2016 ICE Award Winners


Every spring, the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship holds an annual Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Excellence Celebration, co-hosted with the Entrepreneurship Society. The event celebrates the entrepreneurial achievements of students, faculty, and staff. This year, the event was held on April 21, 2016, and the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award winner and keynote speaker was Ricky Van Veen '03, co-founder of CollegeHumor, the largest comedy property on the internet and the most viewed comedy channel on YouTube.

The following awards were given to students and faculty at the 11th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards Celebration:


The Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Faculty Award for Exceptional Support of Entrepreneurship

Dr. Bill Conner

Conner was recognized for his advocacy of and support for CICE. Under his guidance, faculty passed the entrepreneurship and social enterprise minor in 2005. Since then, 64 courses with entrepreneurship as a central theme have been added to the curriculum. “The success of this program is in large part because of his tireless efforts,” said Michele Gillespie, dean of Wake Forest College.


The Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement (Commercial Venture)

Junior economics major Lauren Miller and senior health and exercise science major Olivia Wolff for UpDog Kombucha

UpDog Kombucha brews delicious, handcrafted kombucha, a specialty tea with naturally occurring probiotics, enzymes and acids that support digestive and immune health. Since January, Miller and Wolff have produced up to 150 bottles of kombucha weekly and sell to Wake Forest students and a local food truck, La Vie en Rose.


Chambers Family Fund Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement

Sophomore business and enterprise management major William Wang for The Media

During the fall of 2015, Wang launched The Media, a Provost-Office based, online student-run organization that provides credible digital content to enhance cohesiveness within the Wake Forest community. He also established the iTunes U platform for Wake Forest University, introduced a University Photography Contest, and launched an entirely new category of service, “University News.”


ICE Student Award for Excellence in Innovation

Freshman Arthur Willson for SimpullCork

SimpullCork is an easy-open wine solution that uses an integrated loop to remove the cork from a wine bottle. Though he is just a freshman, Willson, along with Hannah Shows, represented Wake Forest at this year’s inaugural ACC InVenture Prize at Georgia Tech, impressing administrators and entrepreneurs from throughout our conference.


Lelia and David Farr Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Senior computer science major Kurt Walker for Spool

Spool, which launched on the Apple App Store in early September 2015, allows users to create a Spool, a short video or phrase, then submit a short, looping video around the theme of that Spool, which shows up on the feeds of the creator’s followers. Because of this student’s efforts, Spool acquired approximately 15% of the undergraduate student body at Wake Forest.


VentureWell University Innovation Fellow

Junior finance major Keshav Daga

Daga distinguished himself as an entrepreneurial leader in his freshman year, when he joined the E-Society and became involved in various CICE events and programs. This year, as a junior, Daga served as the University Innovation Scholar. In this role, he explored ways to inspire more innovation and entrepreneurship activities on campus. He was also awarded the Orton Scholarship for his entrepreneurial leadership.