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Annual E-Minor Venture Competition

Do you remember your first venture pitch? Last Tuesday, five student groups came together to pitch their ventures and compete for a $100 prize to go toward their project in this semester’s annual idea bake-off.

‘Buzz,’ a social advertising platform, came out on top.

Buzz offers a way to monetize word-of-mouth recommendations and advertising. The project utilizes social media to track advertising for brands and products. Buzz helps users capitalize on the advertising that they’re already doing while simultaneously helping companies utilize and benefit from the most popular form of advertising. Users of the app interact with companies that are registered for the Buzz program and receive rewards such as discounts and freebies for their tweets and social interaction.

“As a journalism major, I’m very interested in creating innovation in the advertising industry,” said Alex Dempsey, founder. “Going through the steps of developing a business model and learning how to give an effective pitch provided the foundation for what I hope will be a successful venture outside the classroom.”

The first group to present at the bake-off was CineSound. It is a system that uses wireless headphones in movie theaters that play voice dubbed-tracks in the preferred language of moviegoers so that they could have a better viewing experience. The technology would be easy to integrate in today’s digital theaters, and as far as Spanish goes, the dubs are available for the most popular movies almost in-sync with the release date.

Finalist News Bite offers a way for consumers to get information and world news quickly and efficiently through brief and reliable news bites. The bullet-point format on the user-friendly website gets people the information they want while saving time but still getting informed. The target audience is “tech-literate” consumers between the ages of 18 and 35.

SyncEd is a student run service that helps University instructors to connect with their students to find out what they can do to improve student interaction, engagement, and understanding. The goal is to synchronize the teaching ability of teachers with the learning ability of students. Project SyncEd works through a backward design by engaging with students and figuring out what they want and need in order to “flip the classroom” by integrating blended learning models.

Reer is a program that helps students decide what they want to do with their lives and discover a career that’s right. It’s a mobile platform that takes the confusion out of finding the perfect career for you by combining multiple, readily-available career services.

Though projects are graded for the minor’s introductory course, they often carry greater meaning and inspiration for students. In fact, many group projects have continued beyond the classroom and are now housed at accelerators and incubators in Chapel Hill and beyond. Applications are opening for the JNO Award, funding accessible to students to get their ventures off the ground. We encourage students to continue to explore their ideas and seek the resources offered through the Entrepreneurship Minor.

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