By Ian Hopkins, BSC Associate
NC State’s 11th annual Lulu eGames kicked off with a fantastic performance from student entrepreneurs in the Social and Environmental Impact category! The Lulu eGames is NC State’s annual startup competition where students can enter their ideas into one of the 6 categories: New Venture, Design & Prototype, Social and Environmental Impact, Arts Venture, Built on Cloud and Daugherty Endowment.
The 2019 eGames wrapped up on Thursday, April 3rd, at the Lulu eGames LIVE event which was hosted in Stewart Theater in Talley Student Union in front of over 500 audience members. The winners of the competition received prizes totaling over $100,000. The annual competition is sponsored by Lulu, an online publishing company and one of our local B Corp leaders. The Lulu eGames Social and Environmental Impact category, is hosted by the Poole College of Management’s Business Sustainability Collaborative. The category is for student ventures that are using the power of business to solve social and environmental issues.
The first place winner in this year’s social and environmental impact category was OpenGait Prosthetics. The company is actively working to restore mobility and independence to these individuals by providing high quality, low cost prosthetic solutions. OpenGait took first place in the Social and Environmental Impact category, second place in the Design and Prototype category, first place in the New Venture category and won the audience choice award–earning $5,000, $3,000, $10,000 and $1,000 from each of their awards, respectively.
OpenGait’s team consists of Aaron Fleming a second year PhD Student in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State, Dustin Prescott who recently received his MBA from NC State and Lindsay Sullivan a fourth year PhD Student in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. When asked about their biggest takeaway from the Lulu eGames, Lindsay had this to say, “Believe in your idea, if you really want to make a difference there are people out there to help.”
Portal Technologies, a countertop device that allows brands to access new audiences through the power of automated retail, took home second place in the Social and Environmental Impact category with a prize of $3,000. Their team consisted on Malay Shah, Goutham Subramanian, David Schuler, David Lovato and Hartley Leroy–all of whom are in NC State’s Engineering program.
Finally, Vital Guide, a company that allows hospital staff a solution to provide improved medical care and allows improved patient management to emergency waiting room patients, won third place in the Social and Environmental Impact Category with a prize of $2,000. Vital Guide is run by Chris Fesmire and Pratik Bendale, who are both graduate students in NC State College of Engineering.
Social and Environmental Impact Category Sponsors
Many thanks to the Social and Environmental Impact category sponsors NC State Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as local B Corporations Forrest Firm, HQ Raleigh, The Redwoods Group, Murphy’s Naturals, and Leaf & Limb.