UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


UNC has No. 4 best performing university business accelerator


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been ranked No. 4 of best performing university business accelerators in North America, based on a 2015 benchmark study by UBI Global, a thought leader in performance analysis of business incubators around the world.

Carolina received the honor for Launch Chapel Hill, a start-up accelerator located in downtown Chapel Hill that offers a bi-annual, structured accelerator program for entrepreneurs.

The UBI Global award recognizes that Launch Chapel Hill provides more value for the ecosystem and its startup clients than its regional or global peers and produces better outcomes on economy enhancement, access to funds and post-acceleration performance indicators.

“To have Launch Chapel Hill recognized as one of the top five university business accelerators in North America is an honor and we are proud to help entrepreneurs develop and grow their early-stage businesses into thriving enterprises,” said Dina Rousset, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and program manager for Launch.

Launch Chapel Hill is a partnership between UNC Kenan-Flagler and the Chancellor’s Innovate Carolina Initiative, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County and the Eric Becker family.

“This award demonstrates the power of bringing together government, university and private sector partners to support start-ups,” said Judith Cone, special assistant to the chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and interim vice chancellor of commercialization and economic development. “Our goal is to strengthen UNC-Chapel Hill’s innovation ecosystem in ways that benefit our community, North Carolina and the world.”

Twice a year Launch Chapel Hill accepts a new class of promising entrepreneurs who are committed to building their early-stage, high-potential businesses into self-sustaining enterprises. Program features include on-site business support and collaboration from entrepreneurs in residence; access to successful industry and function-specific mentors and entrepreneurs; lunch-and-learn sessions; entrepreneurs sharing their experiences through a speaker series; office hours with marketing experts, lawyers, accountants and others; and shared office space.

It will host its first “Demo Day” on Dec. 9 at the new Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill, where the seven companies that make up Launch Chapel Hill’s fourth cohort will take the stage to showcase their work.

The deadline to apply for the program’s fifth cohort is Nov. 15. Launch Chapel Hill has worked with company founders that include Carolina students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as members of the Chapel Hill, Orange County and wider Triangle communities. For an application and more information, visit www.launchchapelhill.com.

UBI Global helps business incubators become more efficient and competitive through a comprehensive benchmark and ranking. For its 2015 study, UBI Index assessed over 1,200 incubators worldwide and ultimately benchmarked just over 300 incubators. It is the only index to scrutinize incubators from the five populated continents, including the burgeoning markets of Africa.

During an earlier event, UBI Global announced and awarded 10 top university business incubators, five top university business accelerators and two high-impact incubation programs in North America. The awardees also are shortlisted for the UBI Global’s world rankings, to be announced in London on Nov. 25.