North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues is set to host the Raleigh Discovery Forum on December 1, next Tuesday, starting at 5:30 in downtown Raleigh. The event gives young social entrepreneurs the chance to pitch business concepts and a shot at $10,000 in seed funding.

Ten young social entrepreneurs will pitch their new or current business concept during the program, which, according to organizers, seeks to inspire, promote, and train community based social entrepreneurs who are using their talents to improve North Carolina.

This event is the sixth and final event of its kind hosted by the Institute for Emerging Issues. Other events occurred earlier this fall in Boone, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greenville, and Wilmington. The Discovery Forum Series is a complement to IEI’s InnovateNC project, said Alecia Page, Emerging Leaders Fellow at the Institute for Emerging Issues, who is coordinating the Raleigh event.

“Both are trying to encourage the formation and development of new ideas in more places across the state with a goal of improving their communities,” said Page, “The Discovery Forums focus specifically on social entrepreneurship by young adults.” In contrast, InnovateNC is helping five communities across the state further develop their innovation ecosystems in ways that promote entrepreneurship in a two-year program.

“We wanted a dedicated social entrepreneurship event focused on nurturing and showcasing the great ideas coming from the state’ young adults,” said Page. “Many entrepreneurship competitions can be intimidating, squeeze out younger talent, or simply don’t feel like “home” for social entrepreneurs.”

More than 80 folks are expected to attend the event, said Page, which is free and open to the public, and registration is available online. Winners of the event are chosen by the audience in attendance, not by a panel of judges. The prize money is furnished from BB&T, a sponsoring organization of the Institute for Emerging Issues. BB&T will also provide a weekend-long leadership training program for all six of the regional finalists. Organizers are encouraging people to attend the event to see what young social entrepreneurs are working on in the region. There is an event hashtag, #RaleighDiscovery, so those that can’t attend in person can follow on social media.

The companies set to pitch are:

  • Bee Downtown: “More Than Just a Beesness”
  • Nicotrax, Inc.
  • Hypestarter
  • Donation Delivery
  • Noble Nourishment (N2)
  • SuperkidCARE
  • Financial Literacy for the Community
  • C.L.U.T.C.H. Closet invests in your Success
  • Carolina Language Communities: Find Your New Family Today.
  • Stories in Motion: Your Story, Your Community, Your Music.