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NCSU's Lulu eGames is turning into a startup generator

VieMetrics, eLulu Games winner

Apr, 27 2017, 7:04 AM

$20,000 may seem like a lot of money to hand over to graduating college seniors, but the four members of VieMetrics know exactly how they will invest their Lulu eGames winnings. .

VieMetrics received first place in three categories of last week’s NC State startup competition, including the top tiered New Venture category, which crowned this team winner of the annual games. The four founders designed a portable spirometer that they believe will help doctors treat patients with asthma, reducing the risk of patients developing long lasting health impairments due to inhaler reliance.​

The LuLu eGames, run by NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI), began in 2009 with the goal of encouraging entrepreneurship and new business formation on campus and providing early stage capital to the most promising teams and ideas. Title sponsor Lulu, the Raleigh-based independent publishing company, extended its partnership with the Entrepreneurship Initiative to continue sponsoring the eGames through 2020.

This year, 21 finalists for the competition were selected out of a record-setting 192 entries. Judges from across the U.S. awarded the first, second and third place to teams competing across five categories: Arts Venture, Built on Cloud, Social Impact, Design and Prototype and New Venture.

Megan Greer, director of communication and outreach for the Entrepreneurship Initiative, has seen winners of Lulu eGames go on to develop impactful products, gain investors, secure patents, hire attorneys and bring on more staff. Examples are Triangle startups Undercover Colors, Bee Downtown, Offline Media, Trakex and Frill Clothing.

“The influx of cash awarded at the eGames gives these teams a nest egg to work from and pursue their dream,” says Greer. “But even if they don’t win, the exposure is great.”

Greer says that several investors have been matched with Lulu eGames participants over the years. And for those who want to continue growing their venture, they can apply for the EI Fellows Program. Teams that are chosen are given a six- month stipend and access to the Entrepreneurship Initiative Garage, a shared working space equipped with prototyping equipment, meeting rooms and other resources.

For a look at the performing ventures of this year’s Lulu eGames, read the full story at: