Category Archives: Business

Grant leads to historical collaboration between CET, COB

East Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology (CET) will collaborate with the College of Business (COB) for a first-of-its-kind project that will integrate product innovation with entrepreneurship.

Students from the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business will collaborate thanks to a grant.

Students from ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology and College of Business will collaborate and learn how to bring their products to market thanks to a new $27,000 grant. (Photos by Michael Rudd)

This collaboration is possible thanks to a $27,000 faculty grant from the VentureWell, which provides funding, immersive workshops and specialized coaching to student STEM innovators to help them move their inventions into the marketplace.

According to Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala, assistant professor with CET’s Department of Technology Systems, one project objective is to strengthen team building, spur innovation and grow entrepreneurship at ECU and in the rural communities it serves.

Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala will lead a team of collaborators.

Dr. Ranjeet Agarwala, second from left, will lead a team of collaborators that will help students to innovate and then pitch their products in future competitions. Also pictured: from left, Dr. Carlyle Rogers, ECU’s Office of Technology Transfer; David Mayo, College of Business and Miller School of Entrepreneurship; and Daniel Zuberbier, Joyner Library.

“We’re going to cross-weave two courses from different disciplines to produce teams that are well-versed in both business and technical expertise,” said Agarwala, who is the project’s principal investigator.

Over a three-year period, 200 CET rapid prototyping and COB entrepreneurial students will form 40 teams, with each team having two CET students with three COB students. The teams’ goal is to design and develop real-world products through engineering and entrepreneurship activities, which will ultimately lead to successful and viable ventures.

“Students will create prototypes of products using rapid prototyping and other advanced manufacturing techniques,” said David Mayo, a COB instructor with the Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE) and project co-principal investigator. “The students will also develop business plans around the products and ultimately will present to groups of angel investors, granting agencies or banks.”

“I’m delighted about this VentureWell grant and thankful for the efforts of Ranjeet and David to build this first-of-its-kind CET-COB collaboration,” said Harry Ploehn, CET dean. “Technological innovation is the starting point for much of tomorrow’s successful entrepreneurship, and this grant will give our students a real educational advantage and the possibility of turning great ideas into startup companies.”

Dr. Carlyle Rogers, licensing associate with ECU’s Office of Technology Transfer, and Daniel Zuberbier, education & instructional technology librarian with ECU’s Joyner Library, will serve as collaborators on the VentureWell grant.

Business students Dagi Bayunga and Katy Stotter will work with College of Engineering and Technology students to learn how to launch and market innovations.

Business students Dagi Bayunga, left, and Katy Stotter, will work with College of Engineering and Technology students to learn how to launch and market innovations.

Student teams will work closely with the MSOE, which will provide support for product development and commercialization. The teams will also have access to mentoring at Joyner Library, ECU’s Idea Lab, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, and through the I-Corps @ ECU program.

With the grant, Agarwala, Mayo, MSOE instructors, university and local representatives will have the ability to send teams to apply for stage one of the VentureWell Entrepreneur-Team program. If chosen, teams will have the opportunity to win $5,000 in funding to help them find the right customers and deliver prototypes.

“The Miller School of Entrepreneurship was established to help all ECU students,” said Stan Eakins, COB dean. “This unique collaboration, I hope, will be the first step of many collaborations with many of our colleges. I look forward to seeing the innovation that will come from this project.”

“Who knows what great things may come of this,” added Ploehn.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Miller School of Entrepreneurship names director

Dr. Mike Harris

Dr. Mike Harris has been named director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University and the College of Business (COB) have named Dr. Mike Harris the director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE). Harris has served as MSOE’s interim director since January 2017.

“The removal of ‘interim’ recognizes the outstanding work he and the MSOE team have been doing,” said Dean Stan Eakins. “I look forward to working with Mike and making the school a national model for entrepreneurship education.”

Before being named MSOE director, Harris was the chair of the COB’s department of management, and for the past 18 years, he directed the college’s Small Business Institute. In 2017, he was also named a Small Business Institute Fellow.

As director of the MSOE, Harris will be responsible for curriculum and degree offerings, hiring faculty, and invigorating the entrepreneurial spirit across ECU and in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Lee Grubb, currently the director of the COB’s Leadership Program, will serve as interim management chair.

