Published: Jan 15, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Jan 15, 2013 04:55 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Entrepreneurs and startup ventures can apply now through Jan. 28 for admission to LAUNCH Chapel Hill, a “venture lab” opening this spring at 321 W. Rosemary St.
LAUNCH Chapel Hill is a co-working space for students and residents of Chapel Hill. Organizers hope to help entrepreneurs grow early-stage business efforts into self-sustaining enterprises.
LAUNCH will provide
• Practical training and networking opportunities
• Subsidized rent and services for those in need
• Mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs
• Industry contacts and fundraising assistance
LAUNCH will provide marketing, accounting and legal services at preferential or pro bono rates. Accepted ventures will be paired with business mentors and make valuable contacts in the UNC, Chapel Hill and Orange County economy, according to a town news release.
The project is a collaboration of the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, UNC and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, which will manage the property.
Another entity – 3 Birds marketing-communications company – is another partner. It outgrew its space at 321 W. Rosemary St. making room for the new incubator to set up in the 3,500 square foot facility. 3 Birds then moved into 505 W. Franklin St. above the recently opened Topo Distillery.
Three years of funding for the space comes from Chapel Hill’s downtown tax district ($105,000), the county’s half-cent sales tax for economic development ($140,000), and 3 Birds marketing-communications company ($30,000 in cash and $30,000 in in-kind services). Rent from tenants will also support the space.
The program will be managed by UNC’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Kenan-Flagler Business School. 3 Birds will also developing a program to expose and mentor youth in the community to technology and innovation possibilities, as well as work with the town on ways to apply 3 Birds technology to general town information services and economic-development efforts.
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