The long-awaited opening of LAUNCH Chapel Hill now appears to be within sight. The venture lab, located at 321 W. Rosemary Street will be a hotspot for collaboration and innovation, providing tenants with crucial networking opportunities, subsidized rent, mentors and fundraising assistance for their venture. Students and community members will have to apply for a spot in the renovated facility and will be evaluated on factors such as progress to date and level of commitment to their venture. The 3-Birds space as it has been newly-configured will hold 10 offices and 15 desk spaces, hosting approximately 20 ventures at any given time.
LAUNCH has been made possible by a number of different financial partners: the town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, 3 Birds Marketing, UNC-Chapel Hill, and support from private donors. CES Director Ted Zoller has been a key player in turning LAUNCH into a reality and recently commented, “we’re not looking for start-up survival, but for growth and sustainability stories.” No doubt we’ve got our eye on this exciting new development for entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill. One of the most exciting aspects of this collaborative effort is that it will allow entrepreneurial students the chance to work on their startup idea without sacrificing academics, a novel concept in a culture that awards young entrepreneurs with badge of honor for dropping out of school to pursue their idea.