10 new ventures selected for CUBE social innovation incubator at UNC

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For immediate use:  Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014


The 10 winners of the 2014 Social Innovation Challenge at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received a two-year residency in CUBE, Carolina’s social innovation incubator at the Campus Y.


Of the 30 applications received in the six categories of the competition, these ventures were selected:



  • Native Beverage Company (NBC) – Rachel Atkinson: Developing a line of dairy-free milk alternatives in the Southeast, all locally produced, sourced and sold.
  • Buzz Rides – Joey Skavroneck: Providing a safe, environmentally friendly, late-night transportation service using electric vehicles.
  • Seal the Seasons Produce – Patrick Mateer and Daniella Uslan: Improving access to healthy foods by lower-income residents by flash-freezing and selling “B grade” produce.


Public health:

  • Healthy Girls Save the World – Camille McGirt: Combating child obesity and related chronic diseases by providing preventive health education for girls in North Carolina.
  • Status Quo – Hunter Gray: Combating sexually transmitted infections at UNC and nearby universities by using a tech-based awareness-raising campaign and mobile testing.


Socio-economic development:

  • Emerge – Erin Bergstrom: Developing microenterprises and providing self-employment support services to North Carolinians with severe mental illness.
  • Made with Love Bakery – Allison Norman: Selling the best Southern baked goods while providing transitional employment to homeless individuals in Orange County.



  • SUCCEED, Inc. – Mihir Pershad: Providing a cost-effective, hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education program in public schools in North Carolina leveraging unused science materials, equipment, and instruments held by local biotech companies and universities.



  • Boys on Track – Bob Pleasants: Combating interpersonal violence and promoting positive masculinity via a running program for middle school boys in Durham.



  • Freedom Code – Cole Johnson: Improving the lives of women at risk of sex trafficking in Kolkata, India, by providing them with the necessary training and materials to weave scarves and earn a livelihood.


CUBE is part of Innovate@Carolina, a campus-wide initiative to position UNC-Chapel Hill as a world leader in commercial, social, scientific and artistic innovation and entrepreneurship in ways that reflect the University’s commitment to public service. In 2012, the Campus Y launched CUBE to support students, faculty, staff and alumni focused on social change, providing them with space, intensive mentoring, advising and more than $40,000 in seed capital.


Located in the heart of campus at the Campus Y, CUBE provides 24/7 co-working space, seed capital and expert mentoring as well as legal, tax and communications advice to aspiring social entrepreneurs seeking help to build, accelerate and scale innovative solutions to social and environmental problems.


For more information about the Campus Y and CUBE, please visit http://campus-y.unc.edu/.


Campus Y contact: Richard Harrill, (919) 962-7535, rharrill@email.unc.edu

News Services contact: Susan Hudson, (919) 962-8415, susan_hudson@unc.edu