2022 Student Entrepreneur Award

Nominations will open in January 2022

Click Here to Make your Nomination Now!

The Jerry McGuire Student Entrepreneur Award is an annual $1,000 award going to UNCG’s most entrepreneurial student or student team. This fund was established in honor of Jerry’s retirement in 2014.

The submission deadline for 2022 is April 11, 2022.

Jerry McGuire has over 30 years of experience in technology commercialization with both industrial and university technologies. He established UNCG’s Office of Technology Transfer (now under LaunchUNCG) serving as its first director. Under his leadership, this operation has dramatically increased commercialization activities on-going research and innovation at UNCG. He was promoted to Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development in 2009.

The Jerry McGuire Student Entrepreneur Award will be administered as an endowed fund under the following guidelines:

  • An award will be made annually to a student (or student team) who has exhibited exceptional entrepreneurial experience. Recipients will be selected by a panel of judges appointed by the Director of the NC Entrepreneurship Center including, but not limited to, UNCG faculty and staff, alumni, business owners, and/or others knowledgeable about entrepreneurship.
  •  Students may self-nominate or be nominated by others. Nominees must be a full-time student enrolled in at least one of the fall or spring semesters during the academic year at UNCG and graduating no sooner than the academic year in which the award is made. Nominees may include undergraduate or graduate students who have started businesses, social entrepreneurship ventures, on-campus programming, new clubs and organizations, as well as community service. Individual students or teams of students may be nominated. In the event the winner is a team, the scholarship will be divided equally among team members.

 Click here to enter Nominee Information. 

2021  Jerry McGuire UNCG Student Entrepreneur of the Year

Charly Meredith

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.

2020 Sheeba Dawood

Sheeba is co-founder of Minerva Lithium, a UNCG spinout based on a point-of-use lithium extraction technology developed through her Nanoscience PhD at JSNN. The innovation provides fast and efficient lithium extraction and recovery due to its high selectivity, rapid extraction ability, and the feasibility to apply to large-scale lithium extraction significantly reducing the cost and extraction time for one of the most necessary elements into today’s devices. She has published a peer-reviewed journal article and is an inventor on the patent application.

Sheeba has participated in the 2-Minutes Business Pitch, Launch Place’s IdeaFest, the Greensboro NSF I-Corps program, the National NSF I-Corps program, and has presented her research in 8 national conferences. Other awards include the 1st Place Winner at the UNCG Expo in 2018 and top 10 at UNCG 3 Minute Thesis presentation in 2019. 

2019 Taylor Mabe

Taylor Mabe is a Fall 2018 Graduate of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering PhD in Nanoscience Program.

Taylor currently serves as the President and CEO of the medical device start-up 3i Nanotech, Inc, founded in 2018, commercializing innovative intellectual property generated during his PhD studies at the Joint School.

Outside of 3i Nano, Taylor founded, created, directed and produced the JSNN Video Tutorial Series to train 1st and 2nd year students how to operate the scientific and analytical equipment at JSNN.

In 2015, Taylor gave a TED Talk at TedX Greensboro titled “Small Particles for Big Problems” and was also selected as the sole UNCG student to share his dissertation research with the N.C. General Assembly at Legislative Graduate Day this past year.

2018 Carlena Neely

Carlena Neely took 1st place in a state wide hackathon and being recognized as the best mobile application concept for the future of shopping.  Her most current project is called #Aberrant. Aberrant is a campus originated movement and a clothing brand. Aberrant is defined as departing from the accepted standard. The purpose of aberrant is to create a platform for individuals to make their own path and diverge from the norms of society. Additionally she is working on another mobile app, Connex  a mobile application that makes it effortless for students to connect with peers, organizations, and affinity groups.

Previous Winners – Where are they Now?