“We’ve developed a strong team in the Miller School of Entrepreneurship,” said Harris. “I’m very excited to continue working with them, campus partners and the school’s statewide, regional advisory councils to build a destination school of entrepreneurship at ECU.

“It’s critical that we help students find their entrepreneurial passion and then connect them with the mentors and resources necessary to develop successful enterprises.”

J. Fielding Miller

J. Fielding Miller (Contributed photo)

Made possible by a generous commitment from Raleigh-area entrepreneur and COB alumnus J. Fielding Miller and his wife, Kim Grice Miller, the MSOE was established in 2015 and serves as a regional hub that prepares students to take an entrepreneurial mindset to their communities.

With the goal of being a conduit for transformation, the MSOE links the university and the region by developing and delivering entrepreneurship education and co-curricular student engagement.

“I am delighted with the decision to have Mike lead the Miller School of Entrepreneurship,” said Miller. “We did an exhaustive search and found that we had the perfect leader right in front of us. He has the creativity, work ethic and leadership qualities we need to build out a world-class program. The future is bright for future Pirate entrepreneurs with Mike at the helm.”

Transforming Indeed

MSOE’s impact in the region is evident with initiatives and programs that started since its beginning. The inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge kicked off in 2017, allowing teams of aspiring entrepreneurs from across campus to compete for $20,000 in prize money. MSOE and COB recently announced the new James W. Chesnutt and David A. Bond professorship that will support an associate or full professor who delivers entrepreneurial skills to students.

Entrepreneurship ChallengeAdditionally, the College received a $2 million commitment in 2017 from Van and Jennifer Isley of Raleigh that will provide a “hub” that houses the MSOE and where business, engineering, technology and art students can have “creative collisions” that produce innovation and entrepreneurship.

In total, the MSOE has mentored and tutored more than 100 students who are trying to turn their ideas into realities.

According to Harris, the MSOE is building a comprehensive program that will include a new undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship to complement COB’s entrepreneurship certificate.

“Along with innovative co-curricular activities such as the Pirate Challenge and I-Corps@ECU, the Miller School of Entrepreneurship will play a pivotal role in creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Harris. “I truly believe the Miller School is a game changer on ECU’s campus.”

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

New College of Business professorship emphasizes teaching future entrepreneurs

Two East Carolina University alumni are funding a faculty position in the College of Business dedicated to developing future entrepreneurs.

The gift will establish the James W. Chesnutt and David A. Bond Professorship in the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. It will support an associate or full professor who will prepare ECU students to have an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset.

“They (Chesnutt and Bond) saw an opportunity to come together and jointly give the college a gift that reflects a passion for their alma mater, the region and developing future leaders,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of ECU’s College of Business.

Chesnutt and Bond are members of the college’s business advisory council and play an active role in the success of students in and outside the classroom.

“ECU has become a leader in providing both undergraduate and graduate level education in business, in addition to establishing one of the nation’s most successful and highly ranked online business programs. That commitment to leadership in business education continues with a gift from two of our very successful College of Business alumni,” said ECU Chancellor Cecil P. Staton. “Their success as entrepreneurs led to their support for a professorship in entrepreneurship, a gift that will prepare thousands of students to follow their path as successful businesspeople. This generous gift is a powerful testimony to a tradition of ECU alumni helping future alumni, and for that we are very grateful.”

Chesnutt

Chesnutt

Chesnutt, a 1963 ECU graduate, is CEO and chairman of National Spinning Company in Washington. He said he believes the new professorship will be good for the Miller School, the university and eastern North Carolina. His company has hired several ECU graduates, and all “have been outstanding … the kind of thing that businesses need to see,” he said.

“Graduates of the Miller School will, no doubt, contribute to the creation of new opportunities and creativity for existing businesses,” Chesnutt added. “The talent pool created by the school will add significantly to the ongoing need for growth in the east and throughout North Carolina. I look forward to the naming of an outstanding leader for the professorship for the faculty.”

Bond

Bond

Bond is the managing partner and co-founder of Raleigh’s Rock Solid Software. He graduated from ECU in 1978 with a degree in marketing. He would like to see the gift used to hire a “very inspirational, motivating professor that will spur on some entrepreneurship for our young students and future leaders.”

