The accidental entrepreneurs: 10 years of the UNC Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshop

Every spring, small groups of the most enterprising faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill experience flashbacks of sitting in class as undergraduates. While participants in the Chancellor’s Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshop, which is sponsored by Chancellor Carol Folt and led by Innovate Carolina, these researchers and teachers find themselves in the shoes of the students they instruct: showing up eager to learn, collaborating on group projects and working feverishly toward final presentations.

This flipped classroom experience is relatively familiar territory for Carolina faculty. However, the subject of this crash course – entrepreneurship – can feel like entirely new terrain.

After all, faculty have more-than-full-time teaching and research responsibilities that consume their attention. Entrepreneurship is something they may choose to wade into gradually as time allows. Once they’re immersed, however, the transition to faculty entrepreneurs can become an experience of pure serendipity that leads them down exciting, reward-filled paths that they can’t predict.

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