Editor’s note: WRAL TechWire focuses its Innovation Thursday report on companies, people and technology that could make a big difference in our collective future.


By Shellie Edge, Innovate Carolina

CHAPEL HILL – Where can startup ventures focused on tech, mental health, talent development and North Carolina-made products all come together and grow in the same space? Launch Chapel Hill, an international award-winning startup accelerator, bolsters all types of early startups in many ways.

By encouraging innovative thinking, individual empowerment, community outreach, economic development and impactful change through its community of innovators, Launch offers its founders a little bit of entrepreneurial everything.

The accelerator – formed through a partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill, the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County – puts mentorship and educational programming at the forefront. But it doesn’t stop there. It also offers tech resources, a connected community and other amenities to innovators and entrepreneurs who need a steady foundation to grow their startups.

The current Launch cohort – cohort 21 – is working at full speed to grow its seven exciting ventures: Alight Success, Arete, Fun Mom BandGreeneHouse Publishing AgencyInclusive Intakeskrsor, Project Trace and Victory Fire & Life Safety. This week features Alight Success, Fun Mom Band, Inclusive Intakes and Project Trace. Stay tuned, Arete, GreeneHouse Publishing Agency, krsor and Victory Fire & Life Safety are up in the coming weeks.

Launch Cohort 21 companies to watch:


Alight Success

Alight Success is a wellness coaching and talent development platform that provides cost-effective, proprietary transformative content for both individual employees and entire organizations. Its mission is to help individuals reach their personal and professional potential.


Down Arrow

“Entrepreneurs think differently. They naturally scan the environment for opportunities, which is why they started on this journey in the first place. At Launch, you are with a group of like-minded professionals who, by default, seeing opportunities for your business. You exponentially increase your footprint in a rapid amount of time.”
Kristin Hiemstra, Founder, Alight Success

Fun Mom Band

Fun Mom Band offers stylish denim fanny packs that go with everything and are proudly sewn in the North Carolina mountains. On a mission to make moms feel seen, Mom’s Fanny packs joy and convenience to support moms.

Naomi and her daughter shows off the fanny pack.

Down Arrow

“Launch has meant the difference between feeling alone in startup life and feeling like I have a support network. Launch meets you where you’re at in your startup journey and gives you the motivation and resources to keep going.”
Naomi Kraut, Founder, Mom Band (posing with daughter Mae)

Fun Mom Band is offering an exclusive 20 percent off discount code for Innovate Carolina. Just follow this link to receive 20 percent off (once you click on checkout the discount will show up): https://funmomband.com/discount/INNOVATE. Find more: @funmomband and YouTube.

Inclusive Intakes

Inclusive Intakes is a fusion of technology, mental health and DEI. Before a mental health visit, a patient can use their device to select a ‘guide’ who takes them through an engaging (Instagram like) intake on their device. Inclusive Intakes believes that better information = better care.


Down Arrow

“Launch has been the supportive community delivering opportunities to advance our mental health venture. I now feel connected to an amazing group of professionals who love helping others on their entrepreneurial journey.”
Bryan Krehnbrink, Founder, Inclusive Intakes

Project Trace

Project trace is on a mission to create manageable, impactful earth-saving for everyone. It aims to empower people to have a real environmental impact with its user-based, interactive resource that will show people how each person can easily make a significant impact in ways that fit their lifestyle – without additional guilt or a sense of being overwhelmed. Founder Kevin Berman is currently seeking a part-time researcher. Contact Berman for more information: kevinberman@gmail.com.


Down Arrow

“The Launch experience is inspiring and energizing, while giving a sense of community.”
Kevin Berman, Founder, Project Trace

Launch Chapel Hill welcomes ventures of any industry, function or focus and applicants do not have to have connections to UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill or Orange County to apply. Applications are being accepted for the Spring 2023 cohort. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.launchchapelhill.com.

Deadline to apply for the spring cohort is January 5, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. The accelerator will begin early February 2023. Questions? Email tim@launchchapelhill.com


This post was originally published at: https://innovate.unc.edu/launch-chapel-hill-impact-from-every-angle/