Economic Transformation News

NC BioStart and Carolina Launch Pad Accelerate Technology Development at UNC Chapel Hill and Beyond

UNC’s new NC BioStart program was established to increase the commercialization of intellectual property developed by our public universities in North Carolina, beginning in the first year at UNC, expanding to include NCSU in the second year, and eventually including all UNC system schools. NC BioStart is directed by Dr. Richard Boucher.  The program was started by the School of Medicine to meet the goals of its Clinical Translational Science Award, in partnership with the Office of Technology Development and the Kenan-Flagler Business School. 

NC BioStart will provide assistance to:

  • Build liaisons with industry (primarily in the commercializable areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software, and medical methodologies);
  • Access capital through contacts with angel investors and national venture capital firms;
  • Write start-up business plans;
  • Provide expertise and tools for market analysis;
  • Provide cost estimates and budgeting for new ventures;
  • Educate faculty about the commercialization process; and,
  • Work with technology transfer offices to improve the probability of successful commercialization of faculty ideas.

Carolina Launch Pad

Now in its second year, the Carolina Launch Pad, a pre-commercial business accelerator, is aimed at aspiring IT entrepreneurs who are part of the University of North Carolina community (faculty, staff and students) and who have not yet developed their business ideas into funded start-ups. Launch Pad is intended to work with up to five entrepreneurs each year beginning in November. Those chosen to participate in the program are housed in professional office space at RENCI headquarters in the Europa Center office building, where they have the chance to interact with RENCI’s world-class technology experts, learn about its technology resources and attend lectures and other events. Professionals from the UNC Chapel Hill Office of Technology Development (OTD), the UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School and from the Triangle IT community will coach and mentor the entrepreneurs.

Each Launch Pad participant receives a small office equipped with a desk, laptop computer, and phone and storage space. The common work area offers a printer and fax machine and a conference table. Parking for a limited number of team members is available at no charge. Launch Pad participants have access to a RENCI Web server to host a basic website during their one-year stay. Participants may receive access to RENCI’s technological resources, such as high performance computers, the Innovations Lab and the Visualization Lab.


For further information, please contact:

Catherine Innes
Director, Office of Technology Development
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / (919) 966-3929    


Kenan-Flagler Business School: Ted Zoller []

NC BioStart: Margaret Dardess []

Carolina Launch Pad: David Knowles []