Global Entrepreneurship Week


What is Global Entrepreneurship Week? 

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. This is a worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people, with millions unlocking their talents and turning their ideas into reality. 

This year, Global Entrepreneurship Week is November 8-12. 

Day five: Week in review and what's ahead 



DAY four: community team updates

Ventureprise was awarded an NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Partner grant to bring the Ventureprise Launch customer discovery program to early-stage, innovation-driven startups in Charlotte and western North Carolina.The curriculum takes early stage entrepreneurs through customer discovery and business model generation activities modeled after the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps).  

With over 110 teams coming through the program since 2015, we caught up with a few to highlight some recent miilestones.






DAY three: 49er impact awards


Learn more about each idea on our YouTube Page


DAY two: research and commercialization

Ventureprise's  long-standing support of research and commercializatiion has blossomed with its 2015 selection as a National Science Foundation I-Corps Site. 173 University Teams/ 376 Students/ 112 Faculty/ 18 National I-Corps Teams.
Learn more about the research on campus, Univeristy spin-outs and resources available to faculty, staff and community collaborators. 
Dr. Margaret Kocherga graduated in 2020 and founded Margik, after participating in both Ventureprise's regional NSF I-Corps program and the National NSF I-Corps program.  Learn more about Dr. Kocherga's commerciailzation journey, what is upcoming for Margik and advice to aspiring students looking to make an impact with their research. 


Learn more about NSF I-Corps Program with Dr. Kyounghee Kim and her company, EcoClosure.


Dr. MaryLou Maher, Abi Olukeye and Brad Fach discuss the process and resources for commerciailzing your research.



Day one: 49er foundry and student entrepreneurs

Where Are They Now? Updates & Advice: In anticipation for Wednesday's Fall 2021 49er Impact Winner Announcement, today we will be recognizing former UNC Charlotte student entrepreneurs and highlight where they are now and what advice they have for fall participants.

From the 49er Impact and Charlotte Venture Challenge to the 49er Foundry and other Ventureprise programming, we have some amazing students working on creative ideas. From social issues to business startups, these students want to make an impact on campus and in the community. 


In Spring 2021, the 49er Impact was launched. This was an opportunity for students to work on their social or business ideas. 

Our 2021 Charlotte Venture Challenge highlighted the final six awardees. 

A full list of all participants and pitches can be found here

A few student highlights: 

Adonis Abdullah, Founder of Hot Route Analytics, has been a member of 49er Foundry since winning the 49er iPitch Competition as a junior in 2019. Adonis is a Spring 2021 Belk College of Business graduate and continuing his studies in their Master's program. He was recognized Charlotte Inno's Under 25 in 2020 and was also awarded a NC Micro Grant (one of 19 statewide) in Spring 2020. Adonis continues to work on Hot Route Analytics, while also mentoring other student entrepreneurs in 49er Foundry, UNC Charlotte's Student Business Incubator. 


Amogh Bandekar and Allison File, Founders of SolCooking, were awardees at the inaugural 49er Impact and have conducted extensive customer discovery in Ventureprise Launch NSF I-Corps. They were both named in Charlotte Inno's Under 25 in 2020 and are continuing to work on their solar cookers, collaborating with Lee College of Engineering and another 49er Impact participant Mackay Burke. 


As a freshman, Fidel Henriquez won the Student Pitch Competition at Charlotte Venture Challenge in 2019 and also won in 2020 for a spot in the 49er Summer Incubator. He went on to be recognized in Charlotte Inno's Under 25 inaugural list in 2019 win a Blue Diamond Award in 2020. He will be graduating this year and taking a position with Microsoft, but before he leaves he will be working with another Ventureprise alumnus, Jon Corkey, on Amissa. He continues to be a champion for student entrepreneurship. Check out his blog about his startup journey here



GLObal Entrepreneurship WEek AT UNC CHARLOTTE

How to Get Involved


Students can get involved in a couple of ways. The most immersive way that students can get involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week is by participating in the 49er Impact Pitch Competition. As described above, we have extended the 49er Impact Pitch Competition into a month long program for students with workshops, panels, and mentorship opportunities. We are looking to include students from all colleges and majors. In addition to 49er Impact, we also invite students to follow us on social media (@CLTVentureprise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). You can explore our website and stayed tuned for our posts, articles and entrepreneurship campaign in November. Be on the lookout for us tabling on campus and feel free to stop by our office in PORTAL 252. 


