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Student Entrepreneurs, Recent Alumni: Time to Apply for NC State Launch Accelerator Program

Wolf Sculpture at Reynolds Coliseum; photo by Roger Winstead.
Wolf Sculpture at Reynolds Coliseum; photo by Roger Winstead.

NC State University student entrepreneurs and recent graduates are invited to apply to the NC State Acceleration Fund and Andrews Launch Accelerator program for the 2018 summer program cycle. Applications are due by midnight on April 20, 2018.

The Andrews Launch Accelerator begins on May 14 and concludes with a demo day scheduled for August 22, beginning at 6 p.m.

The NC State Acceleration Fund is designed to accelerate economic development by increasing the propensity of new ventures to survive and grow through equity-free grants, said Lewis Sheats, a Poole College associate professor of practice, executive director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, and assistant vice provost for entrepreneurship at NC State. The fund was established in 2016 with a $1 million seed donation from Lyn and Chip Andrews. Read about their gift here.

Acceleration grants of $5,000 to $50,000 are awarded to the selected teams. Teams also complete the Andrews Launch Accelerator, which qualifies them to receive pro bono support services.

The Accelerator program, managed by the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, is open to entrepreneurs whose startup’s leadership teams have at least one NC State student or an NC State alumnus who graduated within the past two years. The student team members must have either junior or senior standing at NC State, or be a current graduate student at NC State. The startups also must:

  • Be incorporated at receipt of funds
  • Be a high growth, scalable business
  • Be in need of seed funding

Finalists will be selected and interviewed by the NC State Acceleration Fund Selection Committee during the week of May 1, 2018. The selection process gives extra weight for cross-disciplinary teams and determines the grant amount for each team.

The grant funds must be used for business-related expenses, such as business development, marketing, market research, startup expenses and prototyping. No more than 10 percent of the grant funds can be used for the founders’ salaries. Funds are released to the recipients in tranches based on milestone achievements.

In addition to presenting at the August 22 demo day, grant recipients are required to agree to the following:

  • Provide quarterly updates for five years from the time their grant is awarded.
  • Agree to participate in the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic’s research collection for at least five years following receipt of the grant. Data collection includes revenue, number of employees, funding, salaries and other relevant data.
  • Commit to a philanthropic pledge to donate to the NC State Acceleration Fund a minimum of 25 percent of their original grant if and when their company revenues reach $1 Million.

About the Andrews Launch Accelerator

The Andrews Launch Accelerator (ALA) is a five-module accelerator program that focuses on:

  • Customer Discovery
  • Market Research and Validation
  • Financial Planning
  • Legal Planning
  • Pitching
  • Launch Strategy

The ALA modules are completed over the course of the three-month Accelerator. At the conclusion of the program, grant recipients will pitch industry and community leaders and potential investors.

Additional details and the application are available at the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic website.

Read about the 2017 Andrews Launch Accelerator teams.