2021 North Carolina asian-American entrepreneurship and innovation contest


Awards Ceremony Program


2021 Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all the winning teams and Founder of International Leadership Foundation Chiling Tong and Joel Szabat and Ms Krishna Polite from NC Lt Governor Mark Robinson, Erin Paré for NC House District 37 and Rep. David Willis and many corporate sponsors to make our 1st NC Young Entrepreneurship Award ceremony successful!!



 NC Asian American Coalition (NCAAC) is partnering with the  International  Leadership  Foundation NC Chapter (ILFNC) to announce the NCAAC Young  Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest. This contest aims to explore and foster the innovative entrepreneurial talents of young Asian Americans, with the concept of “Great Challenges Require Greater Solutions” as our inspiration, by encouraging candidates to brainstorm new and innovative policies and technologies following the post-pandemic world.



Winning teams will be awarded at an award ceremony


1.   Cash prize:

Gold Award: $500

 Silver Award: $300  

Bronze Award: $100

2.   Opportunity to meet up with three of the most innovative CEO in Raleigh and Charlotte

3.   Opportunity to connect with startup businesses & interact with US government officials. 

4.   Media Interviews with local media. 

5.   Represent NC to compete in the National ILF Asian-American Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Contest in Sep 2021.

Basic Rules

1. Team Qualification:

There are two groups of competitors: the high school level (18 and below) and college level (21 and below). Teams can have up to 5 members each, all team members must attend school in NC and at least one of the team members must be Asian Americans. 

2. Admission fee: No fees are required to participate in the contest.

3. For any inquiry, please reach to us at ncaac2021@gmail.com.

4. Participants must write business plans for projects that focus on the theme and vision of the contest from the perspectives of business, economics, or healthcare in the post-pandemic world. The submission should be in PDF format and less than 10 page.

Business Plan Template Reference:


5. Presentation: The selected teams should prepare a presentation for judges to review. Judges from NCAAC and ILF are introduced below to review the entries, and the results will be announced at the awards ceremony.

6. Award Ceremony: NCAAC & ILF will present the awards in person for both groups of competitors.


* All projects must be original works.  The intellectual property rights of the entries belong to the participants. The organizer has the right to use the entries for promotion and publication (no technical details are involved). Any inventions, patents, and other important related resources must be submitted with full legally authorized intellectual property owner's written authorization and patent certificate.




Participants can obtain online training and counseling, registration details, and other relevant information on the exclusive website of the contest;

National ILF Contest: https://www.ilfnational.org/ 


​North Carolina Asian American Coalition (NCAAC) is a grassroots initiative to support the Asian American community and amplify Asian American voices. Our mission is to provide services, education, and advocacy that facilitate Asian American participation in civic, legislative, and community affairs.


The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes the civic awareness, public service, and economic effectiveness of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Our mission is to develop young leaders in the United States, Asia, and other Pacific Rim countries in the fields of public service, entrepreneurship, and international business and politics through a network of business and community leaders.


Keynote Speaker


Chiling Tong

  • President of National ACE

  • Founding President of ILF

  • Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of US Department of Commerce


Joel Szabat

  • Founder of ILF

  • Former Acting Under Secretary of Transportation

Judge Panel

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Siu Tong

  • CEO of Smarklink Health Solutions

  • US Presidential Service Award winner

  • a serial entrepreneur who founded and was CEO of Infina Connect Healthcare Systems, (top 10 companies in the Wall Street Journal 2013 “Startup of the Year” series)

  • Automotive News magazine and Ernst & Young 2002 PACE Award (8 Best Automotive Invention Worldwide

  • Other startups include Optimum Technologies, GMA Healthcare, and Engineous Software.

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Erkang Zheng

  • CEO and Founder of JupiterOne since 2018

  • Chief Informational Security Officer at LifeOmic Security 

  • Responsible for security operations, compliance and privacy

  • Head of Software Security, Fidelity Personal Investing

  • Led security as an enabler for the digital transformation journey including software security architecture, assurance, governance and compliance, vulnerability management

  • Chief Strategist and Global Program Director, Consulting Product Management at IBM Security Services


Yu Lihong

  • President at PHT International Inc

  • Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the chemicals industry

  • Skilled in Negotiation, Operations Management, Sales, Pharmaceutical , Polymers, and Crop protection industry

  • Strong business development professional with a Batchlor focused in English Literature ; American Culture and Scieties from Beijing Foreign Studies University



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Media Partners




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