High school student entrepreneurs compete for cash prizes

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'Hang Free Hammocks' won first place in the 'Social Enterprise' category at the 3rd Annual Chancellor's High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — High school students from 18 southeastern North Carolina counties presented their startup ideas in a competition hosted by UNCW.

The Third Annual Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition was hosted by UNCW Chancellor Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, and pitted high school students against one another as they competed for cash prizes of $1,500 for first place winners, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place.

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Sartarelli says it is important to spark young people’s interest in entrepreneurship, and he believes the event has been quite successful.

“I think that we’ve accomplished a lot in the past three years. We have had several cases of students starting up their small little businesses. And I think it bodes well for the future when we have young men and women interested in starting their own businesses, and eventually hiring people, and all kinds of things,” said Sartarelli.

In the Social Enterprise category, Hang Free Hammocks from West Columbus High School took first place, while Peregrine Ltd. from Isaac Bear Early College placed first in the Business Concept category.