NC State teams selected for this week’s ACC Startup Madness

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Tuesday Mar 18, 2014.

Two NC State entrepreneurship teams were selected Monday to represent the university at this Wednesday’s ACC Startup Madness competition.

The competition will be held at NC State’s James B. Hunt Library on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Runoff competitions will be held throughout the day, narrowing the contestants down to the ‘Elite Eight’ who will compete in the final round beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Hunt Library is located at 1070 Partners Way on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh.

Representing NC State at the undergraduate level is Pennies 4 Progress, represented by co-founder Ryan O’Donnell, senior in the Poole College of Management.

NC State’s graduate team is ThermaFlow Solutions, a startup that leverages NC State technology to provide the latest innovation in particle and cell analysis. Our multi-disciplinary team aims to disrupt industries from scientific research to heavy equipment manufacturers.

The startup team members are graduate students in the HiTEC program, part of the interdisciplinary technology entrepreneurship and commercialization concentration in Poole College’s Jenkins MBA program. Team members are:

  • Charles Grant Culbertson, Jr., doctoral candidate, forest biomaterials, December 2016, College of Natural Resources
  • Tristan Jung Hun Kim, Jenkins MBA candidate, May 2015, Poole College of Management
  • Judd Melvin, Master of Microbial Biotechnology candidate, May 2015, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
  • Mukta Nag, Master of Microbial Biotechnology candidate, May 2014, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Joseph M. Thomas, MS, Jenkins MBA candidate, May 2014, Poole College of Management

The NC State teams will be competing against teams from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, University of Miami, Wake Forest University, and Clemson University. Each of the universities was allowed to bring one team for each of the two divisions.

The competition schedule on March 19 begins with the first round at 10 a.m. The final ‘Elite Eight’ round begins at 5:30 pm. and winners will be announced at 6:45 p.m. 

Students and the general public are invited to stop by throughout the day to view the team presentations. There is no charge for general admission but tickets are required. Register at the Startup Madness website. VIP tickets cost $50 and provide access to invitation-only reception on March 18, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at HQ Raleigh, and reserved seating at the competition on March 19. Proceeds from VIP tickets help support the entreprenuers.

Teams from the other schools will be arriving on March 18 and gathering for a reception at HQ Raleigh at 5:30 p.m. A Leadership Roundtable has been scheduled for 4 p.m., providing the teams’ advisors an opportunity to network and share best practices. 





Following are the prizes that the winning teams will receive.



  • $500 Cash
  • Flight to Silicon Valley
  • Meeting with Kleiner Perkins
  • 1 Free MotoX from Republic Wireless


  • $250 Cash
  • Marketing Consulting from Method Savvy
  • 1 Free MotoX from Republic Wireless


  • $150 Cash
  • Venture Consulting from Bull City Ventures


  • $100 Cash
  • Venture Consulting from Idea Fund Partners





ACC Startup Madness has partnered with HQ Raleigh and Poole College to present this event. This is the second year that Poole College has been an ACC Startup Madness sponsor.


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