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Poole Students Win $5,000 in Annual NC State Lulu eGames

The Lulu eGames is NC State’s annual startup competition where students compete for awards for over $100,000. Poole College’s Beth Philemon, an MBA student, and senior Daniela Patiño were among the winners in the arts category accumulating $5,000 between them in prize money. 

The NC State Business Sustainability Collaborative is among the sponsors for the competition divided into five categories: arts, design and prototype, IBM built on cloud, new venture and social and environmental impact. Students initially send in applications that cover aspects of their business as well as a video pitch. Finalists are then chosen to move on to the live presentations.

“This is a great opportunity to put on your business hat and mold your arts venture into the business you always wanted to create,” said Patiño. “If you are not sure where to start, Dr. Beckman and Dr. Brown from the arts entrepreneurship minor program are great resources and they helped me a lot too!

This year, however, the live portion of the competition was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sponsors quickly decided to make the final rounds of the competition virtual and host the results through Facebook Live. 

“The NC State Lulu eGames team did a great job migrating the event to a virtual competition,” said Philemon. “Reading the judges’ written feedback after the competition, I realize I counted too heavily on being able to share some information or answer questions during an in-person pitch and Q&A. But, I learned a valuable lesson to not always count on one thing, because you never know what might change!” 

Poole Student Startups

Choir Baton, Beth Philemon – Third Place Arts ($2,000)

Choir Baton originated from Philemon’s personal need for community and resources as a choir conductor. It began two years ago as an Instagram account for choir teachers around the world to host “takeovers.” 

The brand expanded last year to include the Choir Baton podcast and Choir Baton swag and four months ago Philemon launched the online Choir Baton Teaching Membership but the motto- #morepeoplesinging – also serves singers. In July she is launching The Choir Baton Singer Course for adults interested in starting or developing their ensemble skills. 

Can you piece-meal information from the internet together enough to learn? Sure. But that takes time, isn’t always pedagogically sound, and you have no community to learn in. Choir Baton changes that. If you want to learn about business, you go to business school. If you want to learn about choir, you go to Choir Baton. 

Salsa Underground Experience, Daniela Patino – Second Place Arts ($3,000)

The Salsa Underground Experience is Daniela Patiño’s exclusive, immersive salsa underground party and cultural movement for “salsa dance nerds” (or as she calls them “hardcore salseros”) who are obsessed with old-school salsa and the Fania All Stars era. The Salsa Underground Experience is the place for people who are intellectually curious not only about the movement that salsa generates but also, the history behind salsa music, dance and its origins in Africa, Puerto Rico and New York. 

Daniela Patiño Zabaleta is a life-long dancer, she was born and raised in Colombia between Bogotá and Medellín under her father and grandfather, both musicians, as well as an entire family with the gifts of salsa and cumbia. With 15 years of experience, some of her performance highlights include choreographing and performing a dynamic, acrobatic salsa piece for TEDxGreensboro, as well as singing a Cumbia anthem for the Vice-president of Colombia Marta Lucía Ramírez.

The Salsa Underground Experience is the intersection between Patiño’s experience and her intellectual curiosity for the dance and music she grew up with. Through this venture, she wants to provide a space that is not just welcoming of salsa dancing and live salsa music but also of intellectual stimulation by building a tribe of “salsa dance nerds” and those who are also well-versed in the intricate and beautiful art of salsa.

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