UNC's annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference encourages students, faculty and entrepreneurs from across the state to identify North Carolina’s social problems, and take a business-oriented approach to solving them. Hosted by UNC General Administration, this year's competition welcomed 40 team participants and was held at NC A&T State University in Greensboro on February 28.
First place winners in the undergraduate category were from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Hannah Sloan of New Bern and Shraddha Rathod of Charlotte proposed FreshSpire, a mobile application and texting system that could be used to notify low-income families when fresh produce and other healthy foods are being marked down for quick sale. Individuals would download the app to their smartphones or join a text message list serve at a participating local grocery store.
First place winners in the graduate category were from UNC Pembroke. Lewis Adams of Lilesville and Daniel Bougt of Stockholm, Sweden, laid out their plans to partner with a local non-profit to establish STARworks, an art retail shop in the Pembroke area. Their plan is built on a three-pronged strategy: create an affordable “public access” glass studio for artists; develop a glass-buying audience; and attract talented glass blowers to the area.