Entrepreneurship

Launching Local Innovation

Launch Chapel Hill accelerates business owners and entrepreneurship in the local area.

Student sitting in Launch lounge

Launch Chapel Hill accelerates business owners and entrepreneurship in the local area.

Startup accelerator Launch Chapel Hill has supported 153 companies that have generated more than $69 million in total revenue — bringing hundreds of jobs to Chapel Hill, Orange County and North Carolina.

Launch Chapel Hill, an international award-winning startup accelerator and co-working space, was created in 2013 through a partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County and a private donor.

In less than 10 years, Launch companies have generated more than $69 million in revenue and raised $38.4 million in total funding. Its ventures employ 802 people, including 684 in North Carolina and 435 in Orange County.

Using a cohort system, Launch Chapel Hill cultivates and guides startup companies over 13 weeks for each cohort. The program typically occurs twice each year — from January to May and from August to December. But due to a generous donation in 2018, Launch has been able to offer a summer cohort, which started in June. The summer accelerator focuses exclusively on student-founded ventures and offers founders a $5,000 stipend, plus workspace, mentorship, events and other programming available through the Launch community.

“Launch was a dream we had and is an exciting aspect of economic development in Chapel Hill,” said Dwight Bassett, economic development director at the Town of Chapel Hill. “It’s important to grow and continue this work. Combined with the great work done by Innovate Carolina, we have a bright future.”

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