Building and Financing Successful Entrepreneurial Ventures

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

On Thursday, November 10, students and faculty gathered in the Magnolia room to hear from successful Raleigh based entrepreneur Scott Moody as he shared valuable lessons he’s learned in building companies, while investors Mark Rostick and Steve Lux, who have worked with Moody, shared their perspectives on the entrepreneur/investor relationship. The panel was moderated and organized by Dave Felman (‘79), who is a corporate attorney and shareholder in Moody’s business. Felman is also a member of the ICE Advisory Council.

Scott Moody is currently working on K4Connect, a mission based integrated technologies company geared towards empowering older adults and people living with disabilities. “Entrepreneurship is all about people taking a bet on a solution to a problem,” says Moody, which absolutely shines through in the mission and success of K4Connect.

This project has been in the works for several years, and investors Mark Rostick and Steve Lux expressed how excited they were to be a part of it. Both work for venture capital firms who are “looking for technology enabled companies to invest one to five million dollars in,” according to Lux.

c2cpanelWhen explaining the role of venture capital firms, Lux explained that entrepreneurs don’t jump directly to finding investors once a concept is developed: “You go to friends, family, and fools first to raise the capital.”

Once K4Connect reached the point of being exceedingly easy to use, it was ready for investors. All three men on the panel had several ideas on how this partnership is formed. Moody, as an entrepreneur, feels it is important when choosing investors that — one, they have to be on board with the mission, — and two, you need to really like them,” pointing out that you will most likely spend more time with these people then you will with your spouse.

Rostick, as an investor, agreed: “It’s a forced marriage. Selling part of your company to us is like sharing your child. You get two things when I invest in you: One, me, so you have to decide if that’s worthwhile. Two, intel and reach that other venture firms can’t touch, which helps to solidify a growing business.”

He then elaborated on how investors chose the ventures they partner with: “As an investor, my first question is who is your first customer and what are you selling them. There’s a lot more art in venture capital projections than science. When you’re talking to a couple guys with an idea… All you have is hope, no science, so how much is that hope worth?”

After delving into the specifics of these relationships, Moody left students with his best pieces of advice: “If you really want to be an entrepreneur, get a job. You’re going to learn more there and develop the tools you need to succeed. And don’t forget that a lot of entrepreneurship is about risk and management– but you still have to swing for the fences.”

The event came to a close with a reception, where students could speak individually to the panelists and learn more about what “swing[ing] for the fences” entails.


moodyScott Moody is the Co-Founder and CEO of K4Connect, which is an integrated solution company designed and developed to meet the evolving needs of the senior living market by way of creating “smart homes.” K4Connect is not Moody’s first venture; he is a serial entrepreneur of technology companies.
rostickMark Rostick is a Director at Intel Capital based in Raleigh, NC. He focuses on Intel’s investments in storage, enterprise/cloud computing infrastructure and software along with other areas like graphics, media processing, and digital media.


luxSteve Lux is a Managing Partner at Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners in Tampa, FL. His portfolio consists of high growth, small technology based ventures, two of which were started by Scott Moody.




Dave Felman ’79 is a Corporate Attorney and Shareholder at Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa, FL. He manages the corporate law practice at his firm and focuses on representing companies and investors in investment deals, including mergers and acquisitions. He also serves on the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.

Students Working to Better the Triad at the Discovery Forum

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communication Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship
discovery-forum-2016-triad-headerOn Wednesday, November 16, the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, in conjunction with the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University, hosted the Triad Discovery Forum, sponsored by BB&T.

At the event, held in the Kulynych Auditorium in the Byrum Welcome Center, nine talented teams both from Wake Forest and young entrepreneurs from the Triad area were allowed five minutes to pitch their idea or social venture to an audience.

The audience then voted on the top three ventures, which would be invited to an intensive leadership development weekend in the spring, where they will compete for up to $10,000 for the advancement of their venture. It was an evening of innovation, inspiration, and networking.

