Launch Chapel Hill Now Accepting Applications

Launch Chapel Hill is accepting applications for the Winter 2014 Accelerator program through  November 22, 2013.  The program, designed to build successful, sustainable start-ups,  runs 22 weeks from January 6-June 6, 2014 and kicks off with a three day “accelerator boot camp.  Information on the application process can be found at: www.launchchapelhill.com.   Interested ventures can tour the space and learn more about the program by attending an information session.  Information sessions will take place on Monday October 28th from 5:30  – 6:30  pm and Tuesday, November 12th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm  at Launch Chapel Hill, 321 West Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill.  The teams selected will join a strong cohort of current residents, including companies like ABAN, 80% solutions and 42 Local.  

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The Launch Chapel Hill accelerator program helps entrepreneurs with high-potential, high-impact ideas of all types (commercial to social, high tech to no tech) take their venture to the next level.  Ventures accepted into the Launch Chapel Hill program receive personalized access to experts and mentors, broad networking opportunities, office space in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill and perhaps -- most importantly --  the opportunity to work side by side with other start-ups.

Launch ventures enjoy access to:

Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) – each venture works closely with one of three Entrepreneurs in Residence – Jim Kitchen, Chris Mumford and Laura Zavelson.  Each of these individuals is a serial entrepreneur having founded multiple businesses over the span of their careers.  Launch Chapel Hill ventures will meet with their EIR at least every two weeks and EIRs will connect ventures with a mentor when there is a need for industry specific knowledge.

Resident Program Manager – all Launch Chapel Hill ventures have access to Launch Chapel Hill’s Program Manager Dina Mills who is able to provide immediate feedback and advice.  Dina, is also a serial entrepreneur with six start-ups to date.  She grew her most successful start-up to 1500 employees and nearly $300 million in annual sales before exiting.

Mentors – ventures have access to a network of over 250 mentors, the majority of whom have been involved in the entrepreneurial curriculum through the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School.  

Resource partners – Launch Chapel Hill ventures will have access to a growing list of resource partners:

  • Accounting:  Blackman and Sloop

  • Legal:  Smith Anderson, Hutchins

  • Marketing:  Largemouth PR, 3 Birds

  • Consulting:  Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Our resource partners offer seminars and workshops on the subjects every start-up needs to know.  Afterwards, ventures can meet one-on-one with these professionals at no charge.

Office Space in Downtown Chapel Hill – all ventures accepted into the program are assigned office space (private or shared)  in our 3400 square foot location in the heart of Downtown Chapel Hill, adjacent to numerous restaurants, coffee shops and UNC’s campus.  Ventures will have access to free Wi-Fi, two conference rooms with telephones, unlimited coffee, kitchen facilities and a small event space.  

Easy access to the Entrepreneurial Community – through events at Launch Chapel Hill such as the bi-weekly One Million Cups, Triangle Entrepreneurship Week, Triangle Start – Up Weekend, and “rock star entrepreneur”  guest speakers, Launch Chapel Hill ventures can easily become a part of the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem without even leaving the building.  Working out of a location shared with 10-15 other start-ups allows for great connections and collaborations.

Launch Chapel Hill officially opened for business in May 2013.  It is a unique cooperative investment between UNC, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the Becker family, who provided initial funding in memory of their daughter Cara.  Triangle Office Equipment, Three Birds Marketing, and New Media Campaigns have also provided support.

While generous support from UNC, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, the Becker Family and others supports the majority of Launch Chapel Hill’s budget, it is important for venture founders to invest in Chapel Hill’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Unlike most other accelerator programs, Launch Chapel Hill takes no equity stake in each venture, but charges a nominal $1,495 for the 22-week program, or $272 per month (including rent, access to parking, programming, etc.).  Scholarships are available based on a venture’s ability to pay or its social mission.

Applications will close on November 22 for the Winter 2014 cohort and finalists will be asked to pitch in front of an admission committee.  

For more information or to apply, please visit www.launchchapelhill.com.