Funding Landscape Series

Campus-to-Company Series

Faculty Startups Navigate North Carolina's Funding Landscape

Let’s say you’re a faculty member at a university in North Carolina, and you want to launch a startup. How can you get the early funding you need to be successful? What resources are available? And how do you identify and tap into the right resources at each step of your innovation journey as your venture grows? This three-part series examines the unique funding landscape that successful faculty startups in North Carolina learn to navigate during their go-to-market journeys. Discover why a convergence of academic, public and private forces in North Carolina create an environment that’s primed to support the growing number of high-potential startups that spring from university classrooms and labs.

Part 1

Article highlights: Learn why the funding gap is a common startup experience. Discover resources that faculty startups can use to bridge this gap. Get a step-by-step overview of the funding stages that faculty ventures need to know.

If one chose to personify different states based on their innovative potential, North Carolina would be the new wunderkind. The state’s economy, which has deep traditional roots in agriculture and textiles, is emerging as one of the nation’s most successful incubators in terms of bringing next-generation technologies and bio-medical advances to market. However, what sets the area apart isn’t where its innovations end; it’s where they begin: a super hub of innovation that’s flush with the intellect and expertise of a powerful cluster of global research universities and institutions.

Part 2

Article highlights: Take a deeper look at on-campus funding sources: awards, fellowships and competitions. Learn how these resources help faculty build prototypes, evaluate the market, develop technologies and create business plans.

When a faculty member at a university has a research project or idea that they’re interested in turning into a startup, some of the first questions that pop to mind involve funding. What funding might be available? Who offers it? And how do you get started?

Part 3

Article highlights: Set your sites beyond the university and explore regional, state and federal funding. Discover how unique programs in the North Carolina region help position companies for SBIR/STTR grants and venture capital investments.

For faculty startups, on-campus funding sources are critical first steps. But these avenues only take them so far. Once founders develop their ideas, build successful prototypes and validate the market potential, they have to look beyond their own campuses. The ability to grow and go to market means navigating a much wider funding ecosystem. And positioning themselves for funding resources at the regional, state and national levels is the difference between ventures that struggle and those that take root and thrive.