EPIC students, faculty present trade show on Central Plaza

Entrepreneurs participating in the Student Start-Ups Trade Show are (front, from left) Brittany Job, Hank Henderson, Alexandra Barnett, Mary Santa, Trinity Wiles, (back, from left) Jason Chubbuck, Todd Charles, Boone Hollar, Alex Walser and Aaron Hicks. Not pictured is participant Cameron Bates.

A student-professor collaboration group on the Western Carolina University campus known as Elevating Potential Imagination and Collaboration presented a trade show on WCU’s Central Plaza recently to allow students with early-stage and existing businesses to share their entrepreneurial ideas.

The Student Start-Ups Trade Show was held March 31 at the fountain. Topics during the interactive presentations ranged from clothing and essential oil for men’s beards to website design and a dance studio.

EPIC works to help students develop their ideas into businesses during their time at WCU by taking advantage of the university’s resources, regardless of the student’s field of study. Students have an opportunity to network with other students and faculty, and apply for business development mini-grants to help make their ideas come to fruition. The students also can enter the business idea pitch competition, “Sharks in the Whee,” in the fall. This year’s event will be held Thursday, Nov. 2.

Students involved in EPIC benefit from support in the form of mentoring, networking and funding from WCU’s Corporation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Center for the Study of Free Enterprise.

For more information about EPIC, contact College of Business faculty members Yue Cai Hillon at ycai@wcu.edu or Wendy Cagle at wcagle@wcu.edu.