49er Impact


Ventureprise is offering you a chance to make an impact- and you get to choose your path. Do you have an idea and want to pivot it into a business? Or are you interested in social impact and want to examine social ideas and look at ways to turn them into a program, non-profit or social endeavor? The 49er Impact virtual event gives you the opportunity to take ideas to the next level and compete for cash, prizes and a summer mentorship program to launch your idea. Applications due 3/15! Sign up today!

The first step? Choose your path. Applications due 3/15.

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


The second step? Pick your workshop. You have 2 options.

1) Pivot Your Idea.

Do you have an idea for a business and don't know where to begin?  This 2.5 hour virtual workshop on March 18th will help any UNC Charlotte students walk through their idea, identify the problem you are solving and the market you are targeting. We will then look at how to present your idea to others and equip you with the tools to compete in the 49er Impact Pitch competiton on March 30th

2) Chance for a Change. 

Do you want to get involved in social change? This 2.5 hour virtual workshop on March 19th gives ANY UNC Charlotte student the opportunity to present and work on an idea and how they would like to make an impact. Don't have a specific idea? We have some for you! And we will have social impact mentors on hand to help you with the process. During this workshop, students will be given a challenge in which invidividuals (or teams) will work together and think innovatively on ways to solve a problem they have identified. We will also give you tools in which to prepare you to present your ideas and compete in the 49er Impact competition on March 30th


The third step? 49er Impact Pitch Competition

All workshops participants will have a week to record your 3 minute pitch and submit it to the judges. There will be two categories (Business and Social) and you will compete according to your workshop.  On March 30th at 6pm, the 49er Impact Pitch Competition will be held. Particpants will hear feedback on their pitches and one team will win the J. Chris Murphy Award ($500 in cash) and up to 10 teams will be chosen to compete at the Charlotte Venture Challenge on April 20th. 


Charlotte Venture Challenge

Up to 10 49er Impact finalists will compete for a chance to showcase at the Charlotte Venture Challenge. Five teams will be awarded $1,500 in cash and a summer mentorship program to help launch their idea. 


Let us know a little about you!

Application can be found here. Due by March 15th. 


Dates to remember 

Now- Complete application: Spaces are limited, so submit today!

Monday, March 15th: Applications Due

Thursday, March 18th (5pm-8:30pm): Pivot Your Idea Virtual Workshop (If you have a business idea that you want to pursue to make your impact)

Friday, March 19th (2pm-5:30pm): Chance for Change Virtual Workshop (If you want to explore social issues and ways to make an impact)

Friday, March 26th: Video Pitch Submissions Due

Tuesday, March 30th (6pm): 49er Impact Pitch Competition

Tuesday, April 30th: Charlotte Venture Challenge


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! We want as many students to participate, so we are holding all workshops and the pitch event virtually. You will also have the opportunity to pre-record your pitch for the 49er Impact Pitch event. 

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 that went on to compete and 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. 

Q: How do I sign up for the 49er 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 49er 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.    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. We've listed some of these on the application and we also encourage you to bring your own idea! On the application we ask for 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 the 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.

Q: More Questions?

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