Kristen Bannerman
ECSU Communications and Marketing          
Email or 252-335-8745  

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (April 8, 2024) – Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is hosting its third annual Viking Entrepreneurship Week, presented by PNC, which starts Monday, April 8. The week’s programming is designed to present the ECSU community with activities and information that support the consideration of entrepreneurship as a career option.

The kickoff luncheon event will feature Talley & Twine Watch Company founder Randy Williams as the keynote speaker. Williams, also an author and philanthropist, has successfully led his company since 2014 and has been mentioned in publications including Essence and Black Enterprise. Throughout the week, Williams will be in Viking Land to speak with students and meet with university faculty and staff, and to give his expertise on entrepreneurship and offer networking opportunities for students. He will also meet with community members through a joint event with the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Joy Smith, dean of the School of Education and Business, said the week’s offerings allow ECSU to have a hand in galvanizing the entrepreneurship potential available to career seekers of any age.

“We are excited to welcome Randy Williams as our 2024 PNC Entrepreneurship Fellow and are looking forward to hearing about his entrepreneurial journey during his time here,” said Smith. “Viking Entrepreneurship Week has been presented by PNC these last three years, and it’s been a great way to showcase and encourage all the entrepreneurial talent in the area. We are looking forward to seeing the long-term impact that these events will have on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, both on campus and in northeastern North Carolina.”

Fayetteville State University (FSU), Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), North Carolina A&T (N.C. A&T) University and St. Augustine’s University (SAU) will participate in the event along with some area high schools. A day of breakout sessions on starting a business, artificial intelligence for entrepreneurs, and content creation will also be offered, as well as the Viking Pitch Competition where participants from each school will present their ideas to panel judges.

“This week will involve the breadth of what being an entrepreneur entails,” Smith said.

Viking Entrepreneurship Week and the PNC Entrepreneurship Fellow program are made possible through a multi-year grant from PNC Foundation. In addition to the scope of the weeklong programming and fellowship, the grant helped establish the ECSU Entrepreneurship Fab Lab and Social Media Marketing Lab powered by PNC.

About Elizabeth City State University  
Elizabeth City State University provides students with a high-quality, affordable education. A constituent member of the University of North Carolina System, ECSU develops courageous, resilient, and empowered leaders through excellent student-centered, experiential learning. ECSU offers baccalaureate, professional, and master’s degrees across a wide variety of disciplines. Come to Discover. Leave to Conquer. Visit