Wilmingtonbiz logo
Print
Technology

UNCW Grad Wins Innovation Grant

By Jenny Callison, posted Jan 30, 2014
SnapYeti founder Justin Beard flaunts his Yeti costume and phone cam. (Contributed photo)
A startup venture with Wilmington connections is one of five winners of the recent round of grants from NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in the state.
 
Justin Beard, a 2005 graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is the founder of SnapYeti, a website that allows companies and organizations to create “Snapfests” and photo contests to promote their brand, product or cause.
 
Raleigh-based SnapYeti received a grant for $50,000 last month after a four-month selection process that drew 117 applications from across North Carolina, according a NC IDEA news release.
 
The company will use the money to grow, Beard said in an interview Thursday. Next week it will launch its Yeti Bonus System, through which companies can provide deals to people whose product, or service-related snapshots, are selected by the company. It will also debut a function to help generate more fans and "admirers," as the people who like individual photos are called, along with other features that, like the Yeti Bonus System, are expected to generate revenue.
 
Beard saw opportunity for his venture when he was in the North Carolina mountains, taking photos and posting them online. When a woman saw his images and asked if she could use them to promote her business, he said it gave him the idea for SnapYeti.

The online site now has 11,000 users -- more than double what it had last month, Beard said.

"We doubled our number of users in December and more than doubled them this month, and that's with no marketing," he said.
 
“Currently, other tools [for running online photo contests] are very expensive and don’t work very well on mobile,” Beard said, adding that SnapYeti integrates its content and contests with social media.
 
Beard, who often spends time with family members in Wilmington, will be in town Feb. 7 as the featured speaker for a lunchtime session at UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. For more information, click here.
 
NC IDEA is a nonprofit organization that targets promising technology companies that need help bridging the gap between initial product development and venture capital funding, according to its release. The organization helps young, innovative companies mainly by providing early financing in the form of grants.

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Book On Business

2015 bookonbusiness

The 2015 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$19.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Playing Matchmaker In Job-Hunt Process

Hiring is one of the most important decisions business owners can make. Recruiter Corey Lewis shares tips and the latest trends on the job hunt.

Market Weathers Retail Ups And Downs

Retail trends come and go, and the same can be said for some of the real estate companies that reap their benefits....

Physician Group, Insurer Renew Agreement

New Hanover Regional Medical Center Physician Group and UnitedHealthcare renewed their network relationship, officials said. ...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Three Local Startups Named Grant Semi-finalists

Jenny Callison - About 7 hours ago

Developer Drops Apartments On Independence, Proceeds With Riverfront Plans

Cece Nunn - About 8 hours ago Trending News

GE Hitachi Opens Reactor Maintenance Training Facility

Jenny Callison - About 7 hours ago

Spring Files Lawsuit Against CFCC Trustees

Jenny Callison - Mar 27, 2015
Non Profit

United Way of the Cape Fear

United Way is working alongside local agencies in order to assist them in providing substantial and sustainable change within the Cape Fear Area. Live United!

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast Series - Special Sauce for Economic Development - March. 2014
WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote - Ken Lowe - Founder HGTV, CEO Scripps Networks - March. 2014

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!


There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:



Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad