DURHAM – Governor Roy Cooper’s Entrepreneurship Council (GEC) announced an overwhelming response to its call for participants in the inaugural North Carolina Entrepreneur Corps (NCEC), which is being launched today.

One hundred nine students from 27 universities and community colleges applied for the prestigious Corps for 36 slots.

NCEC is the first initiative of the Council and is a volunteer effort to involve university and community college students from around the state in making North Carolina government more efficient and effective through technology.

The student teams represent North Carolina’s rich and diverse talent. Students are participating from schools such as North Carolina A&T University to Wayne Community College to Duke University to UNC-Chapel Hill.

Student groups selected one of three challenges to tackle in partnership with the state’s Department of Information Technology.  Among them: developing a strategic marketing campaign to attract young tech talent to state government; creating an Alexa-activated tool set for the State of North Carolina that can address key information and service delivery areas on NC.gov; and leveraging the code and API to create analytics dashboard for the State of North Carolina and its citizens.

Michael Goodmon, chairman of the NCEC and Senior Vice President of Capitol Broadcasting Company, the parents company of WRAL TechWire, heralded the interest by students.

“While early, the level of interest among our students to work with state government shows that this generation is ready to roll up its sleeves and improve the lives of everyone around our state,” he said. “We look forward to seeing what these bright minds bring forward to the Governor this spring.”

Each student team has been paired with a mentor in the Department of Information Technology at the State as well as a member of the GEC. Students will advance their projects over the next 45 days through lean business model approaches, interviews, and design thinking. They will share their final results with Governor Cooper in April.

College students tasked with solving key challenges facing the state