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Student Ventures Drive Social and Environmental Impact in the Lulu eGames

By Iman Usmani, BSC Associate

The Social and Environmental Impact Category in the Lulu eGames saw another excellent showing this year with 33 student ventures participating in the first round of the competition. The Lulu eGames is NC State’s annual startup competition, with over $100k in prizes available for NC State entrepreneurs. Students can compete in 6 categories  – New Venture, Design and Prototype, Social and Environmental Impact, Built on Cloud, Arts Venture and the Daugherty Endowment which is by invitation only.

The Social and Environmental Impact category was added in 2016 in collaboration with NC State Poole College Business Sustainability Collaborative. The track supports student ventures that demonstrate they are using the power of business to solve environmental and social challenges. Finalist teams are chosen by a panel of judges across a variety of industries and were selected based on a two-page executive summary and video pitch.


The Lulu eGames is sponsored by the online publishing company, Lulu, a certified B Corporation. The Social and Environmental Impact category is sponsored by the Business Sustainability Collaborative, local B Corporations and several other NC State programs and initiatives. Our generous 2018 sponsors include:

The competition awards over $100,000 in prizes overall and $10,000 for the Social and Environmental Impact category. For the Social Impact category, the first place team receives $4,500, second place receives $2,500 and third place receives $1,500. There were also the judges’ choice award and the fan favorite video where the audience choose which team had the best video advertising their venture.

Judging takes place in two rounds. Round 1 where judges review and score initial entries consisting of a two-page application and 60-second video to identify the seven finalist teams. Round 2 where judges review and score the top seven business plans and provide feedback at an in-person pitch round on Friday, March 23.

2018 Finalists

  • 321 Coffee: 321 Coffee is a growing coffee shop that is completely staffed by individuals with special needs. Team: Lindsay Were and Elise Romola
  • Cao Hydrogen Electrolyzer: Cao is a new electrolyzer capable of converting water and electricity into hydrogen gas. Team: Oscar Llama, Jake Trimble, Frankie Womack, Benjamin Tennant and Adam Read
  • Chemios: Chemios is a revolutionary cloud laboratory that makes chemistry research more efficient, accessible, and affordable. Team: Kobi Felton, Chandler Gonzales, Shraddha Rathod and Casey Hillenberg
  • Cup’t: Cup’t is taking customers from size to sale, accurately measuring women’s breast size and selecting the best retail options, redefining the bra shopping experience. Team: Madison Baldwin, Sarah Alenezi, Els Thijs and Erin Furgason
  • Freshspire: Freshspire is a network that connects food suppliers who have excess produce to restaurants who want to buy it at a lower cost. Team: Shraddha Rathod, Thomas Armstrong, Sofia Abdo, Emerson Barnhill and Rachel Poythress
  • Mitramag: Mitramag aims to provide a first and only, low risk, leaky heart valve fix for dogs leveraging a patented device that provides curative results to the 8 million dogs suffering from heart disease. Team: Oscar Llama, Jake Trimble, Frankie Womack, Benjamin Tennant and Adam Read
  • Sudsy: Sudsy is the bath bomb for your travel liquid toiletry needs. Team: Khushbu Madhiwala
  • Upstream Biotechnology, Inc.: Upstream Biotechnology uses patented technology to create broad-spectrum ddisease-resistantcrops to eliminate pesticide use, reduce farmers production cost by 10%, and increase crop yield. Team: Adam Fisher

Round 1 Judges

  • Rich Clerkin, Insitute for Nonprofits, NC State University
  • Tyler Daniel, Insitute for Nonprofits, NC State University
  • Monika Kondura, Lecturer, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Cris Maselle, Business to Business Marketing Communicatoins
  • Jessica Porta, Director, HQ Raleigh
  • Leigh Shamblin, Poole College of Management, NC State University
  • Adam Wanee, Attorney at Law, Forrest Firm

Round 2 Judges

(Left to right)

  • David Morris, Attorney at Law, Forrest Firm
  • Elizabeth Kelly, REX Health
  • Christina Smith, Consultant, The Redwoods Group (former)
  • Elizabeth Benefield, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, NC State University
  • Liz Tracy, Director, HQ Raleigh (former)

Lulu eGames LIVE

Thursday, Apr. 5 the Lulu eGames Awards Ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Talley Student Center when the top 3 winners in the Social and Environmental Impact category will be announced along with the winners from the other categories! Event Features:

  • Emcee’d by three-time Emmy award winning anchor/reporter, Renee Chou of WRAL-TV
  • Hear pitches from the winning teams and vote for your favorite team to win an additional $2,000
  • Visit the entrepreneurship expo to see all the finalist teams
  • Free food and fun giveaways

Space is limited and tickets are selling out quickly! Reserve your seat today!