Tar Heel innovators

Student startups

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 combatting world hunger, discovering lifesaving medicines, breaking down stigmas and providing 3D printed prosthetic hands free of charge for children in need.

  • 203startups founded by Carolina students since 1958
  • 87startups founded by graduate students
  • 116startups founded by undergraduate students
  • 428startups founded by students and alumni since 1958
  • 40co-working spaces available to student entrepreneurs at 1789
  • 250ventures and teams supported by the 1789 student innovation hub since 2014

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

Campus resources

Carolina has co-curricular experiences on campus to create a holistic approach for students while they are here. 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.

  • 1789 hub

    1789 is Carolina's central hub of innovation. The space combines mentorship and workshops with working space and a collaborative setting to help Tar Heels develop the skills to be entrepreneurs and innovators.

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  • The Phyta team works in the water.

    Dreamers-Who-Do is a program open to all Carolina students with an innovative idea and offers an opportunity to put those ideas into action.

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  • 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, 46 social ventures have participated in the program. They have raised more than $5.8 million and made a positive difference in the lives of more than 120,000 people.

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