Innovation Programs

KickStart Venture Services

Business services that help faculty commercialize research

  • $2 million in awards provided to 63 IP-based companies since 2009
  • $28 million raised by these companies in SBIR/STTR grants
  • $270 million in funding raised by KickStart companies

Launch Chapel Hill

Startup accelerator in downtown Chapel Hill

  • 75 startup companies have entered the program since 2013
  • $20.6 million in company revenue earned by Launch companies in 2017
  • 1,124 jobs (200+ in Orange County) created by participating startups


Social Innovation Incubator at the UNC Campus Y

  • 42 social ventures have participated in the 18-month program since 2013
  • $2.2 million raised by CUBE social ventures
  • 90,000+ people have experienced a positive difference in their lives

Center for Health Innovation

Administered by UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine

  • $816,000 in pilot funding for 17 projects (up to $50,000 each) since 2013
  • $22 million in external funding generated by pilot teams, innovation partnerships and other funding
  • 37 external partners engaged in health innovation

Carolina Challenge

Startup competition started by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

  • 100+ student teams participated each year since 2005
  • 300+ student, industry and alumni participants annually
  • $50,000 in total prize money distributed annually to winning ventures

Pharmacy and Public Health Innovations

School-based innovation labs and programs

  • Major private alumni donor gifts fund translational innovations
  • $100M gift by Fred Eshelman to Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • $50M gift by Dennis Gillings to Gillings School of Global Public Health