49er Impact


Let's put UNC Charlotte on the map for Global Entpreneurship Week

Ventureprise is offering you a chance to make an impactand you get to choose your path. Do you have an idea and want to pivot it into a business? Do you want to examine social ideas and look at ways to make an impact? The 49er Impact event gives you the opportunity to take your ideas to the next level, participate in a mentorship and ideation launch, and compete for cash and other prizes.

In response to student feedback from our Spring 2021 competition, Ventureprise has extended our 49er Impact into an interactive competition throughout the Fall 2021 semester. We will be hosting a number of workshops, panels, mentor office hours, networking and other initiatives geared to meet student needs. These events, along with other curricular and co-curricular activities, will culminate in a showcase and competition during the Global Entrepreneurship Week on Nov. 8-12, thus putting Charlotte on the global entrepreneurship map.

Get some inspiration. Check out last semester's winners heremany of whom talked about their idea for the first time! 
Sign up today! Only takes 2 minutes- and take the month of October to learn more and work on your idea. 


With a goal to engage many students across all colleges, Ventureprise is looking to work with faculty, staff and campus organizations to highlight student opportunities, ideas and research. This semester's 49er Impact will include panels, workshops, mentoring and conclude with a pitch competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 8-12th. After last semester's successful Impact event, we will be offering more events over a longer period of time. We will be hosting a number of events and initiatives geared to meet student need and 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?
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. Helping to make students aware of the event.

Contact us today with referrals, collaborations and referrals: lsmailes@uncc.edu

STEP ONE: Decide to Participate Now. 

Business OR Social Change. Both provide the same opportunities, just a different approach.

STEP TWO: attend Workshops, panels AND mentor office hours

This fall, we will be offering a number of workshops, panels and mentorship opportunities so that students can develop their ideas over a longer period of time. We will be offering multiple activities to coordinate with everyone's schedule. 

**We will be announcing dates soon.

STEP THREE: 49er Impact Pitch Competition

During the week of Nov. 8-12, we will hold a pitch competition and showcase. There will be two categories (Business and Social), and you will compete according to your category.



As our 2018 winner Fidel Henriquez states, taking the leap and trying is "low risk and high reward."



Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q: Is this a virtual event?

 A.    Yes and no. We want as many students to participate as possible, so we are holding most events virtually, but we are going to try and do a few in person!

Q: I have never entered this type of competition, how do I know what to expect?

 A.    We have developed this competition so many can participate. We have workshops to help you along the way and have spaced out the competitions to give you time to prepare. You bring the idea; we equip you with the tools for success. Check out some of our first time participants who went on to win the competition! Fidel Henriquez won as a freshman. Adonis Abdullah won as a sophmore. And Sahithi Meduri went on to be named (along with Adonis and Fidel) as Charlotte Inno's 25 Under 25 to Watch. Here is a link to all the winners from Spring 2021. 

Q:  How do I sign up?

 A.    Currently, we are signing you up with a short (2 minute) form, and we will be in touch with additional information and event dates. Click here for sign up form.

Q: Who is eligible for the 49er Impact?

 A.    All Charlotte students- any college, any major- all are welcome.  

Q: What types of issues will be addressed? Can I come with my own idea?

 A.    For the social issues workshop, Chance for Change, we will have some ideas to help start the conversations. We will cover environmental issues, social justice and improving the quality of life. and may others. And we want your input!

Q: Do I have to start a company if I win the competition?

 A.    There is no direct path to starting a company after the competition. We want to hear your ideas and work with you to get to the next level. Whether it is starting a student organization, implementing a program or launching a business - this is the opportunity to launch your idea and see where it can take you.

Q: I'm not an 'entrepreneur' so will I be competitive?

 A.    Absolutely! This is an impact challenge and we are wanting to help you with your ideas to make a difference. 

Q: What types of ideas are you looking for to enter the competition?

 A.    We have a few categories selected, but if you have identified a problem on campus, in your community, nationally or internationally- we want to hear what you are working on. There are no limits for our entries- we just want to know beforehand, so include it on your application. 

Q: Do I have to attend a workshop to compete?

 A.    Yes, but for very good reason. The workshop is a step to help you with a successful pitch. And.. all participants are eligible for a $100 gift card in each workshop. This will give you a head start in your preparation. 

Q: More Questions?

 A.    Just Ask! Email Laura Smailes, lsmailes@uncc.edu