to half of the total unique entries.. Finalist teams were chosen by a panel of judges across a variety of industries and were selected based on a two-page executive summary and video pitch.
The Social Impact category is sponsored by the Business Sustainability Collaborative , local B Corporations and several other NC State programs and initiatives. The B Corps are Seventh Generation, a leader in environmentally friendly cleaning products, the Redwoods Group, an insurance partner with a unique model, HQ Raleigh, an innovative co-working space working to strengthen the local entrepreneurship community and Murphy’s Naturals, a company that emphasize the importance of all-natural products. Along with these companies, BSC also partnered with the NC Sea Grant Program and the NC State Social Entrepreneurship Initiative of NC State to sponsor the Social Impact category.
The competition awards over $100,000 in prizes overall and $10,000 for the Social Impact category. For the Social Impact category, the first place team receives $4,500, second place receives $2,500 and third place receives $1,500. There were also the judges’ choice award and the fan favorite video where the audience chose which team had the best video advertising their venture.
The Social Impact category finalists were recently announced:
- Ataristicians is a venture that uses video games, artificial intelligence research and statistical teaching
- Atelier Ergonomics that is improving the productivity and wellness of employees in modern-day offices with ergonomic solutions
- Medtraq a compliance system that is working to reduce $9.8 billion in preventable healthcare costs involving hospital induced infection
- Rhythcor is working towards combating heart attacks among firefighters by monitoring the heart and alerting emergency services
- Rhythm is a venture that is a health monitoring system among firefighters
- Thrive Collection is a venture that is working towards collaborating with education in a nonprofit sector
- VieMetrics is a low-cost spirometer that can potentially predict future asthma attacks
The finalist teams include students from the College of Sciences, College of Design, College of Engineering, College of Textiles, Poole College of Management and the graduate school. The finalists are moving onto the next round where they will be interacting with judges, presenting their ventures and being evaluated accordingly. Like previous years, the winner will be introduced in the finale event, along with the winners of the other categories.