Six are women, one a high school senior and three are professors at UNC-Chapel Hill. They’re working on startups with big ideas like ending racism, employing young people in meaningful work, providing access to radiation cancer treatment in the developing world and enabling precision medicine.
The eighth cohort at Launch Chapel Hill is representative of the diversity the accelerator program attracts in its twice annual programs supporting entrepreneurs at UNC and in the town of Chapel Hill and Orange County. The latest group of entrepreneurs is also significant because its the first to occupy Launch’s expansion space on Franklin Street.
The four-year-old accelerator doubled in size this summer to meet growing demand for co-working in downtown Chapel Hill, and to provide dedicated space for its nationally recognized program. The startups at Launch have raised $20 million in venture capital, employed 1,100 people—250 in Orange County—and earned $8 million in revenue.
Launch Chapel Hill added 3,500 square feet to its existing footprint in downtown Chapel Hill. Credit: York Wilson Photography
Two have had significant exits since participating in the program and several others occupy office space in downtown Chapel Hill—a chief goal of the program is to spur more economic activity in town.
Says Dina Rousset, who directs Launch Chapel Hill as senior associate director at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Kenan-Flagler: “We are now able to bring in nine new teams in a space that facilitates connections and events more effectively, and take the space we have and let teams grow in Chapel Hill.”
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