The top three teams continuing to the Leadership Symposium in Raleigh in March are: the Resilience Project, Fresh Food Haven, and GRPWRK.

jakeThe Resilience Project, which placed first, is a venture Jacob Teitelbaum (‘17) started while battling Refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Teitelbaum and co-founder, Sophia Faltin (’16), partner with cancer patients to design a pair of socks in that patient’s honor, as an alternative to the standard no-slip hospital socks given to patients upon arrival. The socks are then sold online, with half of the proceeds going back to the family to help pay for treatment.

freshfoodhavenFresh Food Haven is another Wake Forest team placing in the top three. With this Winston-Salem focused venture, Claiborne Barnett (‘20) and David Deerin (‘20) want to ease the food desert problem in Winston-Salem. Their venture seeks to partner with farms to create boxes of locally sourced produce and deliver these boxes directly to schools, so children in need of this sustenance have access to it.

grpwrkAlso placing in the top three are Ashley Johnson, Paris Williford, Brittney Isbell, and Hali Shepard, who are four Winston-Salem based creative women who recognize there isn’t enough art-positive help in the area. Their idea, entitled GRPWRK, is a service-first creative entrepreneurship collaborative space or hub that would connect people, provide services and materials, and ultimately serve as a guide and beacon during any creative project development.

All nine teams are pursuing innovative, sustainable solutions to critical social problems, and we cannot wait to see where these ventures go. Best of luck to the top three in the next round of competition and to all nine teams in your endeavors!

The nine teams that competed included:

BetaBrake: Priscillla Djarbeng, Andrew Zeidell

Beyond Borders: Kyla Tucker, Kathryn Webster

Combatting Cosmetic Waste: Mingyue Yu, Hang Zhao

Cross & Dagger: Jalen Johnson, Makenzie Whichard, Danielle Patterson

Fresh Food Haven: David Deerin, Claiborne Barnett

GRPWRK: Ashley Johnson, Paris Williford, Brittney Isbell, Hali Shepard

Resilience Project: Jacob Teitelbaum, Sophia Faltin

Urban Growth-op: Sacha Blalock, Toriell Lewis, Suraya Crump, Kaylah Steveson, Xavia Edmonds, Chelsea Tubbs

WakeStorage: Sam Chason, Wubetu Shimelash

ICE sponsored speakers and events inspire and encourage us to pursue our passions

Inspiration abounds in the ESE classes.  What inspires you? 

heather-evans-smithOn October 20, students in Professor Jan Detter’s ESE 100 class had the opportunity to meet Heather Evans Smith and hear about what inspires her to create her award winning photography.

“How we see the world often determines our creativity. Heather sees the world through the lens of awe and mystification,” says Detter who encourages us to be ‘awake and alert’ to our own lives.

Evans Smith leads herself through creative exercises, a habit she learned as a child to fend off boredom.  Often times she is inspired through music.  She listens to a song and envisions images that she then creates through photographs.  She has produced a series of photographs called “My Beatles” from her favorite Beatles songs.

Her photos are meaningful to her but they resonate with others as well.  One of her award winning photographs, Let My Machine Talk To Me, was chosen for Canon and Ron Howard’s Project Imagination contest.  She found the subject for this photo – the robot – of all places in Jan Detter’s studio!

She is currently working on a series she calls “threading”, which is inspired by memories of her late grandmother and her grandmother’s love of sewing.  She has also done cover photos for several issues of The Wake Forest Magazine. Her portfolio can be found here.

Heather Evans Smith lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her work reflects her southern roots, motherhood, womanhood and a whimsical imagination she relied on as an only child in a rural town. Smith’s work has been featured in solo and joint exhibitions nationwide, magazines, literary journals and online publications. She has been an invited guest lecturer at colleges, universities and photography conferences such as Australian Exposure in the Gold Coast, Australia. (Taken from Facebook.Heatherevanssmithphotography.)

Computer Science Department and ICE Program host Wake Forest alum and tech entrepreneur, John Quinn.

john-quinn-event-imageOn November 4, we heard from John Quinn ’95, co-founder of, a blockchain based, distributed storage provider, who is responsible for sales, marketing, customer success, and capital formation.

John Quinn, who did his undergraduate work in Russian Studies and Economics, is a recovering investment banker from Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, a former managing director of a $200 million private equity fund and lover of distributed systems that disrupt centralized services. is disrupting tech giants such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.  Quinn says that anything centralized can be decentralized, using terms such as decentralization, sharing economy, trust list encryption, and P to P networks to describe what Storj is all about.  Think of the Uber and Airbnb model.  Do you want to rent space on your hard-drive?  Be the Cloud!  Check out

We got our DADA on!

Also on November 4, students in Professor Lynn Book’s ESEdada-10-31-announcement-image 100 classes helped transform the ZSR Library into a space that became part cabaret, movie theater, concert hall, and eatery at a public event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the highly influential art and design movement, DADA.

