Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


Success will come through diversity, innovation and collaboration.

UNC-CH faculty, students, and staff are a source of innovation and business acumen that can be used to advance North Carolina economic development. The Kenan Institute—a hub for entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators—offers connections, support and information. In conjunction with our partners, we help you take an idea to market.

Technology Commercialization Carolina

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This resource for all UNC-Chapel Hill entrepreneurial activities provides a full range of assistance to transform innovative ideas into technology driven products. We work with novice to expert entrepreneurs, offering:
  • A project coordinator to help navigate the process from beginning to end and across all UNC-CH departments.
  • Custom analytical reports on IP landscape, market size and customers, potential licensees, technical literature and grant research.
  • Real-time consulting on the market, industry, and competitors.
  • Referrals to university contacts for Conflict-of-Interest issues within UNC-CH and with grant funding agencies.
  • Grants/Funding opportunities research and consulting on SBIR/STTR proposals.
  • Recommendations to partners for prototyping.
  • Introductions to a network of mentors, partners and C-level executives.
  • Advice from experienced entrepreneurs and leading academics on a business development plan.
  • Space for collaborating and working with advisors.

UNC Partnership for Entrepreneurial Commercialization

The academy is under increasing pressure to become more adept and effective at translating University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill research into commercial products and services that benefit society and create a return on investment. Additional expectations for the academy are to use the intellectual capital on our campuses to assist the citizens of North Carolina to be better prepared for the jobs of the future, to become more entrepreneurial and to help them find solutions for the challenges that await them. We understand these pressures and have responded to them.

In July 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was entered into by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, NC TraCS Institute's Carolina KickStart program, the Kenan-Flagler Business School's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Launch Chapel Hill, the Campus Y, and the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The purpose of this memorandum is to establish a mutually agreeable framework to establish the Partnership for Entrepreneurial Commercialization of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill technology. The purpose of the partnership is to promote entrepreneurial commercialization of technology through

  1. education and mentoring of graduate students, postdoctoral associates, faculty innovators and founders and
  2. the launching, funding and incubation of UNC technology based companies.

We will leverage the assets existing in each of the partners units through collaborative sharing of resources, streamlining of work flows, improved communication and information sharing to provide patent landscape, market evaluation and business development services to the entire campus.

Learn more about our partner organizations.

Sport Entrepreneurship

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Our interest in the discipline and performance of sport is based on the recognition of its importance as a critical economic driver and marketing mechanism, particularly in our region; the values it represents (teamwork, discipline, drive, leadership, role playing, fairness), and the opportunities available to all students regardless of experience and socio-economic background. We welcome partnership (instructors, experiential education, focus groups, pitch judges or advisors) with entrepreneurs–from start up to mature–to help Kenan Institute Sport achieve its mission. These efforts include:
  • A track in Sport Entrepreneurship under the UNC-CH College of Arts and Sciences Entrepreneurship Minor which includes four courses and an internship.
  • A study of the economic impact of sport in our state through an inventory of North Carolina sport-related businesses.
  • A Basketball Analytics SummitApril 15 & 16, 2016 – to foster collaboration and identify best practices among business professionals, researchers and students around the growing role of big data and analytics
  • Local sport-related businesses and ventures are encouraged to contact Dr. Deborah Stroman to share information on your product or service. This communication will assist in 1) the creation of a collaborative and supportive sport community in the Triangle region and 2) the possible engagement of students for an internship or consulting project.

Connect • 919.843.0336


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The Institute works with regional business, community and academic leaders to accelerate economic growth and create jobs through innovative business development strategies.