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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 the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. 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.

Amy Linnane

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

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

1789

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

Program Assistant, Innovate Carolina
1789 Venture Lab, 173 1/2 E. Franklin St., UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

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.

Laura Fieselman

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

KickStart Labs

If you are working to grow a science- or technology-based startup at Carolina, KickStart Labs provides on-campus wet lab incubator that you can take advantage of. The state-of-the-art facility provides bench space, office space, shared areas (cold-room, hoods) and shared equipment (sinks, distilled water, gases, etc.). The short-term lease and access to capital equipment are ideal options if you have a startup at the SBIR or early venture capital funding stages.

Don Rose

Kenan Labs, UNC-Chapel Hill, 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 Christina Coillot at coillot@email.unc.edu.

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

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

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

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

Reese News Lab

The Reese News Lab is an experimental media and research project based at the UNC School of Media and Journalism focused on developing and testing new ideas for the media industry in the form of a pre-startup. As part of this student team, you research ideas for media products by answering three questions: Can it be done? Does anyone actually need this? And, could it make money? To answer these questions, you collaborate with other students in the lab to create prototypes, interview and survey potential customers and develop business strategies for your product. As you work, you document your recommendations on whether you believe your product will work. Ultimately, you and your team have the chance to present your idea to the public. At Reese News Lab, you get to team with other students who come from a variety of backgrounds, including journalism, business and computer science, among others.

Ryan Thornburg

Reese Felts Distinguished Professor, Associate Professor, Executive Director of Reese News Lab
UNC School of Media and Journalism, 77 Carroll Hall, 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.

Danianne Mizzy

Head of Kenan Science Information Services
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

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.