NC IDEA Foundation Awards Grant to Expand Ventureprise Launch

September 8, 2016


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sep. 8, 2016 – Ventureprise was named by the NC IDEA Foundation ( as a recipient of one of its first nine grants to North Carolina organizations that support entrepreneurs and promote entrepreneurship.

The Ecosystem Partner Grant program will support Ventureprise Launch, a program focusing on customer discovery, business model generation, and related lean start-up methodologies.

UNC Charlotte/Ventureprise was selected by the National Science Foundation for an I-Corps Site award in March 2015. This award includes participation in the NSF National Innovation Network with 50 additional universities designated as I-Corps Sites. UNC Charlotte is the first, and currently only, I-Corps designated university in the Carolinas.

The I-Corps (Innovation Corps) program was developed by NSF to accelerate commercialization of NSF-funded research in American universities, encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and develop regional innovation ecosystems. The UNC Charlotte/Ventureprise program has completed four cohorts with 34 participating teams since its 2015 initiation.

Ventureprise will adapt its proven National Science Foundation I-Corps Site evidence-based entrepreneurship methodology for use beyond NSF-relevant academic research. This Ventureprise Launch program will support emerging innovators and entrepreneurs in customer discovery, business model generation, and related lean start-up methodologies.

Through a 10-week cohort program, participants will make new connections and develop an understanding of evidence-based entrepreneurship that will be useful throughout their careers. Importantly, they will engage directly with customers and others to gain the understanding needed to make a go/no-go decision concerning the next step to advance the business idea.

The ultimate objective is to increase the number of new ventures that create substantial wealth and employment in North Carolina. The intermediate objective is to increase NC IDEA winners, Charlotte Venture Challenge winners, SBIR/STTR grant winners, and angel investor recipients from Charlotte and other North Carolina areas.

Additional information about Ventureprise Launch program applications and program dates will be announced in October 2016.

About Ventureprise

Ventureprise, Inc. is a regional non-profit that supports the commercial success of early-stage, innovation-driven entrepreneurs. Through ready-for-business office space located on the campus of UNC Charlotte and comprehensive programs, Ventureprise offers the premier location for inventors, researchers and innovators to come together for business success as well as the 49er Foundry business incubator for UNC Charlotte students. Ventureprise operates a National Science Foundation-funded National Innovation Network I-Corps Site connecting UNC Charlotte researchers with commercial opportunities through customer discovery. Ventureprise led the creation of the comprehensive Charlotte Entrepreneur Growth Report.


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