This was a collaborative event organized by Professor Book that included more than 60 WFU students, student ventures (including UpDog Kombucha), CreateWFU, a new student organization affiliated with the E-Society, and 15 WFU faculty from across 10 departments.  The interdisciplinary performance based focus of this event reflects what the Dada artists were doing 100 years ago.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Cabaret Voltaire and DADA.  A burst of an idea in 1916, the art movement known as DADA gave birth to a new 20th Century creativity. It spread through and beyond the arts and reverberated in cities across Europe and the Americas.

DADA raised the bar for innovation developing new approaches to creative action and activism, setting the path for imaginative methods leading to unexpected outcomes.  DADA challenged everything – and nothing was ever the same.

Deacon Springboard: Making Connections and Moving Ideas Forward

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

The first annual Deacon Springboard is already successfully underway!

The Deacon Springboard is a new program replacing the former New Venture Seed Grant Process aimed at supporting students who have innovative ideas and wish to gain hands-on experience with starting a new venture.

It is a non-academic, six-month program that provides ten accepted student teams with coaching and guidance to help move their venture ideas forward. Accepted students also automatically receive $200 in seed funds, are matched with a dynamic venture advisor, have access to additional venture assistance funds, gain free entry to the Flywheel Start-up Factory, and are also awarded automatic entry to the new Deac Tank competition to be held at WFU in February.

After many applications and pitches, the WFU Ventures and Competitions Committee selected the inaugural ten ventures and student teams in late September. You can read about these student teams and their ventures here.

The Deacon Springboard program launched on October 6th at a networking event in the Magnolia Room.

Professor and Executive Director of the CICE, Polly Black encouraged everyone to “think about [their] opportunities from a number of different angles.”

s1230035The ten selected teams then re-pitched their ideas to the ICE Advisory Council, who would ultimately become their venture advisors. These short and entertaining pitches were then followed by a successful networking session, where each student was able to get to know their potential advisor and vice versa. The connections made during this time allowed for promising partnerships to flourish.

s1230023The night then concluded with a wonderful dinner and an encouraging talk from entrepreneur Howard Love (P ‘18) about his research on the
The Start-up J Curve. You can read about his words of wisdom and findings here.

On October 7th, the following day, the Deacon Springboard members met up with their designated, matched venture advisors for a full day of exchanging contact information, discussing schedules, formulating a work plan and budget, and visiting the Flywheel Start-up Factory.

Going forward, the Deacon Springboard teams will now routinely meet with their advisors to develop the venture as fully as possible from now until February, when all teams will compete in the Deac Tank competition. The teams will also submit budgets and proposals for Venture Assistance Funds.

To keep up with the progress of the Deacon Springboard, please click here.

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Promoting Design Thinking Across Disciplines

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship 

The notion of design thinking can change the trajectory of your life – Chris Mumford

1At a colloquium on Monday, October 17, Chris Mumford spoke to faculty and students in the Department of Computer Science about the hot topic of design thinking.

Mumford teaches a design thinking course at Wake Forest University.  He also teaches entrepreneurship and design thinking at the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill in the GLOBE program.

Mumford was introduced by Paul Pauca, the Lelia and David Farr Faculty Chair of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Computer Science, who referred to him as a “serial entrepreneur.” With titles like CEO, VP of Design, CFO, and COO of multiple different education and healthcare startups under his belt, Mumford knows a thing or two about a well-designed innovation.

“The notion of design thinking can change the trajectory of your life,” Mumford announced at the beginning of his seminar.

It is the concept of taking a fuzzy idea and “crystallizing it into a solution to a problem by way of a product that is validated by consumers and stakeholders.”

This process is rooted in creativity, which Mumford contends really comes down to: “pattern recognition, opportunity assessment, and the wherewithal to do something about it.”

Once you tap into this creativity, he shares that the innovation process includes five steps:

  1. Problem—establishing the problem and potential solution, the user profile and experience
  2. Research—what else is out there, features and benefits comparisons
  3. Improvisation—trying everything that will maybe work, “the sexy part”
  4. Curation—the economic feasibility and analysis
  5. Editing—these steps are not linear, frequently repeatable, and almost circular, go back and edit

2After his overview of design thinking and the innovation process, Mumford then engaged participants in a number of improvisational exercises. These improvisational exercises force the participants to begin thinking differently—thinking creatively—enforcing the very thought processes that will help them better find where “passion, purpose, and profit meet.”

