Services and Programs
Business beyond usual
By joining the innovation hub in Chapel Hill, you can take advantage of a full suite of business programs and services offered by Innovate Carolina – our in-house team of innovation experts and practitioners from UNC-Chapel Hill. They work with hundreds of startups, entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporations to make an economic and social impact across North Carolina. And they’re here at the Chapel Hill innovation hub to help you do the same.
Launch Chapel Hill, our startup accelerator program, provides resources, services that will help you speed the growth of your high-impact startup or early-stage venture. You’ll be part of a connected community of entrepreneurs, founders and mentors and will have access to:
- Office hours with entrepreneurs-in-residence
- A network of entrepreneurial mentors
- Pitch scrub sessions
- Guidance on business incorporation, team formation and management
- Technology partnerships and resources
Design Thinking Workshops and Consulting
Use human-centered design to understand your customers and find effective solutions faster
Led by Innovate Carolina’s resident design thinking practitioners, our design thinking workshops and consulting sessions allow you to create products, services and processes that are adapted to your customers’ needs, delightful to use and truly innovative.
Our human-centered design experts are skilled in the world-renown IDEO method and will work with you to apply tools, mindsets and methods that focus on customer empathy, iterative ideation and experimentation. These sessions will help you and your team.
These sessions will help you and your team:
- Understand what your customers need.
- Find targeted solutions before you spend too much time and money.
- Create customer-focused technologies, products or services.
- Launch new ventures that are positioned for success.
Patent Landscaping and Market Research
Make sure your idea is market ready
Patent landscaping and market research helps you assess your technologies, the marketplace and potential investment funding. Innovate Carolina’s research experts have helped hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs in these areas and can help you answer key questions like: Is your invention novel? Who would buy or use it? What funding exists to move your invention to market?
Our patent landscaping and market research services can provide you with custom analytical reports that allow you to identify:
- The competitive landscape.
- Customer demographics.
- Current and projected market size and conditions.
- Potential licensees and partners.
- Pricing models.
- Funding opportunities for new products, services, ventures or markets.
Workshops, Events and Projects
Build a stronger startups and businesses by connecting to industry experts, student talent and investors.
Innovate Carolina’s venture services include a variety of programs that facilitate interaction and collaboration among new ventures, student talent, small businesses, large corporations and investors.
- Industry workshops. Explore industry-specific technical demands and trends.
- Industry focus groups. Receive industry input on specific business or research problems.
- Advisor presentation meetings. Meet with industry and subject matter experts who provide feedback on early ideation-stage opportunities.
- Investor/partner networking events. Make key business connections and exploring potential funding paths.
- Reverse pitches. Engage with investors and industry experts who present business challenges that can lead to partnerships or potential funding for your startup.
- Venture Catalyst Program. Grad/MBA/doctoral students and postdocs team with research entrepreneurs to investigate and advance ideas.
- Industry fellowships. Student fellows/interns work in concert with industry partners and faculty focused on similar fields.
- Industry advisory committee. 15 to 20 industry experts meet quarterly to review your research or ideas.
- Business development. Identification and outreach to potential partners or investors for projects/proposals.
- Opportunity zone assessments. Consultations with opportunity zone (OZ) experts to evaluate business location fit and OZ investment opportunities.
- Grant writing support. Federal SBIR/STTR grant writing services from professional grant writers.
Connect your startup or business with talented students seeking internships and jobs
Through Innovate Carolina’s talent recruiting services your new venture or small business can connect with some of the most enterprising students at UNC-Chapel Hill and other area community colleges. Our programs are a win-win: students benefit from experiential, on-the-job learning; companies can fill internships and jobs with top students who possess the skills and entrepreneurial mindsets required for rapid business growth.
Carolina Startup Connect Program
- Connects your company to students and UNC-Chapel Hill and community colleges through online channels, in-person meetups and virtual events.
- Provides a forum for business to offer jobs and paid/unpaid internships to top students.
- Offers funding opportunities to help select students and startups afford the costs of internships.
Community and Industry Exchange
What if you had a direct conduit for building strategic relationships with business leaders in private industry, academic researchers and up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
Innovate Carolina’s Community and Industry Exchange Program helps you make connections among industry experts and university faculty and staff and students – strategic relationships that you can rely upon to help grow your business.
- Virtual and in-person events and meetings. Meet and network with industry leaders and campus-based entrepreneurs from across the region.
- Corporate connections. Tap into UNC-Chapel Hill’s industry relationships to gain introductions to and build between your startup or small business and large corporate partners.
- IP licensing and contracts. Work with Innovate Carolina to create awareness among large corporate partners about opportunities to license your startup’s intellectual property or contract your business services.
- Student fellows and interns. Build relationships with enterprising students who can work with your company as student fellows and interns on business and technology development.
136 E. Rosemary St. 137 E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514