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Blue Sky Innovation Community fosters student entrepreneurship

Building plan designsThis fall 22 student entrepreneurs are joining like-minded peers in the Blue Sky Innovation Community at Carolina.

The first dorm of its kind, this innovation-themed learning program inspires students in a collaborative residential community that uses physical and virtual tools to engage in self-discovery, build diverse connections and accelerate entrepreneurial ideas to reality. 

Located in UNC’s Carmichael Hall, the Blue Sky Innovation Community is a partnership with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Carolina Student Housing and BeAM makerspace.

It is open to students who have founded a startup or are just beginning their entrepreneurial journeys, and brings together a growing community of entrepreneurs at UNC. Students gain access to resources – including a design space and creative tools – that promote innovation and collaboration for students interested in building or joining an entrepreneurial venture.

“The partnership between Carolina Housing, BeAM makerspace, and UNC Kenan-Flagler is the first of its kind,” says Kris Hergert, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “This program is brand new, so it’s ours to define, create and scale. We’re all looking to infuse BLUE with massive energy to create self-discovery, encourage collaboration and develop the innovative mindset.”

Key resources available to students include BeAM Maker workshops, UNC innovation speakers, career planning resources and faculty research reverse pitches. Campus Y CUBE socials, creation labs, social media sessions, community service opportunities and a trip to the West Coast will enrich the student experience. The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is the driving force behind programming that will help the students grow and scale their ventures.

“UNC already has a vibrant entrepreneurial community,” says Ryan Lawton, the resident advisor. “I believe that Blue Sky Innovation will grow the community and bring fresh innovative ideas. The residential living program and community are structured to make innovation and entrepreneurship more tangible and accessible.”

Lindsay Thompson
UNC School of Media and Journalism, 2018
Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Marketing Intern