NC State’s Lulu eGames Ventures Set Out to Solve Community Issues

April 9, 2015 8:35 AM

We're excited to share this story via our partners at the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative! Their upcoming Lulu eGames feature several companies focused on social and sustainable innovation, which, as many of you know, is core focus at HQ Raleigh. (You can read more on our B Corp ambitions via Walter Magazine).

Make sure to check out the eGames Finale on April 28th! Tickets are free here.


The competition is heating up for NC State teams heading into the final round of the 2015 Lulu eGames, the university’s annual startup competition celebrating student entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We are seeing more and more students focusing on the social impact of their companies,” said Dr. Tom Miller, senior vice provost for academic outreach and entrepreneurship at NC State. “These students are applying our motto of ‘Think and Do’ in a way that directly benefits our local communities.”

FreshSpire: Reducing Food Waste Interactively

FreshSpire originated in Durham, when a group of five high school students recognized a problem with food waste in their surrounding community and sought an engaging solution. FreshSpire’s mobile notification system alerts consumers of discounted produce at their local grocery stores. This system liquidates perishable inventories before they reach landfills and helps budget-conscious families afford nutritious foods. By advertising food that would otherwise be thrown out and adding an expiration date calendar to reduce household waste, FreshSpire addresses food disparities without increasing food production.

The company’s co-founder, Shraddha Rathod, is a student in the Poole College of Management.


STEMedia: Creative Inspiration for STEM Innovation

STEMedia™ is a venture that seeks to provide creative and inspirational content and products for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community. Through partnerships with educators, researchers and institutions, STEMedia produces digital media to be shared across multiple platforms, combining the technical disciplines with creative arts.

"There is someone out there with a wealth of unrecognized potential, particularly in STEM, that can do something great, if only we could somehow paint this picture using slightly different colors," said Nehemiah Mabry, a civil engineering PhD candidate and president of STEMedia. “Being in the Lulu eGames is an opportunity for us to gain exposure and receive feedback. The vision for STEMedia is an ambitious one; however this opportunity is a valuable step in the learning experience of starting and growing a company.”


BEE Downtown: Thinking Outside the Hive

Third generation beekeeper Leigh-Kathryn Bonner created BEE Downtown, a Durham-based venture that creates sustainable honeybee communities in cities around the globe through rooftop beekeeping and custom observation hives. BEE Downton’s clear observational beehives attract thousands of visitors to a company’s building, providing year round marketing opportunities that visibly show its commitment to preserving the environment and give the community a window into the world of honeybees. Bonner has formed strong partnerships with Burts Bees and the American Tobacco Campus, which resulted in the installation of North Carolina’s largest honeybee observation hive with more than 160,000 bees.

“Participating in the eGames has been the best possible thing for BEE Downtown,” said Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, a senior in international studies and creator and executive director of Bee Downtown. “Looking at the progress my company has made from the first round of the eGames to now is truly unbeelievable!”

FreshSpire, STEMedia and Bee Downtown are just three of the companies competing in the 2015 Lulu eGames sponsored by Lulu and hosted by NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. With four categories of competition, students compete for up to $40,000 in cash prizes. Join us on Tuesday, April 28 to see all the participants at the Lulu eGames finals. The event in free and open to the public.

Contact: Megan Greer, Director of Communications and Outreach,


The NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative was founded to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. At NC State, we are dedicated to creating unique learning opportunities for our students to grow into the leaders and job creators of the next generation. As a program, we take an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Our faculty and staff come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, and we actively recruit students from all areas of campus. Our desire is to build a community both within and beyond the university that thrives on a creative, immersive entrepreneurial experience for all.

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