WFU Senior Releases Full Length, Professionally Created Album

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

image00Here I am, taking a card from the stack called chance…”

Senior Christopher Federici (‘16) initially came to WFU with the idea of shelving his passion for music.

1974250_656577227750914_50070867896492876_oAll of the music he had written with his close high school friends seemed to become irrelevant as they all scattered the US to attend different universities and pursue endeavors ou
tside of music and their band,

A shame, it seemed, as they had enough original, cohesive music to put together an album.

And then Federici came into contact with the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Learning about the possibility for seed grants and funding, he started to think about the band differently.

“Turns go by, as our pieces fall into line…”

1396971_656574414417862_3111975658526062536_oNamed after the Latin term for “ivy,” Hedera’s sound gravitates around garage rock, but is created with jazz-like principles. This fusion makes the group’s music novel and refreshing.

Federici, the group’s frontman and business manager, stated “I was never under the impression that entrepreneurship could include artistic endeavors. Looking at the band as entrepreneurial really opened a lot of doors for us.”

And that it did– the CICE awarded Federici a seed grant– a grant that “funded our first full length professionally created album.”

Federici and his bandmates, after four years of careful long-distance preparation, took a week out of their summers and traveled to Nashville, TN to record their work with WFU alum Derek West at FlyByWest Studios.

“Roll the die, and take back what’s mine…”

image01Hedera’s album, “Helix,” was released on October 22. Considering the distance between the bandmates, Helix is a depiction of their hardwork and dedication to their craft and each other. It is currently being distributed on Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes.

They are excited about their final product and are appreciative of the CICE as they feel that now “other people could take our music seriously, not just us.”

The interspersed lyrics in this article come from their first single, “Missing Yesterday.” To watch the music video for “Missing Yesterday,” click here. To keep up with Federici and Hedera’s continued growth and success, click here.

This Year’s ICE Scholarship Recipients

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

The Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship provides many leadership opportunities and scholarships for outstanding students who contribute to the entrepreneurial culture at Wake Forest. We are proud to announce this year’s scholarship recipients:

dagaKeshav Daga, the Orton Fund Scholarship Recipient, 2015/16-2016/17

The Orton Fund Scholarship is awarded each year to a junior who has distinguished himself/herself as a leader in promotion entrepreneurship and involvement. The scholarship spans two years, and this past year’s recipient was Keshav Daga. Keshav is a senior Finance major and Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise minor from Cranbury, New Jersey. He is currently serving on the Entrepreneurship Society executive board and runs a Venture Capitalist Boot Camp every other Wednesday for interested students. During his time at Wake, he founded Deacon Clean, a student-run cleaning service for students who don’t receive regular custodial services.

haydenHayden Lineberger, the Orton Fund Scholarship Recipient, 2016/17-2017/18 and Farr Scholar

The Orton Fund Scholarship is awarded each year to a junior who has distinguished himself/herself as a leader in promotion of entrepreneurship and involvement. This year’s recipient is Hayden Lineberger. Hayden is a junior majoring in Business and Enterprise Management and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. Aside from consistently being named to the Dean’s List, Hayden has held four marketing internships throughout his time at WFU. He performed so well as the marketing intern for the Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina that he was asked to stay on the Board of Directors. In addition, Hayden founded and runs his own social media marketing company, which has over 50 clients and 23,000 followers. He was also just named the Executive Director of TEDxWakeForestU2017.

cftqjlwGeorge Papakonstantinou, the Richard and Carolyn Riley Scholarship Recipient, 2016/17

The Richard and Carolyn Riley Scholarship is awarded each year to a student who shows outstanding entrepreneurial potential. This year’s recipient is George Papakonstantinou. George is sophomore from Asheville, North Carolina. His entrepreneurial endeavors span far and wide: he has written books, published and marketed iPhone applications, and co-founded a no-profit organization that raises awareness for his local children’s hospital. On campus, he served as an executive team member for the Do Something challenge, bringing Shark Tank alum to campus, fundraising, and marketing for the event. He was also named the Vice President of the Entrepreneurial Society and the President of Wake Forest’s venture Create. Additionally, George is helping to launch the new Deac Tank competition which will be held in February 2017.

2ULaundry: Wake Grad Finds Success Doing Your Laundry

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

Big blue laundry bags litter the halls of freshmen dorms bright and early on Monday and Wednesday mornings here at Wake Forest University. It’s a familiar scene that can only mean one thing: Wake Wash was here.

Wake Wash is a subscription based, door-to-door laundry and dry cleaning delivery service run by students, for students.