With a goal to engage many students across all colleges, Ventureprise is looking to work with faculty, staff and campus organizations to highlight student resources and opportunities. This semester's 49er Impact will include panels, workshops, mentoring and conclude with a pitch competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 8-12. We will be hosting a number of events and initiatives geared to meet student needs, as well as preparing them to make an impact with their ideas and research. We aim to provide students with experiences, professional development and co-curricular activities in a variety of forms. 

We are looking for faculty and campus support in a few ways:
Collaboration. Do you have an assignment or project in your syllabus that could be incorporated? Is there an event/activity that you would like us to include in the month of October or during GEW?
Guest Lectures. Ventureprise Director Devin Collins and Assistant Director Laura Smailes are available for class lectures on topics such as entrepreneurial thinking, social impact, customer discovery and commercialization. 
Class Mentions. Help us make students aware of the events and resources.

Contact us today with collaborations and referrals:

Global Entrepreneurship Week Around Charlotte

Idea to Launch: An Innovation Workshop for Girls

Organized by the Dottie Rose Foundation and Carolina Women in Tech, this workshop will be an immersion into innovation, creativity, and design. Girls will engage in the ideation process by brainstorming, designing and building a solution to a problem. Girls will learn from industry experts about the concepts of taking an idea to a prototype to a pitch. They will also have the opportunity to share their ideas with a panel of professionals. Lunch will be included!

STEM & Entrepreneurship Panel

Organized by the Dottie Rose Foundation and WhatSheTechs, this event will include an informative panel featuring local entrepreneurs in the STEM field! Learn about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and the critical benefits of the STEM industry! This panel will feature five of Charlotte's leading entrepreneurs in STEM: Anjali Dighe (Code Ninjas), Sharon Jones (Dottie Rose Foundation), Abi Olukeye (Raising Smart Girls), Criseida Rico (WhatSheTechs) and Rick Suarez (Stay Plugged In).

Other Resources

Global Entrepreneurship Network:

The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 180+ countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.

By fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start-and-scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth.

GEN’s comprehensive global footprint of national operations and global verticals in policy, research and programs ensures that members have uncommon access to the most relevant knowledge, networks, communities and programs relative to size of economy, maturity of ecosystem, language, culture, geography and more.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q: Are these events virtual?

 A.    Yes, all Ventureprise events for Global Entrepreneurship Week will take place virtually over Zoom and on social media. We will be tabling on campus to promote our programming and events in the weeks leading up to Global Entrepreneurship Week. 

Q: Who can attend a GEW event?

 A.    All students, faculty, and staff at UNC Charlotte can participate in Ventureprise's GEW events. 

Q: How do I sign up for events?

 A.    Information about signing up for 49er Impact is located on the 49er Impact page. Registration for all other events is TBA.

Q: Who is eligible for the 49er Impact Pitch Competition? 

 A.    All Charlotte studentsany college, any majorall are welcome.  Visit the 49er Impact page to learn more and to get involved. 

Q: I'm not an 'entrepreneur,' should I participate in GEW?

 A.    Absolutely! Global Entrepreneurship Week was created to recognize and encourage all ideas, talents, and movements. 

Q: What is 49er Foundry? How can I join?

 A.    The 49er Foundry is UNC Charlotte's student business incubator program to help students launch and grow innovative ideas and ventures. We have programming, mentoring and pitch competitions to help with your ideas. This program has rolling applications, and any UNC Charlotte student can apply for a spot as long as they are in good standing with the university. Visit the 49er Foundry page for more information.

Q: More questions?

 A.    Just ask! Email Laura Smailes: