Four undergraduates receive inaugural entrepreneurship awards

March 26, 2010

Chapel Hill, N.C. — Four aspiring undergraduate entrepreneurs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received the inaugural JNO Awards of $3,000-$5,000 March 26 at the minor in entrepreneurship spring alumni event.

The award was created by 2003 economics graduate Jason Norris to provide funding for research, travel, internship opportunities or startup costs for students in the minor who intend to start new businesses or nonprofits.

Norris is the managing director for structured finance for the Bernstein Companies in Washington, D. C., and serves on the working group that advises the minor.

The four JNO Award recipients were:

Morgan Abbott, a sophomore double major in public policy and religious studies. Abbott founded Carolina for Amani in partnership with New Life Home Orphanages in Kenya and the Amani Foundation. She will use her award to implement Carolina for Amani, a program that utilizes college interns to update adoption files and psychosocial reports for each of the children in the New Life Homes and convert them to an electronic format. This will allow each of the 350 children in the New Life Homes to be eligible for adoption sooner while making the adoption process more efficient, accessible and safe.

David Baron, a junior biology and environmental studies major. Baron founded Social Enterprise Accessories, a for-profit business that integrates consumptive and social value that he started recently with a colleague from Emory University. They plan to launch their first products this summer, producing accessories, beginning with sunglasses, that are color-coded to associate them with specific causes.

Joe Davy, a junior economics major who founded EvoApp, an online platform that he developed with a team of entrepreneurs for about seven months. EvoApp helps teams work together more transparently by easily sharing information from multiple places. They have been named one of America's Coolest College Startups by Inc. magazine.

Gavin Rex, a junior economics and mathematical decision sciences major. His venture is iKampus, which creates portal Web sites for students at major U.S. universities. The venture creates a personalized Web experience for college students, providing them with seamless access to all the important areas of their Internet life through an intuitive portal. Students establish the sites as their home pages and can access a wide range of Internet resources, from university specific sites to the social networking tools they use.

The minor in entrepreneurship is offered to undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences who wish to complement their major area of study with an understanding of what is involved in creating a new venture of any kind. For more information, visit