Distanced, Not Disengaged: Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition and YEPex Go Virtual

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The University of North Carolina Wilmington and the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, announce the fifth annual Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition and second annual YEPex Youth Summit will be held virtually on May 1.

Originally slated to take place in Kenan Auditorium, the event will be hosted via a Zoom webinar at 10 a.m. on May 1. Brian Hamilton, founder of the Brian Hamilton Foundation, is the keynote speaker. Radio personality Brandon "Bigg B" Hickman will emcee the event for the second year in a row.

The competition was founded to expand the week-long summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program. This year’s top six teams represent Wilmington Early College, Topsail High School, Southwest Onslow High School, Cape Fear Academy, Isaac Bear Early College and John T. Hoggard High School. The student teams’ ideas range from improving litter detection to assisting with athletic recruitment.

The winners will be announced live during the summit. Launched in 2019, YEPex is a yearlong experience of monthly meetups for students in grades 9-12 to connect with local entrepreneurs to get an idea of what it takes to start a business. 

“Aidan Shepard, a previous winner (twice) is in his freshman year at UNCW. One of this year’s finalists is coming to UNCW this fall,” said Laura Brogdon-Primavera, manager of programs and operations at the UNCW CIE and YEPex. “Now is a great time to share some good news and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done with youth entrepreneurship.”

Teachers, parents and students across the region may register for the event online. It will also be streamed live on Facebook.

-- Caroline Cropp