RALEIGH – A biodegradable duct tape made from sustainable materials called Yuptape – that was the winning idea selected by a panel of judges at NC State’s Entrepreneurship’s annual Entrepalooza festival on Thursday night.

The prize: $2,250 in hard cash.

“No one is looking into this right now,” said Yuptape’s 21-year-old creator Halen Mattison, a NC State senior.

With his earnings, he plans to refine the development process and supply chain issues. “My concern right now is figuring out how to market it against some of the big brands, Shurtape and Duck Tape, but I think it’s an issue we can overcome.”

Participants in Entrepalooza on Thursday night.

Yuptape’s 21-year-old creator Halen Mattison.

More than 1,200 students, faculty and staff turned out for the pitch competition, which included 10 groups, with each getting 60 seconds to pitch their ideas.

The audience choice award went to a group who developed an app called YouFirst, which offers clear conversations with medical professionals.

The team – including Kevin Dadhaniya, 21, Alon Greyber, 20, Bailey Blankenship, 22, and Zafar Ahsan, 22 – also received a $2,250 prize.

“We’re putting this app into coding and getting resources for us to communicate with more medical professionals, so we can gather better questions that can help update the app,” said Ahsan.

Added Dadhaniya: “This is not the last that you’ve seen of us. We have a bunch of ideas cooking.”

Tom Miller, NC State senior vice provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship, applauded the lineup of ideas. He also said the event is important for driving innovation and entrepreneurship in society.

“These students are incredibly bright and innovative. This entrepreneurship helps them turns their dreams into a reality,” he said.

Entrepalooza is in its fifth year running.  The evening also included demos, free food and networking on campus.

Some of the organizations participating at the event included NC State’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs,  the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, the College of Engineering, NC State Libraries and the Entrepreneurship Ambassadors.