“I’m hoping that a lot of those students will stay in or around eastern North Carolina and not venture to Washington, D.C., Atlanta or Charlotte,” said Bond, who, as president and chief operating officer of Allscripts, led the successful acquisitions of Medic Computer and A4 Health Systems. “This part of the state needs these graduates to be the engine of its economy.”

“With this new professorship, we’ll continue to attract and retain the highest quality of faculty to help build the Miller School,” said Dr. Mike Harris, director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. “Thanks to Mr. Chesnutt and Mr. Bond for helping to ensure that we have great instruction in the classroom, increased entrepreneurial research and stronger engagement with students, university faculty and our community.”

The Miller School was established in 2015 thanks to a gift by J. Fielding Miller and his wife, Kim Grice Miller.

The Chesnutt and Bond professorship is the second for the Miller School. In total, the College of Business has nine professorships.

“The Miller School is making amazing progress as it looks to increase its engagement within the college and the entire East Carolina University community,” Eakins said. “The new professorship is made possible by Mr. Chesnutt and Mr. Bond’s strong belief in what we’re doing here at the school. Their commitment and gift will strengthen the school’s reputation as the conduit for innovation, leadership and entrepreneurs.”

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

ECU students pitch ideas in Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge

First-round voting was recently held for the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a campus-wide event put on by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

First-round voting was recently held for the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a campus-wide event put on by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Nearly 700 East Carolina University students and faculty cast approximately 2,000 votes in the first round of the inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, which recently took place in the sculpture garden between Mendenhall Student Center and the Joyner Library. Fifty-seven student teams pitched their ideas, products or dreams and put them on display during this open-air, tradeshow-style event.

Junior Ze’Ondre Slade, along with partner Klinterica Mitchell, formed one of 57 student teams to participate in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Junior Ze’Ondre Slade, along with partner Klinterica Mitchell, formed one of 57 student teams to participate in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The challenge is the signature business pitch competition sponsored by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship. The entire ECU community was invited to participate, as long as one member of the team was an ECU student. Teams from the College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and Technology, College of Fine Arts and Communication, and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences participated in the event.

Junior Zeondre Slade, a criminal justice major, and junior Klinterica Mitchell, an education major, are co-partners in a venture called SPLASH Learning Center. Both want to combine their passions that started as internships in their hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina. Their goal is to open a learning-based destination for children that is a safe and secure environment.

“With me working in law, I can use those skills that I have learned throughout my college experience to work in the business,” said Slade.

Sophomore Taylor Hicks entered her existing business, Simple & Sentimental, in this year’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. If she wins, that money will go to “serve her clients better.”

Sophomore Taylor Hicks entered her existing business, Simple & Sentimental, in this year’s Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. If she wins, that money will go to “serve her clients better.”

Twelve teams, six chosen by ECU judges and six chosen from first-round voting, will move on to the second round. From there, five teams will advance to the third and final round and will be paired with individual mentors to help further develop the business concept. The competition concludes in February of 2018 with a total of $20,000 to be split between the first, second and third-round winners.

Making Plans

Taylor Hicks is a sophomore from Winston-Salem. As a freshman in 2016, Hicks started a company called Simple & Sentimental, which provides unique, hand-lettered products. She was an interior design major, but as it began to grow, she switched her major to business administration. The company currently has an Etsy account that has made more than 2,000 sales since opening. Hicks and her company participated in the challenge’s first round, and if she wins the competition, she already has plans for her winnings.

“We would develop a new product line to serve our customers better,” said Hicks. “We figured out what our customers like, and we need to keep going in that direction.”

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of the College of Business, attended the challenge’s first round and was very encouraged with what he saw.

College of Business Dean Stan Eakins meets with one of the 57 student teams who participated in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

College of Business Dean Stan Eakins meets with one of the 57 student teams who participated in the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge.

“The variety of ideas, products and stories that were on hand was incredible,” said Eakins. “I’m glad these ECU students saw firsthand the entrepreneurial spirit that’s alive and well at the university.”

“We had a number of goals we wanted to accomplish with this challenge,” said Dr. Mike Harris, director of the Miller School. “First and foremost, we wanted to give these future entrepreneurs an outlet to get their ideas out there and an opportunity to make those ideas come alive.”

