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Launch Chapel Hill Startup Accelerator

Launch Chapel Hill is an international award-winning startup accelerator located in downtown Chapel Hill that is managed by Innovate Carolina. If you are entrepreneur who is committed to building an early-stage, high-potential business into a self-sustaining enterprise, consider applying to join the program’s next class of promising innovators. Launch Chapel Hill accepts applications twice a year, and if your venture is selected, you will receive the support, tools and knowledge needed to decrease your risk, reduce your go-to-market time and accelerate the growth of your start-up.

Your company will be matched with one of the program’s entrepreneurs-in-residence. These experts will help connect you to resources and provide you with guidance based on their experience as founders and leaders of multiple startups over the course of their careers. You’ll also have access to a first-class collaborative office space as well as marketing, legal and accounting resources.

Velvet Nelson

Program Director, Launch Chapel Hill
Launch Chapel Hill, 321 W. Rosemary St., UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC


With an open, flexible workspace conveniently located at 173 E. Franklin Street in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, 1789 Venture Lab is the bridge between your on-campus entrepreneurial activity and the larger world. If you are a UNC-Chapel Hill student or alumnus who is interested in starting your own venture, you can receive special support, including access to relevant mentors, business coaches and essential services (legal, accounting, etc.). You can also take advantage of regular workshops, classes, office hours and events hosted by the 1789 team in partnership with groups like Launch Chapel Hill, the Campus Y, the UNC Minor in Entrepreneurship and the Carolina Challenge.

Kimi Yingling

Student Engagement and Events Program Manager, Innovate Carolina
1789 Venture Lab, 173 1/2 E. Franklin St., UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC


The mission of this community is to inspire students to shape an innovative and collaborative residential community using physical and virtual tools to engage in self-discovery, build diverse connections, and accelerate ideas to reality.

Students work to bring their ideas to reality, through the network of BeAM maker spaces and the support of BLUE.

BLUE offers spaces for residence to meet and share ideas. They can then transform those ideas into tangible goods.

Nicky Buickerood

Community Director, Carmichael Community
Carmichael Community

CUBE Social Innovation Incubator

At the CUBE, UNC-Chapel Hill’s social innovation incubator, students and faculty tackle pressing social issues. Pilot funding provided by CUBE since 2013 has helped build numerous companies – a mix of LLCs and 501c3s – working on a variety of issues: food security, clean water, clean tech, offering safe late-night transportation via electric vehicles, improving arts and STEM education, providing vocational training for young adults with autism, and many more. While not every social venture incubated in CUBE spins off into a sustainable enterprise, many do.

If you have an idea for a social venture, you can apply to enter the CUBE program through a competitive process. If your venture is selected, you can receive seed funding, mentoring, co-working space, pro-bono support services, expert feedback from nationally renowned social entrepreneurs, and the individualized assistance you need to create a successful social enterprise.

Jakelin Bonilla

Social Innovation Initiative Coordinator
The Campus Y, 180 A E. Cameron Ave., UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

App Lab

The App Lab is where UNC-Chapel Hill students can learn how to build web and mobile applications, run by UNC Computer Science Professor of the Practice Dr. Jeff Terrell. It’s open weekday afternoons. You can learn more about the App Lab.

Jeff Terrell, PhD

Professor of the Practice, Department of Computer Science
Sitterson Hall - Room 027

BeAM Makerspaces

UNC Be a Maker (BeAM) is a network of makerspaces where the UNC-Chapel Hill community can come together to design and make physical objects for education, research, entrepreneurship and recreation. You can participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, hosted classes and group activities. Enjoy spaces equipped with emerging technologies like 3D printing, lasers and electronics as well as wood and metalworking shops. You’ll find BeAM makerspaces located in Murray Hall, Carmichael Residence Hall, the Kenan Science Library and Hanes Art Center.

