Three imaginative student ventures that inspire

Have a bold idea for making the world a better place? Know a fellow student whose adventurous concept could help our community? As we kick off the new school year, here’s a quick look back at three of the most imaginative Carolina student ventures that gained momentum last year and continue to push innovation to the edge. Check out their stories and launch your own innovation journey.

Kids Code

Computer science camp at UNC-Chapel Hill as a high school student sparked undergrad Angelina Patel’s inner social entrepreneur. Realizing the lack of resources to teach computer science in most public schools, she launched Kids Code, a social venture that makes computer science education more accessible and affordable for students in low income communities and under-resourced schools. So far, she’s grown Kids Code from her hometown of Savannah to Chapel Hill and Durham. Learn more about Kids Code.

Phoenyx Project

Undergrad Ana Soule grew up around the billboard industry. After realizing that used billboard materials were abundant and based on her passion for the social good, she created the Phoenyx Project. The project is exploring how to transform used billboard vinyls into sleeping bags and other products for the homeless population. The idea is to create recycled eco-friendly consumer goods, while providing fair wages and employment opportunities to those who need them most. Learn more about the Phoenyx Project.


Phyta is tackling climate change, human health and food production with sustainable ocean farming. Undergrad team Eliza Harrison, Emily Kian and Lucy Best are using ocean farming and macroalgae cultivation to provide sustainable and nutritious animal feed for North Carolina livestock. The team recently won the Hult Prize regional final in Melbourne, Australia, which granted them a spot as one of 50 Hult Prize finalists. Learn more about Phyta.

Ready to start your own innovation journey? Get started with Innovate Carolina and learn about resources that can help make your ideas work.