1789 Venture Lab Introduces New Programming For Student Entrepreneurs   

1789 Venture Lab is a collaborative space located in downtown Chapel Hill that functions as a central hub for entrepreneurship and innovation for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community. The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School took a leading role in reprogramming the space in the fall of 2016 and is excited to offer a new comprehensive calendar of programming through the location beginning in the spring semester of 2017.

Whether exploring the entrepreneurial mindset or planning to start a venture, anyone is welcome at 1789. Our team works with members to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem, resources, and challenges. In order to best serve all the users of 1789, two programming tracks are available through the Member Track and Venture Track.

The Member Track is geared toward individuals who want to develop or expand their entrepreneurial experience and discover opportunities and resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at UNC. We partner with Carolina THINK and CUBE to provide general programming every Thursday night (called ‘THINK Thursdays’) regarding topics including problem solving, design thinking, and idea generation with speakers with a wide range of expertise. Over 100 students from across campus are members.

Meanwhile, the Venture Track exists for the entrepreneur who has a venture idea and needs help bringing it to fruition. So far this spring 30 early stage ventures applied and are engaged in programming. We offer mentorship, focused curriculum and space to test ideas, conduct research and validate market opportunities. This program is more structured and requires attendance at “Countdown to Launch” workshops that are held once a month as well as numerous mentor meetings and co-working sessions. Founders who complete this program and wish to apply to the Launch Chapel Hill business accelerator are more competitive in the application process.

“I’ve been coming to 1789 Venture Lab for two years, and this is by far the best semester of programming yet,” said Mason Lantay, UNC senior and founder of the venture Wake Up. “When I first started my venture I was afraid because I had this big idea but no clue how to make it real. I soon became involved in Carolina THINK, and 1789 has made entrepreneurship a lot less intimidating.”

UNC student and founder of Student Career Lab Daniel Miller said, “1789 encouraged me to pursue my vision of starting a business and has helped me find mentors who provide invaluable guidance. I’ve gotten so much positive support from the connections I’ve made here, and the sense of community that exists here is incredible.”

1789 advisor Tim Flood said, “What’s remarkable about 1789 is the high level of energy and excitement that everyone has. Being able to support the enthusiasm, initiative and innovation I see here and helping people work through problems in the early stages makes me happy to be able to contribute.”

1789 Venture Lab is a place where entrepreneurship happens for UNC students and grads with an idea for a for-profit, non-profit or social entrepreneurial venture. Our goal at 1789 is to provide space and support for young innovators seeking intentional growth. We are a launch pad into an action-oriented entrepreneurial community focused on creating and scaling great startups. Given a chance, we are eager to help entrepreneurs at all stages of their journeys.

For more information about 1789 Venture Lab or its new programs, contact Stefano Rivera, Program Assistant, at Stefano@launchchapelhill.com or visit the 1789 website at http://1789venturelab.com.


President Spellings, Chancellor Folt visit 1789

Newly appointed UNC system president Margaret Spellings visited 1789 in March to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship at UNC during her statewide tour of North Carolina's 17 public university campuses.

See photos from Spellings' visit below.

UNC System President Margaret Spellings lays down a beat with Dr. Mark Katz. Katz is UNC's director for the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and cofounder of Next Level, a program that fosters cultural diplomacy through music. Photo courtesy of the University Gazette

UNC System President Margaret Spellings (center) lays down a beat with Dr. Mark Katz. Katz is UNC's director for the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and cofounder of Next Level, a program that fosters cultural diplomacy through music. Photo courtesy of the University Gazette.


Spellings and Chancellor Folt (center) meet with Alsey Davidson, founder of Honey Halo.

Folt and Spellings speak with Jeff Battle and Kalil Duncan of Cool Soles, a product that keeps athletes' feet cool on hot turf.

Spellings meets with Jeff Powell of The Helping Hand Project, a UNC group that uses 3D printers to make prosthetic hands.

You can read more about Spellings' visit at the following sites:

The Raleigh News and Observer


The University Gazette 

The Daily Tar Heel

Other news:

3/31/15: ExitEvent: "Recapping UNC's Carolina Challenge, March Madness-Style" 

1/28/15: The Daily Tar Heel: "Carolina Research Venture Fund will help faculty startups"

1/19/2015: Mashable: "10 places moonlighting entrepreneurs love to burn the midnight oil"

1/13/15: The Daily Tar Heel: "UNC, Duke students collaborate on sweaty-palm solution"

11/26/14: ExitEvent: "Tis the Season: UNC Juniors Make Adopt-A-Family Easy Online" 

11/25/14: UNC Kenan-Flager Business School News: "A wish come true"

08/22/14: The Raleigh News and Observer: "Mayors Find Common Concerns, Solutions in Chapel Hill"

07/28/14: ExitEvent: "In a Sea of Event Discovery Apps, Can This One Get Users Hyped?"

07/09/14: goheels.com: "My Carolina Experience: Taylor Meyer"

06/26/14: ExitEvent: "NBA's Ty Lawson Invests in Chapel Hill Apparel Startup"  

05/22/14: The Daily Tar Heel: "1789 Venture Lab Welcomes 10 Students to Summer Startup Program"

03/09/14: Triangle Business Journal: "A UNC Student Lives Her Entrepreneurial Dream"

03/30/14: The Daily Tar Heel: "Students Launch Fashion Company in 1789 Venture Lab"

03/17/14: The Daily Tar Heel: "Students Attempt to Solve Modern Problems with Social Startups"

10/28/13: The Daily Tar Heel: "Incubator Makes it Easier to 'Launch'"

10/25/13: The Daily Tar Heel: "Students Set Up Shop on Franklin"

08/12/13: WRAL TechWire: "Durham Startup CellBreaker Takes on Cell Phone Termination Fees"

07/24/13: Chapelboro: "1 Million Cups Gives Local Entrepreneurs Networking Opportunities and More"

07/14/13: Chapelboro: "1789 Incubator Profile: Behind the Scenes with Film Lab"

07/11/13: Chapelboro: "1789 Incubator Profile: UNC Alum Making a Mark in Fair Trade Clothing"

07/10/13: The Daily Tar Heel: "1789 Helps Tar Heel Businesses Develop"

07/07/13: Chapelboro: "1789 Incubator is Open and Ready for Business"