For those who couldn't wait for Halloween this friday, the Pegasus Ballroom opened its doors Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Starter Riot, a free trick-or-treating event that showcased student-run start-ups.
The event, which is in its second year, also brought awareness to the campus resources available to help students get their start-ups up and running.
About 20,000 pieces of candy were given out to students, and with some help from the UCF Domino's location and Wackadoo's, 2,500 pieces of pizza and drinks were handed out as well.
"We are very fortunate to be working with UCF Domino's and Wackadoo's for the pizza and drinks, and the sponsors [who] helped us provide this great lunch," said Tiffany Hughes, senior director for corporate engagement in the College of Business Administration.
When students were able to enter the Pegasus Ballroom, there were about 25 different trick-or-treat stations for students to utilize, and each station featured a UCF start-up, department or organization helping support student start-ups.
Each station had a large bowl of candy for students to take advantage of while they talked to some of the organizations and student start-ups. Students could trick-or-treat around the tables and at the same time learn a lot about successful ideas or businesses at UCF.
Organizations such as Business Incubation Program at UCF, Idea Lab, Harris Gathering Lab, StarterLab and many others were present with students to help give out free information on how students can make their ideas come to life.
The Blackstone LaunchPad, a free on-campus organization that offers entrepreneurship coaching, resources and networking connections to students, was a key organizer of the event and also had a table there.
Additionally, costume contests and keynote speakers rounded out the event and added to the festivities.
Students who signed up ahead of time for the event with VIP tickets received a larger bag to collect candy in, and the first 500 students in the door received free Starter Riot limited-edition T-shirts.
There were also many student start-ups present, such as Party Tutor and Fabric. Tiona Langley, a junior creative writing major, is the founder of the website www.thefashiondictionary.com, which encompasses all things fashion, including definitions with pictures.
"I had an idea, and I went to the Blackstone LaunchPad," Langley said. "I wanted to start a blog writing articles on clothing. They gave me all the information on a start-up and connected me with the right people."
Since going to the LaunchPad, Langley said, her blog has taken off.
"We have guest bloggers. We also have our own models that we hand-select. I want to bring awareness to the blog. We are building a positive community of empowerment," Langley said.
Hughes said that this was the second year for the Starter Riot, and last year's event was also held during Halloween week. The event was so popular, they decided to do it again this year.
"The goal is to introduce all UCF students to the idea that entrepreneurship is a viable career path, and to alert them to resources available at UCF that can help them with their ideas if they are interested," Hughes said.
Karis Tindell, a junior biomedical sciences major, came to the event to benefit the children in her neighborhood and get candy for them.
"I found out about [Starter Riot] today through my UCF email. I came for the free candy, but it's not for me. I'm collecting the candy to distribute to the kids in my apartment complex. They don't have a lot, so I wanted to get them something," Tindell said. She hoped to get at least 16 pieces of candy, two for each of the kids in her community.
For more information on student start-ups at UCF, visit www.ucfstarters.org/. For information on Blackstone LaunchPad and how you can get your start-up completed, visit www.ucf.thelaunchpad.org/.