Sixteen teams of entrepreneurial students, faculty and staff from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill competed for $25,500 in prize money.

Last Saturday, April 16th, the teams proposed ventures as diverse as an on-campus grocery delivery service, a nonprofit combating illiteracy and a patented nosebleed prevention device in the first Carolina Challenge entrepreneurial business plan competition.

These semifinalists emerged from more than 50 that began competing in December. Teams included at least one UNC student, faculty or staff member and enter in two categories: business ventures and social ventures, those created to benefit society.

Plans were presented to a panel of judges– successful entrepreneurs and business people, as well as community and university leaders.

“This is the type of experience students long for — applying what they learn in the classroom to the real world,” said Bart Welch, a UNC junior business major who is co-chairman of the competition’s planning team. “The CEI has allowed these teams to get the knowledge and skills they need to make their ideas become reality.”

The Carolina Challenge is designed to identify and support outstanding entrepreneurial ventures, including those in the emerging area of social entrepreneurship, from all schools and departments throughout UNC. Activities span the academic year, beginning in the fall with recruitment and team-formation activities to attract the best ideas and demonstrate the value of participating in and winning the competition.

Awards were given in both categories at the following levels:
• Grand prize ($7,000),
• Second place ($3,000)
• Honorable mention ($1,000, with two awards in each category)

The top prize in the commercial category is the Stedman Award, named to honor the late John Stedman, banker and entrepreneur.

The following is a list of semifinalists with award (if any):
COMMERCIAL TRACK

Centauri

• Seke Ballard (junior, Business and Philosophy)
• Jessica Crowell (sophomore, Business and Chemistry)
• Jim Lefler (junior, Public Policy)
• Justin Wade (junior, Business)

Centauri utilizes remote–access technology to provide residential– and small– business PC users with a convenient, affordable and secure computer repair and maintenance solution.

Cobblestone Antiques & Collectibles

• Wendy Wilkins (MBA graduate student)
• Tola Oguntoyinbo (Journalism masters graduate student)

By applying standards, technology and scale to a fragmented industry, Cobblestone will open a nationwide chain of clean, inviting and networked retail stores that provide a comfortable and friendly environment for our customers.

Collegegrocer.net Finalist ($3000)People’s Choice Award ($1500)

• Chris Musick (freshman, Business)
• Todd Siena (freshman, Business)

CollegeGrocer.Net, a student–owned–and–operated business, will service the on–campus residing students at UNC Chapel Hill who want the convenience of to–the–room delivery, coupled with superior quality and selection.

Dovetail Industries Honorable Mention ($1000)

• “Tre” Archie V Jones III (senior, Political Science)
• Archie V Jones Jr. (not UNC affiliated)

Dovetail Industries manufactures gardening enclosures and mailbox planters utilizing our patented “tapered dovetail” technology.

Phorcast Honorable Mention ($1000)

• Scott Oloff (Pharmacology graduate student)
• Ruchir Shah (Applied Science graduate student)

Phorcast is a cheminformatic consulting company for small to mid–size pharmaceutical companies that may not have a cheminformatician on staff.

Rams Shuttle Service

• William Clifton Green II (senior, Psychology)
• Chun Ming Miu (senior, Business)
• Nicolas Grueff (senior, Environmental Studies)
• Daehyun Kim (UNC alumnus)

Rams Shuttle Service is a Chapel Hill–based transportation services company. The company’s objective is to provide direct and convenient transportation for UNC students and staff to local areas of interest.

Remed Ease 1st Place Stedman Award ($7,000)

• Amy Rix (UNC Staff)
• Tom Sekel (not UNC affiliated)

An innovative, patented first–aid treatment/product for stopping nosebleeds quickly and effectively, without having to put anything up your nose and allowing you to continue breathing normally.

SPICE!

• Sarah Chasnovitz (Law graduate student)
• Beth Richardson (not UNC affiliated)
• Rebecca Chasnovitz (junior, Infectious Disease)

SPICE! Simply twist your way to faster flavor SPICE! seasoning blends bring faster, easier flavor to today’s fast–paced society. Our unique grinding mechanism releases flavor immediately, cutting down on cooking time, and our pre–mixed blends eliminate the need for complicated recipes.