Harris also said that the challenge was a chance to educate ECU about the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and how its resources are available to anyone at the university.

Round two of the challenge will feature five mentors who will choose five teams based on a five-minute pitch and responses to a three-minute Q&A session. The Miller School will mentor a team based on the popular student vote from round one. This round will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5-7 p.m.

According to Harris, there will be another challenge next year.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is Live

The College of Business and its Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE) wants to enhance ECU’s entrepreneurial culture.

The inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is a three-round competition open to any student enrolled in the 2017/2018 academic year, as well as alumni who have enrolled students on their team.

Total prize money to accelerate winning business ventures is $20,000 with $12,500 going to the grand prize winner. $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded to second and third place winners, respectively. Payment will be delivered to the winners as they achieve pre-approved milestones. Other in-kind prizes will be awarded.

The Miller School of Entrepreneurship team includes Vickie Glover, front; and in back, from left to right, Dennis Barber, Corey Pulido and David Mayo. (Contributed photo)

The Miller School of Entrepreneurship team includes Vickie Glover, front; and in back, from left to right, Dennis Barber, Corey Pulido and David Mayo. (Contributed photo)

“We are excited to bring an opportunity to all of ECU that will highlight promising student entrepreneurs across campus,” said Dr. Mike Harris, interim director of MSOE. “The students will engage with the MSOE for coaching and resources to accelerate the growth of their award-winning ideas.”

Round one is an open-air forum for participants to showcase their ideas and ventures. This poster session is Oct. 17 from 12 – 2 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden outside of Mendenhall Student Center. Student passersby will get three tickets to allocate to their idea (or ideas) of choice. Twelve teams will move on to the second round based on student popular vote and input from ECU college representatives.

Round two will feature five mentors who will choose five teams based on a five-minute pitch and responses to a three-minute Q&A session. The MSOE will mentor a team based on the popular student vote from round one. This round will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5 – 7 p.m. Location TBD. Six teams will move on to the final round.

Round three (and final round) will be held during National Entrepreneurship Week Feb. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Murphy Center. The six finalists will present a five-minute pitch followed by five minutes of Q & As. A keynote speaker will address the finalists. A panel of university and community entrepreneurship leaders will choose the winner.

Established in 2015, the MSOE serves as a regional hub for preparing students to take an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset into their communities. To date, MSOE faculty has worked with approximately 349 students and 28 business clients. Students have recorded more than 6,000 hours of fieldwork.

Student teams who want to participate in the Challenge can register here.

Additional information about the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge can be found at the Miller School of Entrepreneurship website.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

O’Halloran presents results for Washington Boutique Hotel study

The Hotel Louise in downtown Washington, North Carolina. (Contributed photos)

The Hotel Louise in downtown Washington, North Carolina. (Contributed photos)

Dr. Bob O’Halloran, chair of the College of Business’ School of Hospitality Leadership, presented composite results of a preliminary feasibility study, which included a summary of possible concepts that could bring the Hotel Louise back to life in downtown Washington, North Carolina. The presentation was made during a recent public event held at the Arts of the Pamlico’s (AOP) historic Turnage Theatre.

As part of course requirements, School students created concepts that would turn the historic building into a 60-room, boutique hotel. According to an article in the Washington Daily News, O’Halloran said that a hotel of this nature would generate revenue and growth for the downtown area and would give customers the opportunity to both visit Washington and stay in the heart of the city.

Aided by the AOP, 64 students and 11 community groups worked on the project, which culminated with the students, as part of a final exam, making a presentation to members of the Washington (North Carolina) Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Tourism Development Authority, and Beaufort County Economic Development.

“This type of engaged learning shows our students are playing an integral part in the sustainability of Eastern North Carolina,” said O’Halloran. “I’m excited for the potential, positive impact these recommendations could have in downtown Washington.”

Dr. Bob O’Halloran presents feasibility study findings on Hotel Louise in Washington, North Carolina.

Dr. Bob O’Halloran presents feasibility study findings on Hotel Louise in Washington, North Carolina.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

ECU College of Business Issues first Project Management and Business Analytics Certificates

East Carolina University’s College of Business handed out two new graduate certificates during its recent commencement exercise. Ten students received a certificate in project management (PM) and six received a certificate in business analytics. Both programs started in the fall of 2016, and each consist of four, online courses.

