ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact


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Want to make an impact in your community? On campus? In North Carolina? Solutions to social issues are powered by people with passion and motivation- and we want to empower you to find and pursue that passion. We have designed a simple, fast-paced workshop and challenge to help UNC Charlotte students work on social solutions- ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact.

The first phase of ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact is Breaking Ground. This 4 hour workshop gives ANY UNC Charlotte student the opportunity to present and work on their idea and how they would like to make an impact. During this workshop, students will be given a challenge in which teams work together and think innovatively on ways to solve a problem they have identified and present it to a panel at the end of the evening. Challenge Advantage: Each student will be given a list of problems the week before the challenge and you are able to look over the list and brainstorm possible ideas to bring to your group the following week. If you already have a problem you want to solve, you will be able to submit it in the application for approval. 

Second Phase: Finalists of Breaking Ground will be selected at the end of the Breaking Ground workshop and challenge. Following this challenge, finalists will receive 2 weeks of mentoring to work on their idea 

Third Phase: Finalists will present their solution at the Charlotte Venture Challenge on April 8th, competiting for cash and other prizes to launch their idea.

Dates to Remember: 

Friday, March 13th: Application Due (Application can be found here)

Tuesday, March 17th: Breaking Ground (Phase 1 of ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making and Impact) 4-9pm

Week of 3/23 and 3/30: Workshops to be set up for each Breaking Ground finalist (To be determined with team schedules)

Wednesday, April 8th: Charlotte Venture Challenge (Breaking Ground Finalists compete for cash and prizes)

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q: How do I sign up for the ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact?

 A.    Click here for the application. Once you have completed and submitted the application, you are automatically entered into the competition.

Q: Who is eligible for the ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact?

 A.    All UNC 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.    We have done some research on campus and found a few problems that students are looking to address: Improving the Quality of Life (ex: drug abuse, assault recovery, food insecurity), Inequality and Discrimination (ex: bias in the media, educational programs) and Environmental (climate change, recycling)- and feel free to bring your own idea! On the application we ask for your input. A week before the challenge, those that have completed the application will get an email with the three final topics. 

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 campus program, or even international - this is the opportunity to           launch your idea.

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

 A.    Absolutely! This is a changemaker 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 need to come with a team?

 A.    You can enter as an individual and we will pair you with a team OR  you can enter as a team (up to 4 members per team). This challenge is meant to encourage teamwork in entrepreneurial endeavors, so you are able to create your own team, as well as, come individually and join a team. 

Q: What if the ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact conflicts with my class schedule?

 A.    If you have a conflict, email us and we can see if there is a way to work with your professor to find a solution.

Q: What happens the day of Breaking Gound (Phase 1)?

  A.   Breaking Ground will be held in PORTAL. We will kickoff in  Room 242 from 4pm-5:30pm. Check-In and Networking will be 4-5:30  We will then break into groups for workshops and working with your group.  Presentations will be at 8pm.  Judges Deliberation is 8:30-8:50pm and Winners will be announced at 9pm.

Q: What happens for Phase 2- Workshops?

  A.   Three teams will be selected at Breaking Ground as finalists. The Ventureprise mentors will then work with each team for at least 2 workshops (days and times to be determined with each team) to prepare for Charlotte Venture Challenge. 

Q: What happens for Phase 3- Charlotte Venture Challenge?

  A.   The three finalists will compete on April 8th at the Charlotte Venture Challenge for cash and prizes to implement your solution. 

Q: How else can I get involved with the entrepreneurship at UNCC?

 A.    The ChangeMaker Kickoff: Making an Impact is a great way to get your foot in the door with campus entrepreneurship. Many of our previous participants go on to be 49er Foundry members and recognized in the community.