SOCIAL TRACK

The Alliance Center

• Joey Woodyard (UNC staff)
• Will Hall (UNC staff)

The Alliance Center is a not–for–profit community center with a mission of promoting overall wellness in the community amid a climate of acceptance and diversity.

Carolina Community Solutions

• Julie Stein (graduate student, City and Regional Planning/Land Use and Environmental Planning specialization)
• Melissa McMahon (graduate student, City and Regional Planning/Public Health)
• Amber Levofsky (graduate student, MBA and Urban and Regional Planning)
• Keren Or Israeli (graduate student, City and Regional Planning/Economic Development and Community Economic Development specializations)

Carolina Community Solutions will be a nonprofit social venture with the mission of providing diverse community planning and development services to local governments and organizations in North Carolina regardless of size or ability to pay.

Center for ACTION

• David Campbell (freshman)
• Garrett Kemble (freshman)

The Center for ACTION is an educational facility for energy conservation technologies and alternative energy sources, fostering the ideals of sustainability and environmental responsibility through advocacy and example.

DaVinci Group International

• Charles H. Douthitt (senior, Economics with Entrepreneurship Minor)
• Jordan Qualls (law graduate student)

DaVinci Group International’s proposal calls for the establishment of the nation’s first, public, residential high school for foster children to address the dismal statistics foster children are often faced with after graduation.

Indochine by the StreetWise Management Team Honorable Mention ($1000)

• Van T. Tran (sophomore, Economics)
• Amber Morehouse (sophomore, Sociology)
• Claire Chun (not UNC affiliated)
• Jingjing Zhou (not UNC affiliated)

Indochine, based in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, Vietnam presents a holistic approach to business success and social change. This restaurant of fine Vietnamese–French fusion cuisine helps to develop its supply chain, which consists of organic local family farms based on a direct contractual relationship. The restaurant facility functions as a training institution where professionals help train previously homeless street youth ages 16–22 to truly embark on a self–sufficient stage of life.

New Worlds through Literature 1st Place ($7,000)

• Lindsay Johnson (sophomore, Communications and English)
• Patrick Elliot (junior, Political Science)
• Leah Peroutka (sophomore, Music)
• Zach Clayton (sophomore, Business Administration)

New Worlds through Literature is a foundation that facilitates and organizes the donation of enriching literature and libraries to people of all ages, who do not have prior access to such literature, thereby enriching society as a whole.

Nourish International Finalist ($3000)

• Sindhura Citineni (UNC alumnus)
• Thomas Thekkekandam (UNC alumnus)
• James Cummings (UNC Alumnus)
• Kamal Menghrajani (undergraduate student, Biology)
• Joel Thomas (undergraduate student, Biology)
• Naman Shah (undergraduate student, Biology)
• Maria Thekkekandam (undergraduate student, Nutrition)

Nourish International (NI) implements sustainable strategies to alleviate global malnutrition by bridging socio–economic gaps and developing socially conscious entrepreneurs. NI creates affordable opportunities to serve impoverished communities through ordinary consumerism.

Orange.Living Honorable Mention ($1000)

• Sean Murphy (not UNC affiliated)
• Jeanne Murphy (UNC staff)
• Charles Burdick (MBA graduate student)

Orange.Living will design and supply a unique series of modern homes that are reasonably sized, energy efficient and environmentally responsible. The homes will utilize an innovative system–built process where factory–built components are assembled on site. The system will reduce waste, labor requirements and construction time dramatically while improving quality and stabilizing price. Our homes will provide homebuyers with homes that have simple open floor plans, natural daylighting, and recycled and renewable materials throughout. By combining the simplest, most cost–effective design practices for energy efficiency with the latest energy–saving technologies, our homeowners will see at least a 50 percent reduction in energy costs compared to a conventional home.

Visit: www.unc.edu/cei