1129 Murray Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

UNC Reese Innovation Lab

The Reese Innovation Lab works to create and share novel and immersive storytelling experiences that engage audiences by leveraging new technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality with unique, research-based perspectives. Students and faculty use new technologies and human-centered design concept solve challenging problems for media companies. Projects are rooted in scientific and consumer/audience research and leverage collaborations with subject-matter experts across the university such as the School of Medicine and the Computer Science Department as well as multiple industries leaders like Time Magazine and The Washington Post as well as local journalism publishers.

Steven King

Associate Professor at UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media; Chief Innovation Officer at Reese Innovation Lab

Workroom FashionMash

Workroom FashionMash is both a workspace for prototyping and building, as well as a way of thinking. Since 2009, the program has given advertising students in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Media and Journalism School the chance to work directly with fashion and lifestyle brands to envision new ideas. As a student, you’ll work with clients to move beyond the page or screen and bring concepts to life.

Dana McMahan

Professor of the Practice, UNC School of Media and Journalism
Workroom FashionMash, 149 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIE) Lab – UNC School of Social Work

The SIE Lab, within the Jordan Institute for Families, provides support and resources for students and faculty to explore, design, implement, replicate and scale new ways of addressing complex social problems. The lab is home to social venture startups, an entrepreneur-in-residence, the NC Data Partnership for Social and Health Innovation, several co-working spaces, and a large meeting space.

The lab is also a field placement site for graduate social work students. Students placed here practice new methods of creating social change, while providing innovative consulting for non-profits and socially-focused enterprises.  These students master foundational business skills that amplify their effectiveness and impact in their careers. The lab’s co-working offices are available for anyone on campus to use on a first-come, first-serve basis. The larger main room is also available for meetings or larger gatherings and can be reserved by contacting Beth Lowder at

Gary M. Nelson, DSW

Director Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, The Jordan Institute for Families; Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy, UNC School of Social Work

Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL)

CHANL, the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory, was established in 2006 as part of the Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology. Since then, it has become a part of the Department of Applied Physical Sciences. It operates as a shared instrumentation laboratory open to UNC researchers from all departments as well as to researchers from other universities, government labs and industry.

James Cahoon, PhD

Associate Professor, UNC Department of Chemistry; Faculty Executive Director, Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL)

Research, Innovation and Global Solutions for Public Health

Research, Innovation and Global Solutions empowers faculty members, students and staff at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health to solve local and global health problems through research, innovation and practice. It provides guidance and support in the areas of:

  • Research
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Global health

It also manages and provides support for several Gillings programs and initiatives, including programs funded by the Gillings gift.

Julie MacMillan

Managing Director, Research and Innovation Solutions
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, 104 Rosenau Hall, Chapel Hill, NC

E(I) Lab

The E(I) Lab is a six-month experiential program that brings together graduate students, professional students and postdocs from diverse disciplines across UNC to conceive, develop and test innovative solutions to unmet needs in health care. Teams will be given generous financial support to develop the necessary prototypes, be inventors on patents, and be trained in various aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation. The top teams receive monetary prizes in addition to potential seed investments.

Sam Lai

Associate Professor and Director, Pharmacoengineering Program
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Marsico Hall 4213, 125 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC

Kenan Science Library Workrooms

The Kenan Science Library has workroom spaces available for you to reserve: two co-working spaces, a “huddle” brainstorming space and four group rooms. The science librarians have offices in this library and are available for consultations, instruction, and customized services for the departments with which they work. If you are a UNC-Chapel Hill researcher in the sciences, they are also available to work with you to develop strategies for preserving and accessing research data.

Kenan Science Library, G301 Venable Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Computer Science Entrepreneurs’ Lounge

The Timothy L. Quigg Entrepreneurs’ Lounge is a quiet place where budding computer Science entrepreneurs can meet with colleagues from other disciplines. Organizations like the Computer Science Entrepreneurs Club hold events in the space, and technology transfer staff use it to meet with potential licensees for computer science patents and copyrights. It’s also a great place for computer science startup companies to meet, plan and organize. If you’re a member of the computer science faculty, a graduate or undergraduate student, or a staff member, take advantage of this lounge as a place to read, think and create.