Business analytics certificate recipient Jacquitta Boone. (contributed photos)

Business analytics certificate recipient Jacquitta Boone. (contributed photos)

The business analytics certificate works with real business data sets and provides students with advanced business analytics knowledge and data mining processes. The certificate was developed with input from numerous leading recruiters of data analysts and is offered in conjunction with SAS’ Joint Certificate Program.

“This program seeks to train data analysts,” says Dr. Elaine Seeman, chair of the College’s Department of Management Information Systems. “As organizations amass more and more data from their interactions with individuals and organizations, the need for people who can pull data, translate it and tell stories is rising.”

The PM certificate prepares graduates for employment as project leaders and managers who have hands-on management experience. Students will gain the knowledge needed to sit for the Certified Associate in Project Management Certification or the Project Management Institute professional certificate exams.

“Project management is a fast-growing field, and project management skills are in demand in a broad range of industries,” added Seeman.

Jacquitta Boone is from Murfreesboro, North Carolina and graduated with an MBA degree and was one of the first to receive a PM certificate. A process person at heart, she initially wanted to get her supply chain certificate, but after inquiring about the new PM certificate, she found that she still “loves to know about the processes in business but also how the processes affect the people and teams within an organization.”

Boone expects the certificate will help her to understand the behaviors of certain people in a group and how these behaviors will affect the process and project as a whole.

Business analytics certificate recipient Brad McAllister..

Business analytics certificate recipient Brad McAllister..

Brad McAllister. was one of the first recipients of a business analytics certificate. He works for the College and has been advising business students since 2004. He participated in the program to learn more about the tools and techniques available to mine data. As he puts it, “I want to apply what I’ve learned to better serve the students, faculty and staff of the College.”

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication 

The Inaugural James H. Bearden Induction Ceremony Welcomes 66 Students to Beta Gamma Sigma

The inaugural James H. Bearden Induction Ceremony was recently held for new members of the ECU College of Business Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Dr. James H. Bearden. (contributed photos)

Dr. James H. Bearden. (contributed photos)

Dr. James H. Bearden, College of Business Dean Stan Eakins, college faculty and family members celebrated the induction of 66 students and one faculty member into the chapter, which is the honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Donors gave more than $100,000 to the newly created James. H Bearden Endowment Fund, which provided support for this induction ceremony and will help fund future induction ceremonies that will also bear Bearden’s name.

“In honor of Jim’s passion and interest in promoting academic excellence, the new fund will support the efforts of Beta Gamma Sigma,” said Eakins.

The endowment was set up to recognize Bearden’s 56-year career at ECU. He served as the College of Business’ second dean from 1968 to 1983, established the college’s MBA degree and was instrumental in the accreditation of the college’s graduate program.

Bearden also established the Beta Gamma Sigma chapter at ECU and later became that society’s national president.

The spring 2017 Beta Gamma Sigma induction recognized the following:

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, sophomores Agarwal, Ashworth, Bishop, Butz, Drahus, Ervin, Forbes, Georgi, Krause, Kruesi, Ozzimo, Saffer, Potter, Powell, Saffer, Sebastian and Dean Eakins.

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, sophomores Agarwal, Ashworth, Bishop, Butz, Drahus, Ervin, Forbes, Georgi, Krause, Kruesi, Ozzimo, Saffer, Potter, Powell, Saffer, Sebastian and Dean Eakins.

Sophomores
Sumeet Agarwal
Catherine Anne Ashworth
Victoria Bishop
Meredith Butz
Anela Cizmic
Madelyn Craig
Nicholas John Drahus
Malia Elle Ervin
Adam Stephen Forbes
Ronny Georgi
Oakleigh Hogg
Zachary Aaron Kelly
Allison King
Logan Sikes Krause
Dylan Thomas Kruesi
Xin Yin Lin
Shannon Ozzimo
Stavan Patel
Anderson Lee Potter
Hoskins Henry Powell
Kayla Elizabeth Saffer
Ana Sebastian
Gerrit R. Van Staalduinen

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, juniors Cherry, Kube, Micham, Nobles, Roberts, Sherrod, Skorupa, Small, Spain, Strickland, Wood and Dean Eakins.

