Challenge Accepted: Three E-Minor Teams Place in Carolina Challenge

Each year the Carolina Challenge offers students the opportunity to showcase their ventures in rounds of pitch competitions. Winning ventures receive funding and exposure to the program’s network of area entrepreneurs and alumni.

 E-Minors have always had a distinct presence at the Carolina Challenge. This year, three teams from the E-Minor placed!

 JJSquares - 2nd Place, High-Tech Track

  Kliink -  3rd Place, Social Track

  CineSound - 4th Place, Low-Tech Track

 Tell us about your venture.

JJ Squares: Our goal is to help people solve a common problem known as peripheral edema. This is the swelling of the limbs, and there is no cure like our Active Compression Sleeve in the marketplace. Our sleeve uses new technology controlled by a microchip to help alleviate these adverse symptoms. The product is also useful for athletes in need of an effective recovery tool, or for those who just want to receive a gentle massage to promote healthy blood flow.


 CineSound: CineSound aims to make the movie theater experience available to speakers of all languages by combining existing dubbed tracks with wireless headphone transmission systems. Customers who prefer to listen to movies in languages other than English can rent headphones when they buy movie tickets.

 Kliink: Kliink, To be the connecting link between those in need and those who can help, Through our online platform we create a space for educational NGOs to connect with donors.

 Where did the idea for your business come from?

CineSound: Sophie Mohajerani first thought of the CineSound model while studying abroad in Spain. She visited a movie theater that had screens for both English and Spanish speaking audiences. Assuming that multiple screens wouldn't work in the US, she came up with the idea of supporting multiple languages in one screen by using headphones.

 How has the E-Minor helped prepare you for this opportunity?

JJ Squares: Dr. DeSimone and Dr. Caudill have both provided spectacular insight into the business side of the scientific community. The guest speakers we have had in class have also been very helpful answering the questions we have as a startup.

 Why did you all apply to the Carolina Challenge? What will you do now?

Kliink: The Carolina Challenge has gotten a great reputation as one of UNC's top competitions with so many strong ventures coming through it over the years. We placed 3rd in the Social Track. Our prize money will all go towards startup costs like marketing and outreach.

 What are you doing for your summer internship for the E-Minor?

JJ Squares: JJ Squares has been accepted into an accelerator program, ZeroTo510, in Memphis, TN. We will receive the necessary funding and mentorship for FDA approval as a startup. We hope to provide the Active Compression Sleeve to patients and consumers in need of treatment by this fall.


Congratulations to all teams!