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Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge sets dates, ups prize money

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ECU Junior Taylor Hicks, right, owner of Simple & Sentimental, participated in last year’s inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge. She eventually moved on to take first place in the competition.

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The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, a three-round business pitch competition, will be held Oct. 11 and give more than $75,000 in cash and in-kind services to the top three winners, ECU announced Monday.

The event is sponsored by East Carolina University’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship and is open to any ECU student in the 2018-19 academic year and alumni who have an enrolled ECU student on their team.

The grand prize winner will receive $15,000 in cash. Second place will receive $10,000 and third place will take home $5,000 in prize money.

ECU student Taylor Hicks and her company, Simple and Sentimental, won first place in last year’s inaugural challenge, which handed out $20,000 in cash prizes.

“The increase in award money and the new in-kind, donated services are some of many reasons we’re excited about this year’s challenge,” said Mike Harris, director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.

Round one will take place Oct. 11 from noon to 2 p.m. in the brickyard between Joyner Library and Mendenhall Student Center on main campus.

Based on popular vote and input from ECU representatives, 12 teams will move on to round two, which is Nov. 15, 5-7 p.m. at the ECU Heart Institute.

The six teams chosen to participate in the final round will receive $2,000. The final round will be held in February during National Entrepreneurship Week. The date and time will be announced later.

Cash and in-kind services will be provided by: Albea Law; Coffman’s Menswear; Greenville SEED@ECU; Instigator; Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor, Hunt; Kellam and Campbell; Pitt County Development Commission; Red Shark Digital; Uptown Greenville

“We’re trying to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem here in eastern North Carolina,” said Harris. “The more companies we can work with to participate in the challenge, the more we can entice ECU students, from both the east and west campuses, to participate, get involved and cultivate their ideas into realities.”

For teams interested in competing, an information session will be held Thursday in Bate 1300 from 5:30-6:15 p.m.

To learn more about the second annual Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit www.business.ecu.edu/msoe/pec.

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