A new Carolina Economic Development Strategy will increase the University's economic impact in Chapel Hill and across the Triangle region by leveraging Carolina’s capabilities to develop talent, translate innovation and create vibrant places.
Not only are Tar Heels improving the lives of North Carolinians by finding solutions to major medical and societal challenges, but they’re also building better opportunities for all residents by creating jobs and bringing business to our state.
Our $1 billion research enterprise alone employs more than 10,000 North Carolinians in 81 counties, conducts business with 6,000 companies in 95 North Carolina counties and brings new industries to rural parts of the state.
The University has also been home to nearly 800 startups — more than half of which are still operating today and headquartered in our state, bringing in more than $14 billion in annual revenue and creating thousands of additional jobs.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, talented students, faculty, researchers and those with entrepreneurial aspirations are moving more ideas forward faster into the world and the commercial market where they can make the greatest impact.
Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz
- 786Carolina-affiliated startups launched since 1958
- $14.4 billionin annual revenue earned by Carolina startups in North Carolina
- 13,516North Carolinians employed by Carolina-affiliated startups
- 443Carolina startups currently headquartered in North Carolina
- $15.3in annual revenue earned by Carolina startups
- $1 billionin research funding, employing over 10,000 North Carolinians in 81 counties
- 6thmost innovative university in the world, according to Reuters
- $5.4 millionin licensing revenue in 2020
- $17.6 billionin funding raised by Carolina startups since 1958
Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said Apple’s announcement that it plans to build a new campus in Research Triangle Park “aligns perfectly” with the University’s data science initiative.
Carolina’s more than 336,300 alumni live across the country and around the world, but some have stuck close to home, and their presence here has enriched the Carolina community. Get to know some of the Tar Heels whose businesses help make Chapel Hill one of the best college towns in the country.
The $230,000 gift will amplify entrepreneurial support, enhance technology and upgrade workspaces for local startup companies.
Learn more about the Carolina Angel Network
The Carolina Angel Network brings together the UNC-Chapel Hill entrepreneurial community, University alumni network and innovative private companies to empower the businesses that drive our future.
Learn more about 1789
1789 is Carolina's central hub of innovation. The space on Franklin Street and its student community combine mentorship and workshops with working space and a collaborative setting to help Tar Heels develop the skills to be entrepreneurs.
learn more about the hub
A joint effort between Carolina's Kickstart Venture Services and Duke University's New Ventures Program, the new Entrepreneurial Startup Hub provides startups with access to an entrepreneurial ecosystem, a joint talent network and an established database of service providers.
Launch Chapel Hill
Among the largest economic development programs at Carolina is Launch Chapel Hill. The startup accelerator focuses on mentorship and educational programming and offers tech resources, office space and amenities to innovators and entrepreneurs who need a steady foundation to grow their startups.
Since opening in 2013, Launch has supported 153 companies that have generated nearly $69 million dollars in revenue and raised $38.4 million in total funding. Its ventures employ 802 people, including 684 in North Carolina and 435 in Orange County.
Having that front door where someone can come in and start focusing on their business is huge. It creates jobs for people in the local community. It creates a tax revenue increase, and we can then pour that back into the town and the county so we can create more programs and services.
Velvet Nelson, director of Launch
Eats2Seats is a staffing business that offers a simple fundraising solution for nonprofits. Founded by a recent graduate, Eats2Seats aims to enhance concession stand efficiency, improve fan's in-game experience and invest in the community.
Carolina graduate Alex Brandwein made the switch from investment banking and private equity to founding a Chapel Hill brick-and-mortar bagel shop in the middle of a pandemic.
EmpowerRT helps people in developing countries to improve radiation cancer treatment without spending millions of dollars. It provides UNC-developed clinically tested software, personalized device fabrication know-how and training to improve cancer treatment quality similar to modern technology but at 5-10% of the cost.
Created by a Carolina alumnus, IndyCare transforms independent pharmacies into collaborative health care hubs that communities look to for acute care, screenings, diagnostics and holistic support and insight into how to be well and stay well.