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Student Startups Win Awards at eGames

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Two startups founded by Humanities and Social Sciences students took home awards Thursday at the 2016 Lulu eGames at NC State’s Talley Student Union.

Science, Technology and Society senior Nate Myers won first place in the Arts Feasibility Study Challenge for his Malkuta Project, a multimedia-based workforce development program that connects teens primarily from low-income homes with local creative professionals. Through the program, set to launch this month, teens will learn music production, photography and videography skills while working on projects for local clients.

The first place award, which includes a $4,000 prize, also qualified Myers for a live pitch competition during the event against winners in four other eGames categories. After hearing from all of the contestants, the Talley crowd voted Myers the inaugural eGames audience choice award winner — an additional $1,000 prize.  

English and Design Studies double-major Kaitlin Fritz, right, talks about her start-up, Pop-Up Publications, on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at the 2016 LuLu eGames in Talley Student Union at NC State University.

English and Design Studies double-major Kaitlin Fritz also won a judge’s choice award in the Arts Feasibility Study Challenge for her start-up Pop-Up Publications. Pop-Up is a traveling, mobile literacy center that aims to link elementary and middle school students in Southeast Raleigh with writing materials and creative exercises. The award included a $750 prize. 

In all, the eGames awarded more than $60,000 in total prize money this year. Other categories included the Daugherty Endowment Challenge for companies who have licensed NC State intellectual property and the B Corp Champions Challenge for students building new ventures that use business as a force for social and environmental change. 

Myers’ Malkuta Project also won the judge’s choice award in the B Corp Champions Challenge, which includes a membership to HQ Raleigh

The annual startup competition is sponsored by Lulu.com and made possible by a gift from its founder, Bob Young. The event is hosted by the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative, a campus-wide program that supports student entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit ei.ncsu.edu

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