August 14, 2020
By Brock Pierce, Innovate Carolina


Are you a UNC student interested in entrepreneurship? Have an idea to develop into a product? Running your own side hustle? Interested in investing? Want to learn skills to innovate in a larger organization or work for a startup?

Innovate Carolina’s 1789 community and co-working space, the Entrepreneurship Center at Kenan-Flagler Business School, CUBE at the Campus Y and other innovation-focused organizations  have teamed up to offer students a variety of opportunities for fall 2020. Get ready to see familiar faces, build critical skills and make new friends. You don’t have to be a current 1789 member to attend, although all students are welcome to apply to join the 1789 community at any time.

Sign up for these events — and take advantage of resources and expertise that can help you discover and explore new entrepreneurial opportunities and career paths.

E-Ship Center Workshops

Attend these workshops hosted by the Entrepreneurship Center and get insights on how to grow your entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 | Noon - 1 p.m. p.m.| Online

Join us to hear how this Tar Heel and Launch Chapel Hill grad tapped into the UNC entrepreneurship network and moved from working in finance to founding a bagel business.

Rolling applications | Online

A study by Forbes Magazine found that 92% of entrepreneurs agree that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business. Apply to this program and get matched with a mentor. 

Wednesday, Sept. 2 | Noon - 1 p.m.| Online

Sisters Niki and Ritika Shamdasani of Sani, a South Asian-inspired fashion brand launched Sani in 2017 to create the outfits and shopping experience they always wished they could find for cultural clothing. That mission has led to a first-of-its-kind partnership with Rent the Runway, features in Business Insider, NBC, and Good Morning America, and a loyal following of 70,000 on TikTok.

Wednesday, Sept. 2 | 7 - 8:30 p.m.| Online

Discover how being okay with failure and failing fast can help you. We’ll also learn how to properly identify your problem and customer in an interactive session.

Tuesday, Sept. 1 | 7 - 8:00 p.m.| Online

Join us to learn how to nominate yourself or a deserving friend to be a new Eship Scholar. Recognized scholars receive $5,000, coaching and more.

September TBD | Online

This session will focus on discussing the various journeys of Black student entrepreneurs in our ecosystem.

Apply for Funding. Take Your Idea to the Next Level.

You may have an amazing idea for a startup, social venture or other entrepreneurial endeavor. But, chances are you’re going to need funding to to make it work. Here are a few ways to put some funding behind your ideas for a better future.

Apply Aug. 19 - Sept. 16

The 1789 Student Venture Fund provides financial support for UNC-Chapel Hill students to use to build commercial and social startups.

Apply Aug. 19 - Oct. 15

The Dreamers-Who-Do Award lets you pursue your idea as part of a project that helps to solve a problem or enhance innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, in a local community or on a global scale.

Apply to the Entrepreneurship Minor

Apply by Sept. 28

The Shuford Program is open to all students, regardless of their major. It is the only entrepreneurship program in the country housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program wishes to attract students who are committed to the goals of our program: growing innovation and entrepreneurship at Carolina and around the world.

Take Care of Yourself

Being a student — and especially a student entrepreneur — can take its toll on you mentally and physically. Here are a few ways to step back from the grind and find the right balance. 

1789 Community Yoga

Recurring sessions (bi-monthly) | Online
Mondays at 5:30 p.m.
Fridays at 1 p.m.

Yoga provides clarity of mind, promotes creativity and builds confidence through trying something new — all of which are invaluable to entrepreneurs, whether you’re just starting out or already underway. It’s also an awesome way to step away from the desk and give your brain a break, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Join us twice a month for 1789 Community Yoga with Ruhi Dholakia, a current UNC senior and certified yoga instructor. Log in from wherever you are to take a risk, unleash your creativity, find mental and physical stability, and strengthen your resolve.

Monday, Aug. 17
Friday, Sept. 4
Monday, Sept. 14
Friday, Oct. 2
Monday, Oct. 12
Friday, Oct. 30
Monday, Nov. 9

Monday, Sept. 28 | 5 - 6 p.m. | Online

Has the pandemic effected your mental health? Join the Student venture Mind Above Matter for an open discussion about mental health, tools to cope with change and resources available to you as a UNC student.

Co-hosted by

Connect with Others

Meet the Mentors

Wednesdays at noon | Online

Do you know there are 15 mentors at 1789 ready to talk to students like you about ideas, help you navigate innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities on campus, and guide you on how to build prototypes, complete secondary market research, consider social impact, incorporate your organization, brand yourself, visualize data, and seek funding.

If you’re a student interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, you are welcome at 1789 and encouraged to email these mentors to set up a time to chat via Zoom and seek feedback on your idea. Come with questions — you’ll get insightful answers.

Wednesday, Oct. 14
Wednesday, Nov. 4

Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. | Online

What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? What is your zone of genius? Think through different areas of your life and unlock your highest potential with Melissa Carrier, Director of Social Innovation as she facilitates an activity around the four different zones of function that Gay Hendricks identified in his book, The Big Leap. Then, hear from Dr. Tierney Bates, Interim Executive Director of University Career Services and sought-after speaker and facilitator in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, fundraising, and career coaching about how to forge your own path in this time of uncertainty.

A powerful collaboration between Innovate Carolina, CUBE, The Entrepreneurship Center and University Career Services, the session is for any student interested in learning a new set of habits that will liberate your authentic greatness.

Co-hosted by