UNCW’s Third Annual Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition Names Winners

Monday, April 23, 2018

UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosted a group of industrious North Carolina high schoolers as they pitched business proposals April 21. The students, all finalists in the third annual Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship competition, had only six minutes to convince a panel of judges that their team’s enterprise was the best.

Students from 18 southeastern North Carolina counties were invited to participate in the competition, with six teams of students making it to this weekend’s finals.

“In a free market like ours, entrepreneurship is critical,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “But how do you get people interested in starting the journey to the next big idea? This is why I wanted to start this competition, to incentivize more creativity, more innovation, more entrepreneurs.”

After careful deliberation, judges awarded first prize in the business concept track to the team from Isaac Bear Early College and first prize in the nonprofit track to West Columbus High School. The winners in each category were:

Business Concept (For Profit) Track

  • First Place: Isaac Bear Early College with “Peregrine” – Stefano Dongowski and Max Stoumen
  • Second Place: Laney High School with “Bus Now” – Lili Kooyman and Kasey Cummings
  • Third Place: West Columbus High School with “Safe Trigger” – Ashlynn Dickerson, Alexis Bowen, Kaylyn Horne and Timothy Soles

Social Enterprise (Nonprofit) Track

  • First Place: West Columbus High School with “Hang Free Hammocks” – Nicole McClary, Jordan Nance, Greyanna Booth and Kasey Collins
  • Second Place: Topsail High School with “Honey Sticks for Hungry Kids” – Aidan Shepard
  • Third Place: Hoggard High School with “Globolit” – Mikala Parnell and Elizabeth MacDonald

First-place winners received $1,500 in cash; second-place winners, $1,000; third-place winners, $500. Winners also received trophies and a copy of The Lean Entrepreneur, a book by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits.

UNCW’s Strategic Plan encourages collaborative partnerships and increasing the university’s community, regional and global impact.

-- Christina Schechtman