Michael Fern

Associate Chair for Business Affairs, Computer Science Department
Department of Computer Science (Lower Lobby), Sitterson Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Research Hub at the Health Sciences Library

The Research Hub at Health Sciences Library specializes in supporting researchers in the clinical and biomedical sciences at every stage of the research process. It’s a collaborative space that offers UNC researchers the tools and expertise to make their research more connected. If you’re a researcher or part of a research team, you can use the technology-enabled spaces for meetings and can take advantage of expert referrals and training from Hub librarians and campus partners. You’ll also have the chance to participate in informative programming that will improve your ability to collaborate.

Nandita Mani

Director, UNC Health Sciences Library
Health Sciences Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, 335 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, NC

Research Hub at Davis Library (GIS and Data Services)

If you’re an innovator or researcher in need of geographical information systems (GIS) and data services, you’ll find them in Research Hub at Davis Library. The Research Hub helps you acquire and use spatial and numeric data from a variety of sources and also gives you a convenient open space for team meetings. If you’re interested in working with data, mapping, texts and technology, the Research Hub supports data investigation, analysis and visualization in many formats. It also gives you access to classroom training, online learning and GIS computing.

Amanda Henley

Head of Digital Research Services, UNC Digital Research Services
Davis Library (Second Floor), UNC-Chapel Hill, 208 Raleigh St., Chapel Hill, NC

Carolina Union Underground

The Carolina Union Underground is a technology-equipped space with modular furniture, private rooms and audio-visual equipment for student teams to use for their work. Looking for a place to get the creative ideas flowing? Check out this high-tech, collaborative lounge area.

Scott Hudson

Senior Associate Director, Facility Management, Carolina Union
Carolina Union, UNC-Chapel Hill, 3103 South Rd., Chapel Hill, NC

Carolina Coworking

Carolina Coworking offers flexible subscription pricing without leases.  From coworking day passes to monthly coworking and private office subscriptions, all include access to high-speed internet, laser printing, private call rooms, a spacious kitchen with complimentary gourmet coffee all day, shower and changing room, standup meeting areas, and locked storage.  Each private office features two sit-stand desks, comfortable seating and large mobile whiteboards.  The Conference Center seats up to 25 and has state-of-the-art digital projection and a 24-foot-wide whiteboard “brain.”  Adjacent to UNC-Chapel Hill, Carolina Coworking’s West Franklin Street location is steps away from a variety of restaurants, shops and entertainment.

Check out Carolina Coworking’s Wednesday Workshops on the latest commercialization strategies and office hours with legal, business, investment and mentor capital professionals. All of the organization’s events can be found on its Franklin Street: Disrupt page.

Gregg Gerdau

Community Director
206 West Franklin Street, Patio Entrance, Lower Level, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

American Underground

Whether you’re a solo-entrepreneur, remote employee or have a 30-person team, you can take advantage of unique workspaces at American Underground designed to accommodate any stage of your business life cycle. Your startup will benefit from a powerful community of thinkers and doers, plus events that help you network, learn and succeed. American Underground also serves as a Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub, one of just seven in North America, which offers you unique access to Google and its products. Plus, with one location in Raleigh and three locations in downtown Durham, you can choose from the spot that works best for you.

HQ Raleigh

Designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, HQ Raleigh offers an exciting new workspace and a members-based community for Raleigh’s burgeoning innovation scene. As an HQ Raleigh member, you can gain access to a thriving network of entrepreneurs, mentors, service providers and capital connections. You’ll also enjoy amenities that include turn-key office spaces, co-working spaces, conference rooms, huddle rooms, a cafe space with a full-service kitchen, a bar, and a multi-purpose room for classes, workshops and events.


The Frontier

Looking for a free place to plug in, a private office for your growing company, or something a bit larger in the Research Triangle Park area? It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, everyone that walks through the doors of The Frontier receives a bevy of benefits and can get connected to the larger local entrepreneurship community. This centrally located convening space in the heart of the Triangle gives you access to Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, events and parking. Even better, you’ll find that most of the space is free.