Launch Chapel Hill opens new space for startup community

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 Launch Chapel Hill remains open for business in its new space in downtown Chapel Hill’s first innovation hub building.

Founded in 2013, Launch is still the same award-winning accelerator that supports the startup community and is the first tenant in the newest building in downtown Chapel Hill, offering even more programming and resources to the Chapel Hill community.

Steps away from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus and in the heart of downtown, you can find Launch at 137 E. Franklin St., Suite 611. Launch has partnered with Innovate Carolina to share the space temporarily as the final innovation hub and coworking space in the building are completed in summer.


There are numerous reasons to visit Launch’s new location; here are our top seven:

  1. The creative and innovative vibe. Launch brought innovators, coworkers and staff (from both Launch Chapel Hill and Innovate Carolina) and new coworkers are already joining—the place practically hums with energy (right alongside the construction noise!).
  2. The location. Launch’s two previous spaces were among amazing neighbors with all kinds of businesses in the west-side, Midtown area. This new building is in the heart of historic Chapel Hill and will soon serve as home to other innovation programs, additional startups, small and larger businesses. The connectivity, cross-pollination and community-outreach opportunities are huge.
  3. The people. Launch still has the same great people. Visit Tim Flood and the whole Launch team as they serve our community of entrepreneurs through innovative thinking, individual empowerment, community outreach and impactful change.
  4. The events and outreach. Come check out Launch’s first-in-the-new-space Pitch Party & Demo Day on Thursday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. We’ll celebrate the cohort of companies who completed the Fall 2022 startup accelerator, welcome the Spring 2023 accelerator cohort, and catch up with friends from across the community. Check back for more news about upcoming events, resources and outreach from Launch.
  5. The view. Our iconic and amazing (and delicious) neighbor The Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery, founded and run by great friend to Launch Scott Maitland, beat us to the awesome name but maybe not to the best view in town. From our windows, you can easily see Durham – and maybe Hillsborough—and you can see the future in the eyes and minds of our innovators for sure!
  6. The space. Designed by award-winning local designers and architects, the space has been intentionally created to foster innovation by taking advantage of novel design, lighting, distinctive furniture and state-of-the-art technologies.
  7. The resources. Launch still offers the same great resources but the new space will allow for even more resources that bolster connection with the community. Launch will not only offer the accelerator but designing resources such as office hours with experts to support the broad community.


“This move to the new space—and all the surrounding efforts of the town, county and campus—has been so invigorating and inspiring,” says Tim Flood, acting executive director at Launch and communication professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “So many reminders of the hundreds of amazing people who have been a part of the Launch Chapel Hill community since our founding and so many ideas about how Launch can continue to serve the entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses in Chapel Hill, Carrboro across Orange County and NC. We’ll soon be settled enough to welcome visitors, and we hope anyone who’s interested will come on by!”

In the innovation hub building, Innovate Carolina is exploring ways to develop innovation intersections and spaces that allow for stronger engagement with both the community and the industry.

“We are thrilled to have Launch as our neighbor in the innovation hub building,” says Sheryl Waddell, director of economic development and innovation hubs. “The Launch team and its accelerator bring an energy that is unmatched. Launch will help us connect with the community. We are excited to have them alongside us in this very distinctive space as we work with industry and community partners to solve grand challenges the world faces that we as a university and an innovation hub can help support.”


Launch was created via a partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill, the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County. Dwight Bassett, Town of Chapel Hill Director of Economic Development & Parking Services, is a founding member and funder of Launch.

“Launch is an important component of our innovation ecosystem and moving to this new location will help Launch grow the work it does for our community,” says Bassett. “We see Launch’s work as a form of economic gardening to create future jobs and companies for our community.”

In less than ten years, Launch companies have generated more than $105 million in revenue and raised $63 million in total funding. Its alumni ventures employ at least 802 people, including 684 in North Carolina and 435 in Orange County.  Follow Launch’s continuing changes here.

Innovate Carolina and Launch Chapel Hill are working in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the Town of Chapel Hill and the university as they work to energize the downtown district, balancing tradition with progress in downtown Chapel Hill as a vibrant place to work, live, play, and shop.

© Shellie Edge, Innovate Carolina

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire

Image Credit: Sarah Daniels