CUBE has selected 14 teams to participate in its 2017-2018 CUBE 4.0 program. This year’s participants, whose interests span from climate change to mental health in Pakistan, will join CUBE’s growing roster of change-makers. Over the past five years the social entrepreneurship incubator, located on the third floor of the Campus Y, has supported nearly 30 teams of social innovators as they put their ideas for solving the world’s greatest problems into practice. Learn more about the newest cohort below.

Access to Coding and Computer Science Education
Angelina Patel
“I believe teaching students to code equips them with a revolutionary understanding of the world through the power of technology. The problem that continually denies students to have such innovation at their fingertips is the lack of proper resources to teach computer science in most public schools. In high school, I enjoyed attending a computer science camp at UNC-Chapel Hill, but when I returned home to Savannah, Georgia there was no space to continue to build my burgeoning coding skillset. Consequently, I started a non-profit called “Savannah Kids Code” to make computer science and coding more accessible and approachable for my local community. Seeing the passion of young participants and the gratitude from their parents has fueled my desire to grow this non-profit into a larger social venture.”

Accessible Public Transit Data in Developing Countries
Eric Insler
“All across the developing world there are extensive networks of inter-city buses (and other forms of transportation) that are vital transportation arteries of these countries. They facilitate homegrown business, tourism, and social networks. However, rarely is the information for this transportation available in any central location. As a result, people and economies suffer. I believe there needs to be a better system in place, so I’m developing a website and mobile application to centralize the information from countries all over the world. It will help locals and tourists find accurate public transportation information, navigate their countries, and explore the world.”

ADHD Interventions in Limited-Resource Schools
Katie Leelynn Biggers
“My dissertation focus is on symptoms of ADHD & ODD and I’m developing an understanding about interventions and gaps in services. My concern is that while some classically-used programs and interventions work for children with ADHD or ODD, they don’t work for everyone. In schools and communities where mental health resources are limited and teachers are already stretched, I believe a specifically-designed intervention is necessary with community in mind. I am passionate about this because I care deeply about rural communities and am concerned that seemingly small problems in childhood can develop into bigger concerns later on. Giving children the tools to engage socially and emotionally with others in a way that betters their relationships is valuable in school, in the community, and throughout life.”

Climate Change and Marine Conservation
Lucy Best, Eliza Harrison, Emily Kian, Evan Rodgers
“We’re designing a sustainable macroalgae ocean farm off the coast of North Carolina. Our design seeks to provide a sustainable source of protein and other nutrients while preserving the marine environment. Our project will demonstrate the viability of macroalgae cultivation in warm water conditions. With interests ranging from sustainable business to environmental and global health, our team is uniquely positioned to approach sustainable ocean farming through a comprehensive and integrated lens.”


College Admissions
Joseph Nail, Wesley Price, Jane Tullis
“We founded and continue to shape FairEd with the aim of addressing the lack of navigable college admissions resources available for underserved students. Many resources do exist, but they often overlap, or even compete, without reaching as many students as possible. Our goal is to bring together this network, remove barriers arising from systemic education inequities, and most importantly, serve this population of underserved students. By creating a mobile application that allows students to instantly identify their best-fit resource and receive answers to their college admissions questions from real undergraduate students, FairEd hopes to ensure that where a student is born and where they go to high school does not determine their college admissions and life success.”

College Readiness for All Students
Andrea Barnes, Angela Chin, Destiny Talley
“The combination of self-worth, strong interpersonal relationships, and institutional support is critical to the success of women of all ages from all regions. Minority women encounter unique physical, emotional, financial, and cultural barriers that can prevent them from living fulfilling lives and accomplishing their goals. The purpose of Project uPGrade is to enable young women of Prince George’s County to strive for excellence in their personal, academic, and professional lives. Through concepts of self-worth, empowerment, leadership, and fellowship, Project uPGrade aims to accomplish its purpose of expanding access to existing resources for high school women while simultaneously fostering community pride. We hope to help students that have trouble defining their goals and roles in society in the face of negative stereotypes.”

