Orange County Economic Development

They help entrepreneurs get launched in Chapel Hill

THEY HELP ENTREPRENEURS GET LAUNCHED IN CHAPEL HILL

TBJ 2/23/18

 

Class is back in session for Launch Chapel Hill, the innovative partnership that helps companies get rolling with good advice and great connections.

The program started back in 2013, helped by an initial $400,000 gift from the Becker family in Chicago, and in a collaboration between the town of Chapel Hill, Orange County and UNC-Chapel Hill.   Get Spiffy,  the mobile car wash company, was in the first class.

“What we are looking for first and foremost is a solid team or a dolid individual who can build a team,” says Dina Rousset, program director at Launch Chapel Hill.  “We’re looking at the idea as well.  But often, the team will have to pivot.”

Launch Chapel Hill gets three applications for every candidate that is selected, Rousset says, so the candidate’s potential is critical in deciding who gets in.  Launch Chapel Hill runs six-month programs for the companies it selects.  Those in the program get a mentor and advice from professionals such as attorneys and accountants.  They can also get help finding investors, although Launch Chapel itself doesn’t do the investing.