Duke University is known for its MBA, law and general undergraduate education, UNC-Chapel Hill for its business, medical and journalism schools, NC State for engineering, design and analytics, and NC Central for being one of the nation’s prominent historically black colleges. The LiNC conference is the first event of its kind to bring students from all four institutions and various disciplines together to explore entrepreneurship and opportunities to collaborate.

On April 16th, a conference planned by students and for students will take place at The Frontier at Research Triangle Park. The event will give students the opportunity to meet mentors in the entrepreneurial community, to showcase their own startup ideas, and network with fellow students interested in starting new companies.

Student group Carolina Think kicked off discussions for a region-wide conference last November, but a cross-university committee came together in January. Since then, the group has met and developed their ideas at American Underground, with the help and perspective of startups within that community.

The committee hopes that the conference will encourage more collaboration between schools, breaking down any barriers caused by distance and sports rivalries. Besides LiNC, hoped to be an annual event, the organizers plan to have smaller events throughout the year. And they hope new startups can be formed as a result of the conference and collaboration, reinforcing the Triangle as a startup hub.

“We had a realization that though there are four great universities in the Triangle, there doesn’t seem to be enough collaboration between the schools. We hope this conference will break down that barrier,” says Andriy Rusyn, a LiNC and Carolina Think organizer and senior computer science major and entrepreneurship minor at UNC Chapel Hill.

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