Time moves fast when you’re busy working with startups. We blinked and 10 years have passed since the first version of the KickStart Venture Services (KVS) program started at UNC-Chapel Hill with the mission to support UNC-born ventures.
From its inception, one of KickStart’s key initiatives has been to provide vital early-stage funding for startups from Carolina through its KickStart Commercialization Grant Awards.
The program has been open to early-stage companies based on research innovations for which at least one founder is a faculty member, student or staff person at UNC-Chapel Hill. Over the last decade, KickStart has given more than $2 million in awards to 57 companies.
These awards are a stepping-stone that propels companies to be more attractive for funding from grants, angel investments and venture capital. With more than $600 million raised in funding over the last 10 years by KVS awardees, the program and its portfolio of startup companies are on the right track.
Reflections from startup leaders about the impact the KVS award program had on their ventures.
Healthspan Dx (Sapero Bio)
Ironwood Material Science
Joe Startup Technologies
Lotus Bio FX
New Paradigm Therapeutics
Premirr Plastics LLC
Rheomics (now Redbud Labs)
SandBar Oyster Co.