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Pitches, Prize Wheels and Presentations

What do you get when you combine a pitch competition with cash prizes, live demos that feature everything from the latest virtual reality technology to toys redesigned for children with special needs, and a prize wheel you can spin to win all the t-shirts your heart desires?

Entrepalooza, NC State’s entrepreneurship and innovation festival, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Centennial Campus Oval. The NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) is partnering with IBM to host the event that drew more than 600 people to experience entrepreneurship last year.

Entrepalooza includes interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities from NC State entrepreneurship programs and local innovation partners, all with opportunities and resources available to NC State students.

Students can cut their entrepreneurial teeth in the Minute-to-Pitch-It competition, where contestants have one minute to convince the audience their idea is worthy of the $1,000 Audience Choice award. As an added bonus, IBM will award a Built-on-Cloud prize for its favorite pitch for a venture that uses IBM cloud services.

Last year’s winner, Oliver Walsh, a senior in electrical engineering, used the prize money to launch his app startup Sharefish, which now has approximately 1,000 downloads.

“Entrepalooza was an amazing experience because I had never been so nervous to do something I loved in my entire life – pitching,” Walsh says. “It allowed me to learn more about myself and how I react in high pressure situations.

“It was an emotional roller coaster and I loved every second of it.”