Earlier this month, the 10th annual Lulu eGames, NC State’s startup competition, awarded over $100,000 dollars in prize money to first, second and third place student winners who have begun to use the money to fund their startups.
Selected by judges from 178 teams and going through two rounds of the competition, the winners in six categories presented their ideas on stage to students, faculty and investors. Macy Thomas, a senior brand manager with NC State’s Entrepreneurship Program, says the competition helps students get their ideas funded.
“That’s really important, especially for students at an early stage,” Thomas said. “They need that few thousand dollars it takes to get their companies off the ground.”
However, according to Thomas, the companies competing at Lulu eGames are more than just entrepreneurial ideas.
“Some of [the students] have paying customers already,” Thomas said. “Some of them have agreements and partnerships. [Lulu eGames is] an interactive way for you to see the different ventures that are coming out of NC State.”
The Daugherty Endowment category, which recognized companies that had licensed NC State technology in the past three years, awarded the first place prize of $25,000 to asthma management company VitalFlo. The second place prize of $15,000 went to Sentinel Biomedical, a company that looks for solutions to canine cancer, and third place went to software company NExS.
VitalFlo, which helps patients predict when asthma attacks will occur, was started last April after the team won $20,000 in the 2017 Lulu eGames.