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Carolina startups

Tar Heel entrepreneurs

Carolina innovators are working to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, and students are a driving force behind that mission.

As undergraduates and graduate students, some Tar Heels are also the founders, CEOs, CFOs and COOs of their own companies. Their startups are building diversity, discovering lifesaving medicines, breaking down stigmas and empowering future generations.

  • 233startups founded by Carolina students since 1958
  • 260student ventures supported by the 1789 Hub, an innovation and co-working community, since 2014
  • $28.3 millionin revenue earned by student startups connected to 1789
  • 70ventures launched by student from CUBE social innovation incubator at Campus Y
  • 100+courses focused on innovation and entrepreneurship
  • 30+on-campus resources for budding student entrepreneurs

Being at Carolina over the past year, I’ve learned to not be afraid to look for opportunities and make the best use of them. We been able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities and events as well as great mentor programs.

Kush Jain, co-founder of QUVI

QUVI founders Kush Jain (right) and Harshul Makwana (left) working on their initial water bottle sanitation prototype for the UNC Makeathon.

We believe that ideas are the currency of a better tomorrow. … Inklings of new possibilities born in Chapel Hill turn into innovative pathways that improve the lives of millions of people.

Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development

Supporting innovation

Carolina has co-curricular experiences to create a holistic approach to innovation. Students earn their degrees and also develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset that will help them thrive in any academic area or future career.

Innovate Carolina is a cross-campus alliance of people and programs that gives UNC-Chapel Hill students the knowledge, tools and resources they need to put their ideas into action.

    Carolina sophomores Kenechukwu Uwajeh and Sherrod Crum founded the Black Entrepreneurs Initiative to promote, develop and connect Black student-entrepreneurs at Carolina.

    Press the play button above to leave more

  • 1789 written on a glass window.

    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 and innovators.

    Learn more about 1789
  • A colorful cube.

    The CUBE is Carolina’s social innovation incubator at the Campus Y, where students and faculty tackle pressing social and environmental issues. Since 2013, the program's 70 social ventures have raised more than $6 million and made a positive difference in the lives of more than 120,000 people.

    Learn more about CUBE

Click on a story below to meet one of Carolina's student entrepreneurs