RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – With weekly updates to keep content fresh, WRAL TechWire’s Triangle Startup Guide offers a timely resource package for anyone looking to start or grow a business in the Triangle area.

We started 2022 by recapping every update made to the guide last year, and now we’re back with another new resource for local entrepreneurs. The latest update comes to the “Accelerators & Mentorship Programs” section of the guide, which lists dozens of local business development programs, mentorship opportunities and trainings for startups.

The newest entry to the list is Wake Technical Community College’s Main Street Entrepreneurs Accelerator Program (or MSEA), which launched earlier this month to support entrepreneurs and small business owners across Wake County. Starting in late-February, participants will attend five training sessions covering everything from attracting customers to planning financial projections. Those who attend all sessions and complete the required materials will submit their business pitches for the chance to win awards ranging from $2,000 to $8,000.

The program is open to students enrolled at Wake Tech, Shaw University and Saint Augustine’s University who are committed to building a business venture, as well as Wake County business owners and entrepreneurs.

To be eligible, existing Wake County business owners must have operated for three years or earn annual revenues under $30,000, have household income three times the federal poverty level or qualify as a Historically Underutilized Business, and must be actively working on the business for 15 hours or more weekly, with at least $1,000 invested.

You can read more information about the program here. Wake Tech will host information sessions on Jan. 25 and Feb. 8.

Other recent additions to the Triangle Startup Guide

Every week, we update the guide with new resources for local entrepreneurs for our exclusive Triangle Startup Guide. If we missed something, please feel free to suggest it for inclusion. You can email me directly or use this contact form. In case you missed it, check out this recap of all the updates we made in 2021. And here’s a review of the additions from recent weeks:

  • In the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section, we added the upcoming Duke Cyber Pitch Competition, a program from Duke University’s Sanford Cyber Policy Program. The competition, held on Feb. 26 from 12–5 p.m., targets students with business ideas in the fields of cybersecurity, data protection, privacy and online safety. Selected individuals or teams will pitch their ventures to investment experts for a chance to win $25,000 and other prizes. Winners will also receive a grant from Paladin Capital, an investment firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Pitch applications are due on Feb. 1.
  • In our list of COVID relief programs, we added a line about an upcoming informational webinar covering the NC Department of Revenue’s new Business Recovery Grant for businesses dealing with pandemic-related losses. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance, an organization serving local small businesses, hosted an informational webinar earlier this month to discuss the program’s provisions, eligibility criteria and how to apply. We added a link to the webinar in our COVID relief program list.
  • In the “Venture Capital and Angel Groups” section of the guide, we added the Triangle Tweener Fund, a sort of “index” targeting early-stage startups in the Triangle. The fund launched in December with support from more than 20 local entrepreneurs.
  • In the “Inspiration, Advice & More Resources” section of the guide, we added the Tech Innovation Index, a new report from the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH). The annual publication provides a detailed snapshot of how the state’s metro areas compare to other top metros nationwide, measuring tech innovation across three broader categories: talent supply, talent demand and innovation. The inaugural report, released in December, ranked two Triangle metro hubs—Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Cary—within the top 10 metro areas in the U.S.
  • In the “COVID-19 Funding, Assistance & Resources” section, we added a few Small Business Administration programs with deadlines on Dec. 31: Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance.
  • In the “Competitions, Grants & Other Funding Sources” section of the guide, we added NC State University’s upcoming Make-A-Thon program, in which student teams are tasked with creating the best solution to a sustainability challenge. At the end of the weekend, participating teams will pitch their ideas to judges and local companies for a chance to win cash prizes. This year’s competition, held Jan. 27–30, will offer $2,000 to the winning team, $1,000 to the runner-up and $500 to the third-place winner.