Alex Smereczniak (’14) worked as a bag runner for Wake Wash his freshman year and “was amazed that 200 plus students used the service even though we have washers and dryers in every dorm included in the room and board.” He was so amazed, in fact, that he went on to buy the business with two friends his sophomore year. Smereczniak then grew Wake Wash “a couple hundred percent” and sold it at the end of his senior year.

“There’s a value proposition here,” Smereczniak stated, explaining the business’s success, “your time is worth more than doing your laundry yourself.”

Even after moving on to Charlotte, North Carolina to work as a financial consultant, Smereczniak held onto that value proposition and thought about translating it to markets beyond the college campus.

During his time as a consultant, Smereczniak kept an eye on a couple of laundry delivery companies out west that worked, and struggled, in metropolitan areas with an on-demand model. An on-demand model, like Uber, meant calling a driver via a smartphone app to pick up your laundry at any given time. Smereczniak understood that this could be improved upon: he thought metropolitan areas were a great market fit, but knew that a subscription based model would produce stronger results.

And so, Smereczniak and friend Dan D’Aquisto quit their jobs, moved in together, 2u2
and officially launched 2ULaundry from their Charlotte apartment ten months ago.


Taking the principles of Wake Wash and putting them on a completely different stage, 2ULaundry promises to maximize your time by regularly picking up, taking care of, and dropping off whatever laundry or dry cleaning you may have right at your Charlotte doorstep at prescheduled times.

Since their humble beginnings in December, their customer base has grown 50-60% every month and they have taken on ten employees and eight contractors. 2ULaundry currently services 1,200 homes in Charlotte, keeping the likes of young professional men and busy moms happy. This is evidenced by their recent successful round of seed financing led by Full Tilt Capital: this September, 2ULaundry raised $400,000 of capital from Full Tilt capital and a handful of angel investors in Charlotte, New York City, and Denver.

This financing is a great feat for the 2ULaundry team, as it almost guarantees the next 14 months. Beyond that, this funding allows the team the ability to expand the staff, invest in marketing, and fine tune operations in Charlotte before hopefully expanding to another metropolitan market in the southeast.

2u4Smereczniak shares his success with the Wake Forest community: “Wake taught me a ton. Wake Wash was the greatest experience I’d ever had. The Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship was a huge resource for me. It just gave me a platform for entrepreneurship.”

To learn more about 2ULaundry, visit their website. To keep up with Smereczniak, his continued success, and 2ULaundry’s growth, follow them on social media.

Howard Love Visits WFU to Share His Research on The Start-up J Curve

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

hlove-headshot-1On October 6, entrepreneur and angel investor Howard Love (P ‘18) spoke to all of the Deacon Springboard teams along with the ICE Advisory Council about his recently published book, The Start-up J Curve.

Love has founded or co-founded over 15 startups and has invested in another 50 in the past 30 years and covers what he recognizes as the pattern to entrepreneurial success in The Start-up J Curve.

According to Love, there are six steps or phases that can serve as a guidepost to entrepreneurial success. The first phase is the create phase. This is where the idea is initially developed. The creation of the idea, product, team and so on ultimately results in the venture’s release to market.

bookcover-1“Do you know what happens when you release your first product?” Love asked the audience. “Nothing. No one cares. It hits the market with a thud.” Which leads right into the crucial third phase: the morph.

The morph is the phase where the track of the startup will officially be decided: success or failure. “I call this the long cold winter, except it’s usually more than one winter” Love admitted.

However, if you make it through the winter and you pivot your idea so that it is “something people absolutely love,” you pass to the next phase: model.

Your idea is developed and established and this phase is focused on developing a plan and model that are functional and profitable. Once the model is solidified, it is time for growth, or rather time to scale.

s1230052You assemble the right idea, people, processes, investments, and you’re starting to see the startup succeed. Once the startup reaches the point where it feels the success is practically palpable, it has reached the final phase: harvest, where it’s not really a startup anymore at all.

One of the students in the audience immediately asked: “Well how did you make it through the long cold winter and see
harvest at such a young age without living under a bridge?”

Love smiled back. “I lived under my desk.”

To read more about Love’s ideas and the intricacies of the J curve, purchase a copy of the book here.

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Deacon Springboard!

Congratulations to these students who were accepted into the first annual Deacon Springboard! Click here to read more about the Deacon Springboard process.

