NC State CEO club receives national award for “People Invest in People” Kickstarter campaign

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Friday Nov 14, 2014.

NC State CEO – the campus chapter of the global Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization – received 2014 Best Chapter Award for Best Fundraising Idea/Event for its “People Invest in People” Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The award was presented at the national CEO conference hosted by the University of Tampa in Orlando, Florida.

Representing the chapter were Kyle Sheats, NC State CEO president and Jonathan Spinney, director of marketing and fundraising for the student chapter. Both are NC State Poole College seniors majoring in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship; Spinney also is completing a minor in economics. Both also served as moderators for panel discussions at the conference, as did the club’s faculty advisor, Lewis Sheats, Poole College entrepreneurship instructor and director of The Entrepreneurship Clinic, an outreach of the college.

The award-winning fundraiser project continues through December 6, 2014, Kyle Sheats said.

“The funds will go to three important pillars for the future of our club,” he said. Those are:

  • hosting a pitch competition in the spring “allowing for our members to take action with their ideas” and providing a startup grant for the winner,
  • enabling the club “to send more of our members to competitions so that we have a greater presence nationally,"
  • hosting the club’s annual CEO Speaker series.

The Kickstarter campaign is “very important to us,” Kyle Sheats said. “We've put in a lot of work over the course of this semester to restructure and reorganize our club as a whole and our continued growth hinges on the success of this campaign. We wanted to create something that benefitted our current members, our past members and our donors in the best way possible.”

For current members, that includes “learning how to launch a Kickstarter and the opportunity to see their ideas come to fruition in the spring,” he said. “Past members benefit from our spotlight series that shows off where their ventures stand today. And, our donors benefit because we aren't asking them to make a blind donation to a club, but instead are asking them to be a part of the movement of entrepreneurship,” he said.

“Each one of our members believes that our ideas can change the world and we need the support of our community to achieve that. Essentially this Kickstarter is more than just a fundraiser; this Kickstarter will allow for us to make a real impact on Raleigh and the future of Raleigh as an Entrepreneurial Eden,” Kyle Sheats said.

The NC State chapter's entry for this category was one of three chosen by a panel of entrepreneurs and educators to present in Orlando, said Lewis Sheats, Poole College lecturer in entrepreneurship, director of The Entrepreneurship Clinic, and NC State chapter advisor.

"I am extremely please with the efforts of the NCSU CEO club to establish a club of thinkers and doers. This award is just one validation for the hard work and efforts over the last semester," he said.

The NC State CEO chapter currently has over 50 active members. The student organization is open to all students at NC State University and area colleges, and welcomes alumni and members of the Triangle community to its events. "We are open to anyone,” Kyle Sheats said. “We like the idea of alumni and citizens of our community attending our events because it allows for us to hear different perspectives and greatly expand our network."

The NC State chapter typically meets every other Wednesday at 6 p.m. Follow the NC State CEO chapter on Facebook and Twitter, and follow the “People Invest in People” Kickstarter campaign.


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