Last September, UNC-Chapel Hill seniors Lauren Gil and Mansi Vakil sat with three other classmates in an entrepreneurship course, trying to generate startup ideas.
Naturally, the conversation began to devolve into discussing the “real world.” Namely, the group discussed the uncertainty surrounding their job prospects, and the difficulty they faced in finding valuable work experience that fit into their heavy course load. It’s a conversation that happens in university settings across the world: Seniors, a month into their final school year, begin to stress about graduation and job prospects.
“All of us realized we had the same problem,” Gil says, noting that their original group discussion included two Danish students and one from Hong Kong. “We just saw this was a global problem across all cultures, and thought it would be a great idea to [pursue].”
Fast forward through a few months of market research and user testing, and that conversation had turned into a business idea with some legs.
Unisource, the result of that September conversation, is an online platform connecting college students with project-based work opportunities inside of early stage startups. On Thursday night, the fledgling startup earned first place honors at the Carolina Challenge—UNC’s annual year-long startup competition—and took home $10,000 in prize money.
“We’re in the development stage,” Gil says, explaining that Unisource will use the prize money to continue building out their app. Before rolling the app out fully, however, Gil and Vakil will ensure that customers are being matched properly.
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