UNC Greensboro’s Jerry McGuire Student Entrepreneur

Charly Meredith, co-founder of Fool’s Gold Honey, has received UNC Greensboro’s Jerry McGuire Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Meredith, a UNCG junior psychology major, started Fool’s Gold Honey in 2020, during the pandemic. In its first year, the company has successfully sold products nationwide.

“Our award is presented to a UNCG student or student team exhibiting exceptional entrepreneurial spirit,” said Sam Seyedin, interim director of University innovation hub LaunchUNCG. “Charly was selected for their innovative approach to sourcing, distribution, sales, and sustainability.”

The award, which is administered by UNCG’s NC Entrepreneurship Center, includes a $1,000 scholarship.

“Fool’s Gold Honey was founded on the notion that people need high quality, locally sourced honey free from additives and harmful chemicals,” says Meredith. “We take meticulous care to ensure our honey remains raw. This preserves the natural taste and nutritional enzymes made by the bees.”

The company centers the health of pollinators and the environment. Meredith and their partner also manage their own apiary and offer training classes on the importance and profitability of beekeeping.

UNCG’s NC Entrepreneurship Center also recognized the following finalists:

Aaron D. Graham, English, Creative Writing
Graham is a graduate student pursuing a MFA in Poetry. His curriculum design established the Veterans’ Writing Project at UNCG as well as a four-part creative writing initiative called “Writing the Military Experience.” The initiative facilitates dialogue between service members, veterans, military families, and the broader community centered on understanding and communicating the military experience. Learn more about Graham’s work at arabicwitharedneck.com.

Abigail Fernandez, School of Nursing
Fernandez is a junior nursing student. She is the owner and creator of Whatever Is Lovely Designs, a small business that sells custom water-color greeting cards and hand-crafted paper goods. Fernandez has used her business to support healthcare workers during the pandemic, including partnering with the community to make and donate over 50 handmade cards to encourage healthcare workers in the Triad.

Joanna McCoskey Wiltshire, School of Music
Wiltshire is a Minerva Scholar on an Alumni-Hayes Excellence Fellowship pursuing a doctorate in clarinet performance. She currently teaches at the UNC-SA Community Music School in Winston-Salem, Upbeat Music Company in Lewisville, and St. Mary’s Music Academy in High Point, and she maintains a studio of her own. Learn more about Wiltshire’s work at joannamccoskeyclarinet.com.

Kassandra Ormsby, School of Music
Ormsby is a doctoral student studying bassoon performance. She is passionate about community outreach and entrepreneurship, and is an active performer and teacher. In 2019, she secured a grant to provide youth with the opportunity to experience live music from great composers and to give students hands-on experience with musical instruments. The program launched in 2020 – with a full set of new instruments, volunteer uniforms, tables and station supplies, sterilization equipment, and banners – and has reached over 4,600 children and their families. Learn more about Ormsby’s work at kassandrabassoon.com.

Finalists are typically honored each year at the NC Entrepreneurship Center’s Awards Banquet. However, due to COVID-19 this year’s students are being honored virtually.

Learn more about the NC Entrepreneurship Center, a part of the LaunchUNCG initiative, at startup.uncg.edu.

Awards presented for the UNCG & Forge Greensboro Makerships

UNCG + Forge Makership

Each year, the NC Entrepreneurship Center awards three FREE 12-month memberships to the Forge Makerspace in order to better connect innovative students with the local maker community. The Forge is a co-working Makerspace in downtown Greensboro. Members have access to welders, 3D printers, laser cutters and other tools and machines to build and create.

The Forge Makerships for the 2020-21 go to students who have demonstrated a qualifying need and use for the offerings provided by the Forge Greensboro. These annual memberships are presented to Joseph Schorr, Jacob Hermon, and Alexander Rose.

Joseph Schorr is excited to access to the tools necessary to create a business around footwear, focused on accessories to protect shoes, which continue to be a crucial piece of trendy clothing.

Jacob Hermon is a third-generation woodworker also with leather and 3D-printing experience. A membership will allow him to more consistently work on projects, including 3D printing for honeybee hives, wood working to build workstations, artwork, as well as learn to weld.

Alexander Rose has always considered himself a creative. Now, he hopes to leverage this creativity around a business idea – creating scale models for building construction including community centers, performance spaces, even offices. He also has personal projects like sculptures, props and costumes.

Additionally, the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center  announced that Sheeba Dawood has been named UNCG Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Read more here.

These students are typically honored each year at the NC Entrepreneurship Center’s Awards Banquet. However, due to COVID-19, this year’s ceremony was cancelled, and students are being honored virtually.

Learn more about the NC Entrepreneurship Center at startup.uncg.edu.


2 Minutes to Win It

Now for our Winners – these top finalists survived two rounds of judging against 90 other competitors from 5 different universities against students ranging from freshman to PhD students and nearly 30 majors represented

Best Pitch – $250, Strategy Consultation – Earthlyn Armstrong, Mommy Tribe

Third Place – $250, Eligible for NSF I-Corps, Strategy Consultation – Matthew Hawkins, Karman Rockets

Second Place – $500, Eligible for NSF I-Corps, Strategy Consultation – Chloe Headley, Booze Box

First Place – $1,000, Spot in NSF I-Corps, 6-month membership to HQ Greensboro – Jewel Moser, Backpack Bolster

Seeking Creative Solutions

September 30: First Round Submission Due ONLINE

The 2018 Civic Innovation Competition is open to all full-time UNCG & NCAT Students interested in developing innovative solutions for local government problems. Outlined on the competition website are 7 Problem Statements currently challenging Guilford County Government. Your task is to develop an innovative solution for one or more of these problems. Participants will submit their first-round ideas online, while finalists will have over a month to prepare for LIVE Final Presentations. 10 Finalists will all be awarded $500 and the overall winner will be awarded $5,000.
Learn more and apply!

