SKEMA Ventures and SKEMA Ventures Raleigh Club organized the Startup Kafe pitching session at the HQ Centennial/North Carolina State University E-Garage on January 28. Over 30 participants were present at the event, including students, faculty and members of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The 16 business pitches by student-entrepreneurs were diverse, ranging from fashion and hospitality to social entrepreneurship. NC State entrepreneurship ambassadors, who joined the event during the break, shared their knowledge with the participants.
After a brief welcome by Faustin Magnin, president of SKEMA Ventures Raleigh Club, the pitches got underway. Mitch Weisberg, manager of SKEMA Ventures Raleigh, was the MC for the event. He summarized and tied the presentations together into a cohesive story of emerging entrepreneurship and innovation.
The broad array of entrepreneurial and innovative ideas included a mobile application for crowd-sourcing wardrobe selection, customized pastry bakery, centralized photo sharing and printing for groups, a digital profile identifier, a mashed-potato restaurant/bar, and a phone payment system. Other ideas included an international platform for connecting businesses and potential customers, focused professional fashion clothing for women, a virtual and social ‘running’ app, a delivery service for medical products, a non-profit student exchange program, a crowd-sourced translation app, a trading/investing tool, and a cultural exchange app.
One of the highlights of the evening was a short presentation through Skype by Deonte Holden, a SKEMA Ventures alumnus based in Miami. Deonte provided an update on his venture – a fashion streetwear brand named Gaveen – and answered students’ questions.
At the conclusion of the Startup Kafe, the emergent themes were personal and professional support, new products and technology, and social and sustainable entrepreneurship. Each presenter was given a luggage tag from SKEMA to help them on their entrepreneurial journey.
We look forward to meeting all the participants again throughout the semester at the activities organized by SKEMA Ventures Raleigh Club and at the Bootstrap workshop from March 24-26.
For more information, please contact Mitchell Weisberg, Manager, SKEMA Ventures Raleigh and adjunct professor – strategy and entrepreneurship, SKEMA Business School, Raleigh.