Celebrate the now. Discover the new. Imagine the next.

Wednesday, April 14 | 4 – 6 p.m. | Zoom webinar

Taking your innovation to the edge and making an impact requires more than waiting on an idea to percolate in isolation. It requires coming together with a community of other innovators. Sharing your inventive thinking. And finding new insights to help push your ideas forward, faster. When you attend the Innovation Showcase hosted by Innovate Carolina, you meet the most enterprising innovators from UNC-Chapel Hill and the local entrepreneurial community. Join with us as we celebrate the work of faculty, students, alumni and local business founders who have combined ingenuity and hard work to make a human and economic impact.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, Mayor Pam Hemminger and other leaders will kick off a special celebration: the 10-year anniversary of the Innovate Carolina roadmap, which established today’s active network of people and programs that help innovators and ventures make their ideas work.

When and where is the 2021 Innovation Showcase?
The Innovation Showcase will be held:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

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?
Presenters – including UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, staff, and local entrepreneurs who are working on ideas for startups, ventures and research projects – must be invited by Innovate Carolina to participate. Approximately 30 top innovation teams are selected by Innovate Carolina based on its work with I&E programs across the UNC-Chapel Hill innovation network.

What’s the format of the event?
The event begins with opening remarks from Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and other University leaders. Following the opening session, attendees then choose from one of six online pitch rooms, where they will watch recorded videos in which faculty, student and other entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and ventures. Between each pitch, you and other attendees will have the opportunity to participate in live Q&A sessions with each presenter.

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 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 recommend teams they have worked with to participate in the pitch sessions.

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.


On the agenda

Wednesday, April 14 | 4 – 6 p.m. | Zoom Webinar

4 p.m. Celebration
10-Year Anniversary of Innovate Carolina Roadmap

5 p.m. Pitch Rooms & Live Venture Q&A
Research-Based Startups
Regional Startup Community
Student Innovations
Convergent Science
Humanities and Social Science Innovations
UNC Finals for Map the System Global Competition


Pitch makes perfect

Log on to meet a group of elite ventures and research projects selected by Innovate Carolina from among the top innovations at the University and in the local community. These teams will present their companies, social ventures and leading-edge research initiatives. For the teams, it’s a chance to pitch to investors, make connections and spark interest in their ideas. For those in the investment and entrepreneurial communities, it’s an opportunity to learn about ideas with breakthrough potential. You’ll have the chance to choose from six different pitch rooms that featuring 30 top innovators who represent the work sparked and bolsters by key innovation and entrepreneurial programs. Each room includes video pitches and live Q&A sessions.

  • Research-Based Startups. Faculty-founded startups based on University intellectual property that are working with KickStart Venture Services will pitch the technologies they’re moving from lab to market.

  • Regional Startup Community. Startup companies from the international award-winning Launch Chapel Hill accelerator share the valuable ideas they are developing and using to make an economic impact in local region and beyond. 

  • Student Innovations. Top student innovation teams from the 1789 Student Innovation Community that have high rankings in entrepreneurial competitions, received innovation awards, and demonstrated the highest levels of engagement in the UNC innovation network will present ideas and ventures aimed at economic and social impact.

  • Humanities and Social Science Innovations. Faculty recipients of the C. Felix Harvey Award will present how they are using humanities and/or social sciences methods or approaches to address real-world challenges.

  • Convergent Science. Teams of faculty and researchers with diverse areas of expertise who have collaborated across disciplines through the UNC Institute for Convergent Science and North Carolina Policy Collaboratory will share how they are working to help solve complex problems related to COVID-19, economic vitality and other pressing challenges.

  • UNC Finals for Map the Systems Global Competition. Carolina students who are participating in the final preliminary round of the global Map the System competition hosted by Oxford University’s Said School of Business will present the systems maps they are creating to solve a variety of social and environmental problems.

Startup and innovation pitches

Check back to learn about the latest teams of faculty, students, alumni and local entrepreneurs that you’ll hear present during the showcase. 

Research-Based Startups


Aerem Innovations

A mask frame designed to improve the comfort and fit of existing face masks by reducing the gaps between a user’s mask material and their face


Harnessing advancements in the speed and scale of 3D-printing technology for novel solutions in women’s health.


Blending innovative player and eye tracking technology with artificial intelligence to give athletes and coaches the right insights at the right time.

IMMvention Therapeutix

Discovering and developing first-in-class novel disease modifying therapies to improve the lives of patients with rare and prevalent inflammatory conditions.


Commercializing technology to determine whether an infant will be on the autism spectrum as they grow up.

Regional Startup Community



Working with higher education institutions to make data-driven decisions across their campuses that impact the effectiveness and efficiency of their people.

CliniSpan Health

A software platform that is accelerating and diversifying clinical trial recruitment.

FANz Play App

Allows fans of the biggest rivalries in sports to play against each other live on game day to earn their own bragging rights.

Kalia Health

Designing a point-of-care, early-detection test that diagnoses preeclampsia, the second leading cause of maternal mortalities globally.
Fleet Health

MyOwn Communications

Creating a scalable, nationwide directory and integrated communication platform for healthcare clinicians.

Student Innovations



Providing fundraising opportunities for nonprofits by partnering with stadium concessions to meet staffing needs during sports and entertainment events.


Lip-reading technology that empowers voiceless individuals and advances their medical care.


Educating and empowering K-8 girls in STREAM fields (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts, and math.


The world’s first device that can clean any reusable water bottle in under 60 seconds by using UV-C technology.


A nonprofit organization that provides student-athletes a platform to be their true selves.

Humanities and Social Science Innovations


Equiti Foods

Locally sourced, made and delivered frozen meals that support local food systems and give everyone access to nutritious and delicious meals regardless of income.

Housing Opportunity Finder

A web app that connects families in Durham and Orange counties to affordable housing in high-opportunity areas.

Convergent Science


Digital Health Institute for Transformation

Creating a data-driven decision support tool for community leaders to use when making important decisions that will impact their communities during the pandemic or other significant health challenges.