GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Six entrepreneurial teams from East Carolina University competed for more than $100,000 prize and services that will help fund their new or existing businesses.
The final round of the third annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge was held on Wednesday.
The students have developed their ideas, products, and services for months since round one of the challenge in October and some before then.
This competition started with over 100 teams from 50 different programs at the school.
The teams presented their ideas in front of a panel of judges made up of local entrepreneurs, businessmen and the co-founder of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.
“I’m so overwhelmed with these young adults who are bringing all this energy and passion with these ideas,” said Fielding Miller, the co-founder of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.
Ideas ranged from blockchain software to a food safety seal to a new way to study sports.
Over $100,000 in cash and prizes made this year’s challenge the biggest one yet.
The grand prize winners are husband and wife Mallory Miles and Felipe de Araujo. Miles is a biology graduate student and her husband, a software developer.
The team won a $15,000 cash prize.
They founded an online business called FishingLicense.us.
Miles says she was surprised to hear the company called in the first place spot.
“Felipe actually came up with the idea when we had trouble getting our own fishing licenses,” said Miles. “Then he started researching the market and found out what a huge market it was.”
The cash prize will help Felipe make developing the website his full-time job.
“So this check will help us move towards that direction. Working full time, we can do more,” said de Araujo.
Second place, $10,000 in cash, was awarded to Snap Slimes, a company that produces slime toys.
Third place in the amount of $5,000 was awarded to HonestBlox, blockchain technology to assist farmers in the area.
Fourth place was awarded to Lights Out, a streetlight technology, in the amount of $1,000.
In addition to the cash prizes, teams were awarded legal, branding, and consulting assistance and other prizes.
The Pirate Challenge is the university’s signature business pitch competition and is sponsored by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship, the first-named school of entrepreneurship in North Carolina.
Judges for this year’s Pirate Challenge include for the first time Fielding Miller, co-founder, CEO of CAPTRUST and the Miller School’s namesake; James Maynard, chairman, and co-founder of Golden Corral and chairman and founder of Investors Management Corporation; and Taylor Walden, inaugural Pirate Challenge winner and founder of Greenville-based Simple and Sentimental.