Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ventureprise, UNC Charlotte’s innovation and entrepreneurship center, recently welcomed seven new student companies to 49er Foundry, the University’s student incubator.

This fall, the 49er Foundry broadened its mission to engage students across campus who are working on ideas that solve business and social problems. These new student companies are working on ventures ranging from technology to enhance educational experiences to affordable advertising to small companies. The program is free to students and does not require any equity.

The 49er Foundry offers customer discovery startup courses, mentoring services, pitching competitions, panels and guest speakers to provide student companies a solid foundation for their launch and to prepare students to connect with the greater Charlotte entrepreneurial community.

Devin Collins, executive director for Ventureprise, said, “The 49er Foundry serves as a welcoming environment for students working on ideas in technology, education, social good, nonprofits or anything that may one day change the world.”

Wade Burke, a first-year graduate student, said, “The 49er Foundry has been a place for me to connect with other students like myself, those who are driven to utilize their free time to build something bigger than themselves and willing to face the challenges of this journey. It provides a place to network and also a place to stay inspired to continue my entrepreneurial journey. In the three weeks I have been a part of the program, my mindset and my business model has radically shifted. This is due to the conversations with Laura (Smailes) and Devin (Collins) as well as their insight to focus on the customer. I am confident I will have a better product after the Foundry due to the students, mentors and insights on 'best-practices' in customer discovery.”


Graduate student companies are:

  • Wade Burke, Belk College of Business, Eleutheria
  • Micah Coleman, Belk College of Business, and Iindia Rorie, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, I.M. Beauty LLC
  • Tylan Witherspoon, Cato College of Education, In Your Face Advertising
  • Rob Abbott, College of Computing and Informatics, eMayl

Undergraduate student companies are:

  • Treven Stoddard, College of Computing and Informatics, Genubot
  • Mackenzie Kistner, Roscoe’s Bark & Board
  • Hunter Stanley, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Tiquity Tickets