Seven teams advance to the final round of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge

East Carolina University and the Miller School of Entrepreneurship announced the seven student-led teams that will compete in the final round of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Team finalists include:

  • Vybe, an app for night life analytics
  • Invisibarrier, mosquito control service
  • Tailgate Classics, classic sports apparel
  • Ola Customs, custom suits
  • AntiPasta, cord management for medical equipment
  • Health4Pine, youth coaching for health and life skills
  • Sweet Sip, stainless steel straws to reduce plastic waste
Hunter Graves responds to a question from judges during the second round of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. Graves' business venture, InvisiBarrier Mosquito Control, was selected to move to the third round of competition.

Hunter Graves responds to a question from judges during the second round of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. Graves’ business venture, InvisiBarrier Mosquito Control, was selected to move to the third round of competition. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

The finalists were chosen from 13 teams that competed in the second round of the challenge, which was held Nov. 15 at the ECU Heart Institute. Each team had five minutes to pitch its idea to a panel of six judges. Before breaking to vote, the judges took 10 minutes to ask follow-up questions.

John Ciannamea directs a question to one of the student-led teams.

John Ciannamea directs a question to one of the student-led teams.

“Tonight was an exciting evening to showcase some the best entrepreneurs across our campus. All of the teams impressed the judges with the quality of their ideas and pitches. These finalists are well deserving to move on to the next round,” said David Mayo, Miller School of Entrepreneurship instructor and challenge coordinator.

The panel of judges for the second round included Ariana Billingsley, Hallie Hawkins and Steven Jacobs of the Small Business Technology Development Center; Dennis Tracz and Mike Aman, who serve in ECU’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program; and John Ciannamea, innovator-in-residence and director of SEED@ECU.

The final round of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is Feb. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at Harvey Hall in ECU’s Murphy Center. To prepare for the round, each finalist will be paired with a mentor who will serve as an advisor and coach. Additionally, the teams will receive branding help, legal consultation and dress presentation assistance from the challenge’s sponsors.

More than $75,000 in cash prizes and in-kind services will be awarded. More than 91 teams entered this year’s challenge.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications