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2020 UNC Innovation Showcase Application Deadline
February 10 @ 5:00 pm
Applications open: Present or exhibit at the 2020 UNC Innovation Showcase
Submit your application to present or exhibit by February 10
Get your most innovative, impact-driven ideas ready. Applications are now open to present or exhibit at the 2020 UNC Innovation Showcase on April 9, 2020. Submit your application for review by Monday, Feb. 10.
The showcase is the premier nnual University-wide innovation event hosted by Innovate Carolina. It’s open to UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, staff and Carolina-affiliated innovators who are working on ideas for startups, ventures and research projects designed to make a social, economic or environmental impact. In 2019, the event drew more than 500 attendees, including 150 investors. Space for presenters and exhibitors is limited, and approximately 50 elite ventures, research projects and innovative initiatives will be selected from among the top innovations at Carolina and in the local community.
- When and where is the 2020 Innovation Showcase?
The Innovation Showcase will be held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
- Who attends the showcase?
Anyone in the innovation and entrepreneurship community – whether you are affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill or not – is welcome to attend. The attendees are a combination of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, students and alumni along with venture capital investors, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs, strategic partners, community leaders, and other innovators.
- Who can present at the showcase?
UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, staff and Carolina-affiliated innovators who are working on ideas for startups, ventures and research projects designed to make a human, social and economic impact. Space is limited, and approximately 50 elite ventures, research projects and innovative initiatives will be selected by Innovate Carolina from among all applicants.
- How do I apply to present or exhibit
Submit an application to present or exhibit by February 10. Innovate Carolina will contact all applicants by approximately the week of February 17 to let them know if they have been selected to participate in the showcase, and if so, whether they are likely to be a presenter or exhibitor.
- What’s the format of the event? And what’s the difference between presenters and exhibitors?
The event begins with opening remarks from a keynote presenter, plus the Vice Chancellor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.
Presenters will then deliver brief (roughly five minutes) pitches/presentations across five different break-out rooms. Rooms will be categorized by theme/sector and host approximately eight brief, back-to-back presentations each. Individuals/teams who are chosen to present will be assigned a room and time. Participants will have access to a detailed agenda to choose how they want to spend their hour.
Following the hour of presentations, exhibitors and presenters will be given the opportunity to have a table in the large atrium area during a networking reception in the atrium. They can share their innovation with the full group of showcase attendees at tabletop exhibits. The reception will give both exhibitors and presenters the chance to meet investors, strategic partners, community leaders, alumni, etc.
- Who will make presentations?
Brief presentations will be given by a group of top innovators selected by Innovate Carolina who will share their latest startup companies, social ventures and research projects. The presenters include UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, students and alumni, plus Carolina-affiliated entrepreneurs from the local business community.
- What happens in the exhibit area?
The exhibit area is a space in the central part of the conference center where all participating ventures may choose to set up a table and have conversations with attendees. The exhibit area opens during the networking reception after the initial presentation sessions have concluded. Individuals participating in the exhibit area include some of teams who gave initial presentations as well as other top ventures and research projects that did not give a presentation.
- What stage ventures, research projects and initiatives will participate?
Ventures, research projects and innovation initiatives of all stages of innovation development – from ideation to revenue generation – will participate.
- Which UNC programs are involved?
A variety of innovation and entrepreneurship programs from UNC-Chapel Hill are involved in the event. Many programs encourage teams they have worked with to participate in the presentations and exhibit area.
- Will investors attend?
Yes. We expect a group of investors from firms that work with a wide range of startup ventures at various stages of maturity. For example, we anticipate attendance by angel investor organization Carolina Angel Network as well as venture capital firms like Hatteras Venture Partners.