Open now: Dual application for student venture services – 1789 venture funding and Launch summer accelerator

UNC students can now maximize startup funding and business growth opportunities through Innovate Carolina’s new joint application for the 1789 Student Venture Fund and Launch Chapel Hill summer program. The application opens March 2.

February 16, 2021
By Brock Pierce

If you’re a Carolina student who’s working on a commercial or socially driven startup, you can now apply to two of UNC-Chapel Hill’s top entrepreneurial support programs at the same time.

On Tuesday, March 2, Innovate Carolina opened a combined application for its 1789 Student Venture Fund and Launch Chapel Hill summer program. The application will remain open until Wednesday, March 10.

All Carolina students working on entrepreneurial ventures are eligible to apply. In the past, students needed to apply to each program separately, but they can now submit a joint application to both. This partnership between the two programs not only makes applying quicker and more convenient for students, but also offers them a more cohesive experience for growing their startups. Students ventures at different stages may benefit from a different combination of funding, mentorship, workspaces and educational programming – and this combined application will connect students to the resources they need when they need them most.

“We want to make sure student startup founders get the resources they need at the right time,” said Velvet Nelson, manager of Launch Chapel Hill. “By giving students that chance to apply for the 1789 Student Venture Fund while applying for our Launch Chapel Hill summer program, we’re able to calibrate the balance of funding and educational program support that we provide to specific ventures so that they have the greatest chance of success.”

When submitting applications, students can choose to apply for either program or both simultaneously. Innovate Carolina encourages students to apply for both the 1789 Student Venture Fund and Launch summer program because if they are not selected for one, they may still be selected for the other. Some student ventures may be selected for both opportunities. 

“The best thing students can do is to apply for both because doing so may increase their chances or receiving the support that best fits their needs,” said Kimi Yingling, Innovate Carolina’s student engagement manager who oversees the 1789 student innovation community. “Whether it’s early, targeted funding aimed at boosting specific aspects of their ventures or a more programmatic approach designed to help them achieve certain milestones and scale their businesses over a full summer, the combination of these opportunities helps a wide range of student ventures.” 

1789 Student Venture Fund

  • Provided by Innovate Carolina’s 1789 student innovation community.
  • Seed funding (amounts vary per application) to developan aspect of student venture.
  • Allows ventures that make progress using initial award funding to apply for additional funding in the future.
  • Examples of funding use: prototyping, product development, testing, software/web/app development, licensing fees, supplies, advertising or marketing.
  • Value-add: Access to mentors, professional service providers and networking opportunities offered virtually by the 1789 student innovation community.

Launch Chapel Hill Summer Program

  • Provided by Innovate Carolina’s Launch Chapel Hill startup accelerator
  • 10-week accelerator program (late May – early August) that allows students to scale their ventures
  • $5,000 stipend provided to each venture that is accepted
  • Mentoring and intensive educational programming provided by Launch Chapel Hill and its team of entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • Value-add: Flexibility to participate virtually/remotely or via an in-person desk within the Launch’s space in downtown Chapel Hill. For instance, students can choose to participate in the Launch program online from home or another location.