Frequently asked questions

The 2020 Innovation Showcase has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Maybe you’re thinking about registering for the event. Or you’ve already registered and still have a few questions. We have information that can help you out. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for below, contact Sheryl Waddell (sheryl@unc.edu) with Innovate Carolina. You can also find more information in the full agenda.

1. When and where is the 2020 Innovation Showcase?

The Innovation Showcase will be has been canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. In previous years, the showcase has been held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill.

The agenda for next year’s showcase will be published in early 2021.


Note: The program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Please arrive for registration between 5:00 and 5:15 p.m.

View the full agenda.


2. Who should attend?

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, students and alumni along with venture capital investors, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs, strategic partners, community leaders, and other innovators. 


3. How to I register to attend?

Registration for next year will open in early 2021.

4. What's the format of the event?

Following opening remarks from the Vice Chancellor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, innovator presentations will occur simultaneously in five different rooms. Rooms will be categorized by theme/sector and host eight brief, back-to-back presentations. Ventures chosen to present will be assigned a room and time. Participants will have access to a detailed agenda to choose how they want to spend their hour. Following the hour of presentations, we will host a network reception in the atrium where tabletop exhibits will feature more top innovators from Carolina and the local community. The reception will also give you a chance to meet investors, strategic partners, community leaders, alumni, etc.


5. Who will make presentations?

Brief presentations will be given by a group of top innovators who will share their latest startup companies, social ventures and research projects. The presenters include UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, students and alumni, plus entrepreneurs from the local business community. 


6. What stage ventures will participate?

Ventures and research projects at all stages of innovation development – from ideation to revenue generation – will participate.


7. What happens in the exhibit area?

The exhibit area is a space in the central part of the conference center where all participating ventures may choose to set up a table and have conversations with attendees. The exhibit area opens during the networking reception at 7 p.m. after the initial presentation sessions have concluded. Individuals participating in the exhibit area include some of teams who gave initial presentations as well as other top ventures and research projects that did not give a presentation.


8. Which UNC programs are involved?

A variety of innovation and entrepreneurship programs from UNC-Chapel Hill are involved in the event. Many programs nominated teams they have worked with to participate in the presentations and exhibit area.


8. 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.


9. Is there a mobile app?

Yes. After you register for the showcase, the Innovate Carolina team will contact you with information about how to download and use the Whova event app. This mobile app will allow you to learn about the ventures on the fly during the event, so you can seek them out during the sessions. You do not need to download this app until the Innovate Carolina team contacts you via email after you register.   


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Akib Khan

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship
and Economic Development
109 Church Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516