ECU alumnus wins contest for technology business owners
East Carolina University hospitality management graduate Spencer Barrick ’11 was selected as the winner of BootStrap, a Wilmington Downtown contest for start-up technology companies.
Barrick’s company, EyeBar, is a web site and iPhone app that streams live video of bars, clubs, restaurants and events to a user’s cell phone.
“Bars and other venues pay a monthly subscription to use the service,” Barrick said.
“In the near future, EyeBar will be live streaming events, concerts and festivals. I work with a team of web developers, graphic designers, marketing firms, attorneys, and three interns who are hospitality management majors at ECU.”
Barrick said he chose Wilmington, N.C., for EyeBar because he wants to see the city thrive. He believes his new app will invigorate local businesses and give Wilmington more exposure in the region and beyond.
“Wilmington is a perfect location to incubate and headquarter EyeBar. It has a diverse bar scene that works perfectly with my concept. I am already looking into how I can incorporate the app into Wilmington events such as the Azalea Festival, Downtown Sundown Concert Series and Wing Fling. Live streaming will give these events a global reach.”
Barrick said that a lucky string of events led him to enter the Bootstrap contest. Some months ago, he met with College of Human Ecology Dean Judy Siguaw to ask her for business advice. The dean introduced him to a former colleague at UNC-W, who told him about BootStrap.
“I applied and was one of the five finalists selected to be interviewed,” said Barrick. “I pitched my business to local business professionals. They liked my concept and selected EyeBar to win.”
Barrick has worked in hotels and restaurants since high school. At ECU, he was an All-American track athlete and a record holding javelin thrower. He was also selected as an Elite Pirate, founding president of Eta Sigma Delta (hospitality management honor society), and member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
For Barrick, one of the perks of starting his own business is that he inspires others to chase their dreams. “People tell me that what I am doing is inspirational,” he said. “I believe that anything is possible with a little bit of creativity and drive.
“I also have the mentality of a Pirate; I like to steer my own ship.”
BootStrap winners receive a furnished office and 90 days of free rent in downtown Wilmington’s Central Business District, web site and business card design, publicity and networking opportunities, and consultation with Wilmington business entrepreneurs.