Entrepreneurial Advancement for Refugee Women
Anum Imran
“The scope of support for refugee communities across the United States is limited. Refugee women in particular are left behind in the resettlement process, as emphasis is only placed on providing men with employment. Women are most often left at home with their children, without resources to use their time to engage in productive and skill-based pursuits. With the right resources, I believe refugee women can use their time and their skills to develop their own small businesses, thus uplifting themselves financially and socially within their communities.”

Food Insecurity on UNC’s Campus
Robert Richey, Adina Girmay, Colby Kirkpatrick
“At the end of the previous fall semester, a friend told us she had 113 dining hall swipes left and she wanted to get rid of them. We realized this was not an issue unique to our friend, but something many students encounter towards the end of the semester. However while some students have too many swipes, other have too few and experience food insecurity. Many students don’t have the opportunity to choose fresh, local food options because many of them are choosing between breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our goal is to alleviate student food insecurity on campus by repurposing unused meal swipes at the end of each semester. A lack of proper nutrition affects every aspect of students’ lives and limits their potential. We believe that college is not a place to be limited, but a time to grow.”

Homelessness and Billboard Waste
Anastasia Soule
“The billboard business model includes rapid turnover on signs, which produces an excessive amount of vinyl. Last summer, I was able to experience firsthand how this vinyl can be used for social and environmental good. I worked with Street Sleeper, an organization in Cape Town, South Africa, that transforms used billboard vinyl into sleeping bags for the homeless. Street Sleeper employs 3 previously homeless individuals to cut, wash, and sew the billboards into bags. I enjoyed seeing the connection between the organization’s work and the Cape Town community. As an economics, public policy, and social entrepreneurship major, I hope to translate my experiences with Street Sleeper into a locally-based venture that sustainably recycles the billboard material while serving North Carolina’s homeless population.”

Inclusive STEM Education
Lauren Casey, Rachael Hamm
“We strive to inspire creativity and encourage curiosity in young students. Our venture, Tactil, will instill the idea of innovation in children by empowering them to use 3D-printing technology to create educational models for themselves and their classmates. These models will cost significantly less than current educational tools. Additionally, Tactil will reach beyond traditional classroom settings. Homeschool classrooms, museums, and patient education opportunities in health clinics will also benefit from the hands-on, educational services Tactil provides.”

Life Skills Training
Caroline Kennedy, Scott Emmons, Joseph Nail
“A growing body of academic research shows the importance of life skills such as habit formation, mindset, and positive psychology for success in all areas of life. However, despite their importance, life skills are rarely taught in a formal setting. We have conducted hundreds of customer interviews and found that 81% of people who do not currently dedicate time to self-improvement, actually want to dedicate time, but they do not know how or do not have a method of self-improvement they enjoy. We believe formal courses teaching life skills could show students of all ages what to study and how to turn knowledge into habits that will transform their lives. By working with domain experts on each subject, forging a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America, and developing a mobile application for commercial audiences, we hope to bring world-class life skills training to audiences worldwide.”

Mental Health in South Asia
Salma Baig
“I was raised in Pakistan and while there I saw many people suffer from various types of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, as well as developmental disorders such as ASD and global delayed development. While mental health concerns are present across all communities, such problems are particularly high in third world countries due to a lack of understanding of mental health, social stigma regarding mental health, and a lack of resources. Now that I am in a graduate school program for school psychology, my ambition is to provide psychoeducation and early intervention for young children and adolescents to help them succeed and flourish in all domains of life.”

Reforming Zero Tolerance Policies at School
Ariel Washington
“Not only has research shown that zero tolerance discipline policies in schools are ineffective at deterring student misbehavior, these policies have also been proven to cause negative long-term consequences including increased risk for academic failure, school dropout, substance use, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. For schools, negative consequences include higher teacher turnover rates, antagonistic relationships between students and teachers, and unhealthy school climates. As a future school psychologist, I am committed to promoting principals’ use of equitable and effective approaches to discipline to further support fair and democratic learning opportunities for all students.”

Undocumented Student Access to Higher Education
Tiffany Turner, Cecilia Polanco, Raymundo Garcia
“Undocumented and DACAmented students in the United States have disproportionate access to higher education opportunities due to a lack of eligibility for public financial aid, scholarships, and work opportunities. We plan to create scholarship opportunities and build an emergency and enrichment fund to support scholars and their families through the development of a community food truck and the continued exploration of community partnership programs.”

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