Wake Forest celebrates entrepreneurs

On April 16, Wake Forest’s Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship honored the University’s outstanding entrepreneurs.

President Nathan Hatch presented 2008 graduate James Beshara, CEO and co-founder of Tilt, with the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurship award. The social fundraising platform launches more campaigns each day than any other crowdfunding platform.

“Through his undergraduate research and work experience, James developed a strong belief in the potential for financial collaboration within communities, and the power of collective action and shared resources,” said Hatch. “James’ story exemplifies what the Program for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest is all about. With his resourcefulness and ingenuity he saw – and seized – an opportunity to do something Pro Humanitate that would forever change the way we resource human endeavor.”

One Wake Forest faculty member and six students were also recognized at the event.

Hatch presents Beshara with the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurship award.

Hatch presents Beshara with the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurship award.

Communication professor Len Neighbors was awarded the Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Faculty Award for Exceptional Support of Entrepreneurship in recognition of the class he designed to have students build the skills to handle all the challenges, risks and rewards of entrepreneurship by designing, launching and running a community music festival called DashPop that took place in downtown Winston-Salem.

Student awards included:

Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement (Social Venture)
Law student Shante’ Elliott for Waiting to Be Wanted
Waiting to be Wanted seeks to close the gap between foster youth and non-foster youth through opportunity and education. An online website will allow low-income, foster youth in middle and high school to share their stories and request funding to participate in educational activities such in the arts, STEM and sporting events.

Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement (Commercial Venture)
Junior business and enterprise management major Jacob Teitelbaum for Fresh Food Network
Fresh Food Network is an online platform making it easier for students, faculty and staff to learn about and purchase local food options. Fresh Food Network hopes to revolutionize the traditional supermarket model by offering delivery to densely populated employment complexes and capitalizing on consumers’ growing interest in local and organic food.

Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement (Commercial Venture)
Sophomore finance major Tommy Vater for Gym Peak
Gym Peak tracks the occupancy levels of fitness centers on college campuses throughout the Southeast. Students using the Gym Peak app will be able to see real time data showing exactly how busy the gym is before they go.

Chambers Family Fund Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement (Online Venture)
Junior communication major Adrienne Henderson for The Social Petwork
The PetWork.com provides a way for animal shelters to share information with potential pet adopters, making it easy for people to donate to and adopt from these shelters.

Lelia and David Farr Student Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship
Senior computer science major John Marbach
Marbach was recognized for his contributions as the University Innovation Fellow and director of TEDxWakeForestU.

ICE Student Award for Excellence in Innovation
Senior theatre major Johanna Beach for Toy Theatre Tour
The Toy Theatre is a theatrical performance on a miniature scale that will travel around the country, from living room to living room. The tour will engage audiences in a magical and transformative experience right in their home.

Junior sociology major Kent Garrett was recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit and contributions. Last summer Garrett landed an internship in a music-based start-up and has since gone on to work with several emerging artists helping them expand their fan base. Most recently, he worked with another start-up helping them develop app games and was instrumental in coordinating the launch party for DashPop. Through these experiences learned from both the successes and failures seen in the start-up world.

The Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, seeks to create and sustain an environment that fosters innovative, creative and entrepreneurial thinking, and action across the entire campus community.

The Center offers academic, experiential and co-curricular opportunities for undergraduate students, including the Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise minor — the most popular minor in the College. Situated in the Liberal Arts College, the minor opens the mind to a radically innovative perspective through which to interpret and value the radically traditional in new and relevant ways.

Categories: Faculty, Recognition, Student, Top Stories