Julian Wooten has an idea.
While completing the nanomedicine program in the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill, the 26-year-old launched Students and Teachers Employing New Criteria in Learning, or better known as STENCIL.
STENCIL is cloud-based student information software that allows teachers to manage student attendance, behavior, and course performance data. STENCIL also has the added functionality of predicting if a student is at risk of dropping out of high school.
The program helps teachers manage student data and track student progression versus the warning signs of dropping out of high school, according to Wooten. The software administers an alert if students are in danger of attrition.
“For every four students that begin high school, one won’t finish,” Wooten explained. “So, I really wanted to launch this program to save our schools from crisis.”
The company is led by Wooten and Cameron Musler, also a student at UNC Chapel Hill.
It was this passion and dedication for helping others that led to Wooten’s selection as a finalist for the North Carolina Emerging Issues for Innovation Prize for his software from the Institute for Emerging Issues earlier this summer.
The Emerging Issues for Innovation Prize challenged college and high school students to come up with an innovative idea to increase North Carolina’s high school graduation rate. Nearly 70 teams submitted applications of which five teams in each category were selected as finalists.
After more than 12,000 votes were cast, this year’s winners were “Studio Lounge” from Richmond Senior High School and “LinkedUp” from UNC Greensboro.
Wooten, however, has just completed a statewide tour of entrepreneurial meetings presenting his business model and will join four other companies in the prestigious incubator, Carolina Launch Pad.
Started in 2009 by the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), the UNC Chapel Hill Office of Technology Development (OTD) and UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Carolina Launch Pad assists UNC Chapel Hill faculty, students and staff looking to turn their ideas and technical prototypes into viable technology businesses.
In addition to office space with Internet connectivity and supplies, each company that participates in Launch Pad has the chance to consult with RENCI technical staff and learn from the coaching, mentoring and presentations of professionals with OTD, the business school, and the local business community.
STENCIL will join three other startups this fall along with current Launch Pad participant Impulsonic Inc., which joined the program after the start of the last program year and will stay through September.
“I am very hopeful that this will make a difference in the administration of education. I look forward to launching more programs such as this because protecting education for future generations begins with us,” Wooten closed.