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Brooke Einbender – Art Rental for Students by Students is an art rental service for college students who want to dart-rental-for-students-by-students-brooke-einbenderecorate their room, but do not want to pay a lot of money for artwork. We would partner with student artists to allow Wake Forest students to rent framed prints of their original artwork. On our website, each artist creates a profile consisting of their artist statement and high resolution images of their artwork. Students who want to decorate their room choose the art they want from our online catalog. We deliver the high resolution framed print to their doorstep that’s ready to hang. Framed prints allow students to acquire good art at a college-budget price. When the student is ready to change out their art print, they can exchange it for a new piece from our catalog.


Ryan Godwin – Automatic Molecular Dynamics (AutoMD) is dedicated to bringing its customers the most accurate, intuitive software on the market for producing and analyzing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. This cutting-edge drautomd-ryan-godwinug discovery tool will leverage the power of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and machine learning techniques to elucidate of essential mechanisms of action, providing critical details regarding potential drugs and their targets. AutoMD includes a centralized database to streamline comparative investigation and optimize data recall, a well-tested software architecture to ensure reliable operation, and an extensible and flexible development scheme to streamline future development. AutoMD is here to help you science!



Kathryn Webster and Kyla Tucker – Beyond Borders encourages adults to see life through a different lens. Combining cultural, educational, service, and leadership experiences, curious people grow and learn together in nations abroad. This non-profit aims to partner the disabled community with non-disabled adults to travel the world and reflect in a way that is unique to each person. We focus on breaking down the stigma of disability, and empowering our
participants to build relationships with individuals both in the states and with our collaborative partners overseas.


ez-cork-arthur-willson-and-hannah-showsArthur Willson and Hannah Shows – SimpullCork is an innovative wine opening solution that eliminates the need for additional tools and aftermarket wine stoppers. Using an integrated loop system, SimpullCork allows easy removal of wine corks without damaging the cork.


Sophie Hollis – Meta Designs clothing is for the practical, modern woman. The contrast in functionality between men’s and women’s clothing inspires us to promote gender equality by creating designs with useful pockets for women. We also commit to giving part of our profits to support women’s education. We hope to grant women further autonomy with clothing that is both inventive and refined by empowering them to hold their own (stuff).



Nick Hanna – Nightlife Analytics looks to bridge the gap between strategic marketing efforts and attribution for nightlife venues by combining innovative cell phone tracking technology with market leading data analysis. Our product provides consumer insights and predictive services for our clients helping them optimize promotions to maximize profits. Nightlife Analytics provides the hardware and installation for tracking in addition to the back end platform for data analysis to give every client a strategic advantage over their competitors.


Bailey Greenberg – The Portal Pocket Tee is a t-shportal-pocket-tee-bailey-greenbergirt with a decoy pocket that allows cancer patients to provide easy access to their chest ports while receiving chemotherapy infusions. The portal pocket tee is a unique, affordable and practical alternative to hospital gowns, nudity or overly-expensive clothing.



Caroline Magee – RoomEase is an app designed like popular dating apps with a user profile and swiping feature that allows young professionals and recent grads to find the best roommate possible. The profile allows users to specify what matters to them, whether that’s sticking to a budget, making sure dishes are always washed, or even that they have a pet. Users are matched based on location preference and then swipe to learn and connect with possible roommates. RoomEase is easy to use, safe, and fun!


Youssef Albanawi, Moises Castano, Christian Kissinger, and Daniel Van de Star – Tracer is a micro-GPS tracking device that attaches to valuables of all kinds such as credit cards and IDtracer-youssef-albanawi-moises-castano-daniel-van-de-star-christian-kissingers. Tracer employs one of the smallest tracking devices developed by Rakon. Once attached to a credit card, users can track it from an integrated smartphone application on a minute by minute basis. Tracer can easily be attached/detached to the smallest of valuables without hindering their functions. For the regular traveler, college student and professional who frequently misplace/lose their credit cards (valuables), Tracer makes sure that users always locate their valuables in all sorts of situations.



Lauren Miller and Olivia Wolff – UpDog Kombucha is a kombucha microbrewery started in a Wake Forest dorm room and now an operating business in Winston-Salem, NC. We produce kombucha, a fermented tea that is packed with beneficial probiotics, enzymes and acids that support digestive health. We are currently producing over 125 gallons of kombucha per week and selling in bottles and kegs at fourteen different locations, including coffee shops, restaurants, bars, yoga studios and farmers markets. We are currently working on expanding our distribution and developing more efficient brewing practices.