A Senate economic development bill calls for the creation of a statewide entrepreneurial network to recruit “world-class investors, skilled entrepreneurs and managers” to North Carolina. If passed, it provides $2.5 million in funding.

Called RISE NC, it stands for Rallying Investors and Skilled Entrepreneurs of North Carolina.

The initiative is part of a economic development bill that also calls for the establishment of crowdfunding as well as a $100 million startup venture capital fund.

RISE NC is part of a section in the bill (SB 826) that spells out a multi-part “Innovate to Jobs Initiative” and would provide what it calls a “University Innovation Commercialization Grant Program.”

Inside NC RISE

Under the bill, the state’s Office of Science, technology and Innovation would create a “competitive award process” to create the network.

North Carolina already has state-wide organizations such as the North Carolina Technology Association, the NC Chamber and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

But the bill still sees a need for “a statewide network that develops and leverages existing North Carolina entrepreneurial management talent and recruits world‑class investors, skilled entrepreneurs, and managers to North Carolina.”

WTW reached out to the CED for reaction, even though the future of the bill at this point is unknown.

“We’re excited for any initiative that seeks to strengthen North Carolina’s entrepreneurial community,” replied Steve Hinkson, CED’s Director of Communication

One or more nonprofit will receive the funding.

Inside the bill

Here are specific requirements for the program:

  • “The development of a statewide entrepreneurial network to connect serial entrepreneurs to university start‑ups; and
  • “The development of an entrepreneurship fellowship program.”

Plus, the winning organization(s) must match every $1 in state funding with $2 from other sources.

The Department of Commerce, which includes the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation, would oversee NC RISE.

If the bill is passed, NC RISE could be organized beginning July 1.

Read the full bill at: