The 2015 UNC Social Entrepreneurship Competition

On February 11th, UNCW was proud to support two teams of students at the UNC Social Entrepreneurship Conference Competition in Greensboro, NC. Both teams pitched their projects to a panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, representatives from NC State government and the UNC Board of Governors, and many others. Each team brought forth their social entrepreneurship projects, initiatives they designed with the help of their faculty mentors which aim to solve a social problem or need.

Meet the Teams

Renewable Recreation

SEC Undergraduate Team

Faculty Supervisor: Justine Reel
Founder and Team Lead: Parker Grissom
Social Media Manager: Ben Pierce
Philanthropic Fundraising: Mike Sikora
Student Body Communication Leader: Chuck Ogbodo
Non-profit Expert: Meg Young
Environmentalist Manager: Austin McGrayne

The undergraduate team's project is a sustainable energy project called Renewable Recreation. Utilizing sustainable energy sources in conjunction with electricity-generating cardiovascular exercise equipment, Renewable Recreation hopes to convert locally-owned gyms from energy consumers into energy producers.


SEC Graduate Team

Faculty Supervisor (Public Sociology): Jill Waity
Faculty Supervisor (Geography and Geology): Narcisa Pricope
Criminology & Public Sociology Graduate Student: Leigh Rice Brazel
Geography & Geology Graduate Student: Amelia Sosnowski
Public Sociology Undergraduates: Jessica Favatella, Brittany Gragg, Carrianne Leschak, Priscila Montoya, Sloane Philipp, Mandie Ross, Jennifer Stifter, and Olivia Setser

The MAPSS project works in two stages: First they utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map and classify social conditions and nonprofit resources. Then, after gathering and processing this information, they determine where there might be areas of spatial mismatch between the needs of a community and the deployment of nonprofit resources, offices, and other services that are designed to address those needs. MAPSS is not just a form of asset mapping, it's a decision making utility that can allow a nonprofit to evaluate their own deployment or relocation plans, to support the procurement of grants and funding, to determine the best and most efficient way to serve a community's needs, and so much more.

The 2015 UNC Social Entrepreneurship Competition and Future Plans and Directions

Teams from across the UNC System all met and pitched their social entrepreneurship projects to the judges this year and our UNCW teams faced some tough competition. While neither of the UNCW teams were selected as finalists, both teams have already started planning their next steps and looking for future funding sources and opportunities.

On February 20th, the Renewable Recreation team held a presentation and crowdfunding campaign at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote their social entrepreneurship project. Their efforts to raise money, awareness, and interest in their project are ongoing and they are optimistic about their future funding possibilities.

The MAPSS Team is currently pursuing other funding opportunities as well and outlining plans to make their mapping activities an applied learning experience that would give more undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in the project.

For more information about Social Entrepreneurship or about the competition itself, feel free to visit this year's UNC Social Entrepreneurship Conference Site