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, juniors Cherry, Kube, Micham, Nobles, Roberts, Sherrod, Skorupa, Small, Spain, Strickland, Wood and Dean Eakins.

Juniors
Davis Wiley Baker
Emily Rebecca Bowman
Brigid Margaret Burke
Sarah Pearl Cherry
Justin Thomas Delise
Garrett William Hinton
Angus Edward Johnson
Molly Anne Kube
Kate Law
Shelby Nicole Micham
Amber Halle Nobles
Clayton Olson
Faith Roberts
Mary P Sherrod
Lesia Elisabeth Skorupa
Tyler Brian Small
Hudson Spain
Lydia Gayle Strickland
Anthony Vallone
Madisyn Van Ham
Connor Michael Wilson
Sarah Katharine Wood

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, seniors Thirakounh, Paylor, Maye, Correa and Dean Eakins

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, seniors Thirakounh, Paylor, Maye, Correa and Dean Eakins

Seniors
Jessica R Bell
Amber G. Brown
David Michael DeLaney
Diana Maria Garcia Correa
Terry Matias
Stephen Michael Maye
Crystal Irene Merrill
David Hendrick Paylor
Lazaro J. Perez
Hassell Gray Proctor
Tara Elizabeth Royster
Victor Somphet Thirakounh
Emily Anne Tini
Thomas Tyler
Charles Thomas Yorgen

 

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, Nancy Ray, graduate London Paulson and Dean Eakins

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Bearden, Nancy Ray, graduate London Paulson and Dean Eakins

Graduates
Jody C Bennett
Paula Suzanne Fisher
London Steele Paulson
Rajeshwar Rajeshwar
Demetrius L. Walker
Shannon Marie Wrigley

Faculty
Nancy Ray

Beta Gamma Sigma membership is the highest recognition a business student can achieve. Two times a year, the College of Business inducts eligible students and faculty into Beta Gamma Sigma. Membership is by invitation only and is based upon eligibility criteria, including those who rank in the top 10 percent of the second-semester sophomore, junior and senior classes, as well as the top 20 percent of graduating graduate students. Before nomination, the entire faculty of the College of Business reviews each candidate to ensure he or she meets the standards of character and integrity that membership represents.

Tina Williams, college faculty, currently serves as the advisor and president of ECU’s Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Computer Sciences and Business Students Participate in Hackathon

Between 9 p.m. Feb. 23 and 8 a.m. Feb. 24, 16 students from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET), the College of Business (COB) and other University colleges came together to help launch a company.

The College of Business’ Student Technology Center hosted a hackathon where these students created a website, or what they call a web store, for gamers, musicians, writers, artists, etc., to sell their content.

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon. (photos by Michael Rudd)

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon.
(Photos by Michael Rudd)

“I was working on a project in my spare time,” said Samuel Carraway, a CET junior from Chapel Hill. “I wanted to make it a reality.”

Carraway said he participated in two hackathons off campus and that’s where the idea germinated to have a hackathon at the University. He presented the idea to the recently formed student organization, EPIC or Empowering Pioneers through Innovative Culture, which includes students from all over the University who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

To help cultivate that spirit, COB’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship and instructor David Mayo oversaw that hackathon’s proceedings. Though these types of events are usually software intensive, Mayo believes it’s important to have a business component, as well.

“This hackathon not only produced a product, but we also came out with a business model that makes that product useful for the owner and the customer,” said Mayo.  “Entrepreneurship acts as a bridge for that innovation.”

We liked this collaborative atmosphere and having people from different majors and backgrounds come together,” said CET senior and EPIC co-president, Magus Pereira. “The hackathon was a good experience.”

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

Along with the new web store, a business plan was also finalized to help the store go to market. Teams of engineering and business students focused on three areas: the building of the website, a Kickstarter campaign, and a business model canvas. Business senior Christopher Rudkowski joined the hackathon and was anxious to take what he’s learned and put it to practical use. He said, “I’ve never been so immersed in a situation where we can get together and make something work.”

Business senior Dakota Votaw had never participated in a hackathon, but he’s glad he joined in this one. “It was a very positive experience for everyone,” he said. “I don’t think anyone left there thinking it was a wasted night.”

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, College of Engineering & Technology

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