JNO 2014 Winners Announced

Manure to high-quality organic fertilizer. Compelling art on trendy t-shirts. Dubbed audio in headphones for Spanish-speaking movie theater goers. These ideas are innovation in action.

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2014 JNO Award. Students competed individually and in teams in a rigorous application and presentation process to win funding and support for their big ideas. Ventures reached across verticals, from tech to the arts. Winners received between $3,000-$5,000 to cover startup expenses, as well as extended mentorship from faculty and members of the E Minor’s network.

Meet the latest JNO recipients: SustainaSoil, CineSound, and ArtWear Designs.

E Minor student Hunter Garlock and his business partner from NC State have created SustainaSoil, which makes nutrient rich fertilizer from environmentally toxic pig waste. Their product uses worms to decompose pig manure and simultaneously create high quality organic soil. SustainaSoil eliminates an environmental hazard while producing a much needed product, a service and product farmers will pay for on both sides of their operation. SustainaSoil impressed the selection committee with their team dynamic, passion, and knowledge.

CineSound is revolutionizing the movie theater viewing experience for Spanish speaking individuals through their dubbed headphones. This venture was ideated and iterated in Econ 325 and all four team members remain intact from their time spent developing the venture in the class. The selection committee was impressed by their depth of research, genuine drive for their product, and well-constructed team. With a growing population of Spanish-speaking individuals, American movie theaters have an untapped market who would pay an extra $2 to have noise-cancelling headphones delivering movie content in their native language. This team plans to use the JNO funds to test their product at UNC this semester.

Natalia Gonzalez is pivoting her previous jewelry-making business to an apparel company "Art that you Wear=ArtWear." She and her business partner, Lisa Myers, were professional and nailed the delivery of their pitch. Their product has huge potential and the committee is recommending a indiegogo campaign leading up to their product launch in March. This is an innovative approach to supporting artists. With over 12,000 followers already on Instagram and product prototypes that committee members were interested in purchasing themselves, ArtWear is quickly headed for success. The JNO Award will serve to accelerate this process.