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The Daily Tar Heel

Business student startups fund Aiden's Make-A-Wish trip

The estimate comes from Jim Kitchen, a Kenan-Flagler Business School entrepreneur-in-residence and founder of the flash startup competition.

This year, students in Business 500: Entrepreneurship and Business Planning and Kenan-Flagler’s Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education program split into teams of two and three and competed to raise money. Each student received $50 as seed money.

“We ended up selling all 4,000 of our necklaces,” said Casey Harris, a student in Business 500 who sold glow stick necklaces before Saturday’s football game. Harris’ team won the competition, netting $6,146.

“How we marketed it gave us an advantage from the get-go,” she said.

Harris’ Facebook event for the project called “Get Kenan Stadium GLOWING for Aiden!!!” had 1.4 thousand users sign up to attend.

Business student Kim McCormack said her group raised $2,550 by selling 470 shot glasses.

“I personally learned how important it is to get the cause out there first,” McCormack said. “It shows us that you can make money and it can go to a good cause, it’s not that hard.”

Kenan-Flagler’s GLOBE program partners with Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Copenhagen Business School. About 15 students from each university spend one semester at each school for a total of three semesters in the program.

Christopher Mumford, a professor in GLOBE’s UNC curriculum, said most of the groups that changed plans during the process fared better than those that did not.

“I think this flash startup was an outstanding way to walk in the shoes of entrepreneurs,” he said.

Isabelle Voler and List Jakobsen, two GLOBE students, profited the most of all the GLOBE groups with $521. They used a lemonade stand and a crowdfunding website.

“If you believe in what you’re selling, you can find the money and you can share your excitement and passion,” Voler said.

Kitchen’s class raised more than Mumford’s GLOBE program, so Kitchen won his bet with Mumford. As a result, Mumford and several class members donned Duke hats.

GLOBE student Carman Lam’s team was the only one to lose money. The team lost $38 on its photo booth business. Lam thought the rain was a big factor that kept them from breaking even.

“We could make more profit from it, but we were forced to leave (because of the rain),” Lam said.

After funding Aiden’s trip, the leftover money from the competition will go to the Community Empowerment Fund to provide cars to families transitioning to home ownership.

“There are families right on the margin where if we help them with transportation, a vehicle to help them get to work or take their kids to school, that’s the difference between them being able to make it and fail,” Mumford said.


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