BOA Launches $20 Million Lending Program for U.S. Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 8, 2018 8:30 am EDT

Bank of America today announced a $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program to connect U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable capital to help kick-start and grow their businesses.

“Helping our veterans translate their skills and become entrepreneurs driving the U.S. economy is one of the ways Bank of America is thanking them for their service,” said Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan. Read More.

Travel Noire acqruired by Blavity

Blavity, the media and events startup focused on black millennials and black culture, has acquired travel startup Travel Noire for an undisclosed amount.

Travel Noire, which offers up traveling tips and guidance for black millennials, reaches over 2 million millennials a month. Next month, I’m heading to Nairobi with some TechCrunch colleagues. Thanks to Travel Noire, I now know to hit up the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant orphanage located inside Nairobi National Park. Read More…

UNCG, NC A&T selected as National Science Foundation I-Corps Site

Greensboro, N.C. (Aug. 9, 2017) – The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) have been awarded a five-year, $500,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish Greensboro as an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site.

NSF I-Corps is a federally funded program that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization.

As a designated I-Corps Site, UNCG and N.C. A&T will provide students, faculty, staff and alumni with the education and resources needed to take their innovations to market. The new I-Corps Site is one of just a few sites in North Carolina.

“I am proud that UNCG was chosen amongst a competitive field to lead a Greensboro-based I-Corps site with N.C. A&T,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “This unique National Science Foundation initiative will foster innovation and collaboration among faculty, students and the greater Greensboro community, as we continue to develop a growing innovation ecosystem that will have real world impact.”

Read More

NCEC Awards Celebration

The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center held its award ceremony on March 23 at HQ Greensboro, following the 2 Minutes to Win It competition.

This year’s Jerry McGuire UNCG Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner is Tyler Freeman, a former Marine and co-owner of Barn Ridge Financial Partners. Since its beginning in 2014, his firm has engaged 200 clients, 575 individual accounts and has grown their assets under management to $62.5 million. In 2016, Tyler was elected the president of the Student Veterans Association. In the coming months, Tyler will serve as a Summer District Office Intern for Congressman Mark Walker, assisting with veterans’ issues and outreach. He was honored as one of the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under Forty for 2017.

Kayla Martel, a runner-up for the Jerry McGuire award, is the founder and CEO of Red Ribbon and Company, launched in 2016. Red Ribbon’s main focus is apparel customization, including embroidery, sublimation, vinyl stickers and heat transfers. Red Ribbon and Company creates customized items for sports teams, clubs and other organizations. In 2016, Martel hired UNCG campus representatives to market Red Ribbon’s services, which led to growth in serving campus organizations. Also in 2016, Martel placed first in the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Entrepreneurship competition in Greensboro.

Monique McLeary, a runner-up for the Jerry McGuire award, launched a natural skin and hair care company called Munch Cosmetics in 2016. Munch products are handmade in small batches. They are free of sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and other harmful substances. Since starting her business on Etsy, McLeary has sold many products nationally, and she plans to develop more products. McLeary also currently serves as a mentor with the African American Male Initiative.

Mary Chen

The NCEC Volunteer of the Year award went to Mary Chen, the founder and CEO of Chen Language Services and Chen Global Services. Chen spoke in two different classes at UNCG Entrepreneur Day and was a judge for the 2 Minutes to Win It pitch competition.

Winners for the 2 Minutes to Win It were chosen by a panel of thirty judges, based on creativity, viability and presentation skills. 72 undergraduate and graduate student competitors from six universities competed, and four received awards.

Chase Smith won first place for LockBox.io, a system of RFID and fingerprint-enabled locks and lockboxes for managing industrial plant processes. Smith’s product would increase the safety of employees performing repairs.

Sheeba Dawood won second place for Nano Therapeutics. Dawood proposes creating a device that produces light capable of triggering nano particles. The nano particles would transport cancer-fighting drugs and the therapy could become an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation.

Piper Hudson won third place for Black Gold Compost, which would offer composted fertilizer and a service for compost material pickup and delivery. Hudson’s project would use social media to encourage participation and to provide education about food waste and how its disposal affects the environment.

Erika Bridges won the best pitch prize for The Pantry, a small delivery-based grocery store that operates via app and in small locations. The store is designed for commuters who would find it inconvenient to carry groceries on public transportation, and for vendors who would like to have a store in a small space with limited products on-hand.

Three undergraduate students were selected for UNCG Forge Makership awards.

Matthew Froehling currently practices 3D printing, wood and metal working. He plans to increase his skill set in order to build portable DJ facades, a photo booth, foldable table stands and other DJ-related projects.

Amanda Lenz has worked with a variety of materials, including leather, and she plans to use the industrial sewing machines at the Forge to grow her handbag business, Helene Dorothy.

Seth Allred uses 3D printing, sewing, molding, casting, wood and metalworking in making props and replicas for costuming and cosplay. He will use the tools at the Forge to make more props and increase his skills, and he will learn how to use circuitry.



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