By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communication Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship
On 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.
The 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.
Fresh 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.
Also 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