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Idea Generation Next College Edition Launches

College students are inclined to be changemakers – curious, innovative and creative. And so we’re proud to announce the kickoff of Idea Generation Next: College Edition. IGN-CE is a pitch competition designed to encourage and promote new ideas from college entrepreneurs committed to addressing social issues facing our communities. It’s part of UWGT’s social innovation initiative to connect, engage, and collaborate with innovators, intrapraneurs, entrepreneurs, and individuals to improve the lives of families and children in low-income households in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties.

Universities taking part in the challenge include North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Technical Community College, and William Peace University. Open to all students – from artists and social workers to econ and business majors – IGN-CE is designed to create a pipeline of innovators from college-age women and people of color, groups currently underrepresented in the entrepreneurial community.

Students will learn about the challenges vulnerable children and their families face, here in the prosperous Triangle area.  Filled with inspiration and creativity, fueled by competition, the students will work with mentors from the Triangle business and entrepreneurial community to refine their ideas to create change, building their skills and networks. Students who win the pitch competition will receive funding and support to implement their ideas.

IGN-CE is a great way for experienced entrepreneurs and business people to get directly involved in helping students to learn and build confidence. This is an opportunity to hear creative ideas, foster teamwork, support the entrepreneurial spirit of the Triangle, and help to build a future generation of leaders.

Here’s how it works:

  • On Campus Kickoff Meetings:  Held at each participating university, this meeting will introduce students to Idea Generation Next: College Edition, lay a foundation of knowledge around some of the largest challenges in the Triangle, and provide students a framework for the upcoming pitch competition.
  • MLK Day Pitch Competition (January 16, 2017):  A different kind of service on MLK Day, the pitch competition begins with speed-mentoring that brings resources from the Triangle business and entrepreneurial community together with innovative ideas from college students to help take seeds of their ideas to the next level.  An estimated 10-20 ideas will be selected to move on to an Accelerator program.
  • Accelerator Program:  Taking place throughout Black History month and co-hosted with The Institute (NCIMED), student entrepreneurs will be paired with teams of mentors to help create business plans and hone presentation skills in preparation for the final pitch event.
  • Final Pitch Day: On February 24th, participants will pitch their final ideas to a panel of judges (entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors) in competition for three prizes will be awarded to the top ideas.

Want to get involved as a mentor?  Sign up to be part of our mentor bank here.

Passionate about your idea to change the Triangle?  Apply here to Idea Generation Next: College Edition, and watch for an invitation to the kickoff at your university.  Be part of the next generation of innovative leaders that will come together to change the Triangle for good.