The evening of October 6 was not an ordinary one for students at the SKEMA Raleigh campus! With the atmosphere charged with creativity and innovative ideas, over 40 people, including students, faculty and guests, gathered to pitch or listen to the business pitches of their peers at the Startup Kafe event organized by SKEMA Ventures.
The organization of the event was managed by SKEMA Ventures and the SKEMA Ventures Raleigh Club. After a brief welcome, the pitches got underway. Mitch Weisberg, manager of SKEMA Ventures Raleigh, was the MC for the evening. He summarized and tied the presentations together into a cohesive story of emerging entrepreneurship and innovation.
Seven students presented their business idea to the audience, covering a wide range of sectors such as food, travel, health, etc. The products and services included a regional bakery to expand local specialities, collapsible suitcases for those who don’t travel frequently and have little storage space, university-sponsored student meal vouchers for more diverse food options, healthy fast food, and a parking app to help city-bound drivers find parking spaces quickly.
After a break, we turned the Startup Kafe inside out, asking participants to present a problem that they encountered during their travels to the US or since their time here. We then brainstormed for ideas with the audience of possible innovative or “far out” solutions that could eliminate the problem.
An NC State Entrepreneurship Ambassador also joined the event, which added to the diversity of the group and boosted networking opportunities for our students. One of the highlights of the evening was the wearing of customized face masks made by Gaveen – a fashion streetwear company founded by our alumnus Deonte Holden and incubated in SKEMA Ventures Raleigh.
At the conclusion of the evening, each pitcher was given a final round of applause and best wishes for their entrepreneurial journey. We look forward to seeing these entrepreneurial students again throughout the semester at our SKEMA Ventures Club activities.
For more information, contact professor Mitch Weisberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.