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Raleigh Startup Accelerators and Entrepreneur Mentorship Programs

Raleigh NC Accelerators and Mentorship programs offer guides to new entrepreneurs that can help them develop and manage their businesses. Startup programs are provided for new business entrepreneurs to further enrich themselves and expand their businesses. These programs are, especially helpful for early startups as young entrepreneurs are exposed to a wide range of training and expertise. These programs provide unique opportunities for young entrepreneurs to meet people who have gone through the early stages of business and as such stand in a better position to inform them on how to overcome their initial challenges.

Center for Advanced Hindsight Startup Lab

The center is located at Duke University under the management of Dan Ariely. The program helps entrepreneurs test their products with the aim of finding effective ways through which people can make good health and financial decisions that could enhance people’s lives.


CUBE provides a space for social interactions and networking. CUBE is housed at the UNC’s Center for Social Justice and Social Innovation, which is located at Campus Y of the university. CUBE brings together people from different walks of life and stages in business for mentoring, coaching, training and capacity building. CUBE also provides 24hours and seven days a week open-space for both faculty, students, and staff to interact and social network, and receive assistance and feedback from renowned social entrepreneurs from different parts of the nation. It also provides a seed funding of $5000.00 to students, which is granted through competitions to social ventures for professional development and social networking. The awardees are also expected to be in residence for one year at Campus Y.

Although CUBE was designed with students in mind, it also provides social innovation lecture series to both CUBE ventures and people in UNC and its environs. These lecture series are offered in the afternoons and equip participants with useful information and training that can help them develop their business ventures. DRIVe partners with both private and public sectors to provide funding, treatments, and other innovative approaches and programs to health sectors and patients.

Joules Accelerator

Joules Accelerator provides training, mentoring and access to utilities to startups in the nation’s energy sector. Since its inception in 2013, Joules Accelerator has provided jobs to people, made investments worth $15million and has engaged in seven pilot projects. In partnership with Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster in 2018, Joules Accelerator received a grant from the Department of Commerce geared towards expanding its networks and programs as well as offering supports to startups in the Research Triangle Area.


LiftOff aids young entrepreneurs, through grant writing programs, in applying and securing grants from the US Small Business Administrations for their startup businesses. LiftOff is housed at the First Flight Venture Center.


NC IDEA LABS provides a four-week intensive program for startups to grow their businesses. The primary goal is to equip new entrepreneurs with necessary information, guidance and exposure needed to build a strong customer base, test their products and assess market availability. During the intensive program, new entrepreneurs interact directly with their potential clients and receive feedbacks from these clients and others.

Since its inception in 2012, more than 200 companies have participated in the startup programs and have used the opportunity to remodel their products through the feedback they received from clients and others. The program is not for those new entrepreneurs with just an idea but for those who also have the drive and desire to compete favorably in the market and a determination to build a strong business base and generate revenues needed for the company’s growth. Also rather than invest and develop an idea, the organizers are more interested in the entrepreneurs themselves; in people who are willing to learn, who are ambitious, and determined to succeed even in the midst of discouragement and challenges; people who are strong and growth oriented as well as have the willingness to invest and encourage others facing similar challenges.


NC IDEA SOAR focuses on female entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in growing a success business venture. It seeks to bridge the investment gap between female entrepreneurs and their male counterparts in North Carolina. NC IDEA SOAR accepts 10 female- led companies per year and equips these women through mentorship, networking, and advocacy programs needed to sustain their businesses. To qualify for the SOAR program, the female entrepreneurs must participate in the other IDEA programs such as NC IDEA LABS, NC IDEA MICRO, NC IDEA SEED, NC IDEA LEAD, AND NC IDEA ENGAGE.

RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP)

The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) focuses on IT development as it provides entrepreneurs with necessary training, resources and tools needed to sustain and manage their business. The program brings together companies and collaborators to partner with one another for business expansion and management. RAP provides a 12-week intensive program for its participants and provides Internet of Space (IoS) for startups through which entrepreneurs partner, learn, and connect to more than 75 consortium companies. The program also provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch their services and products to the market.

Funded in part by the $500,000.00 it received in 2017 in recognition of its innovative programs, RAP has continued to train, educate, generate millions in investments, provide jobs and startup investment capitals, and services to entrepreneurs and companies.

UNC’s Office of Technology Commercialization

The Office of Technology Commercialization helps students in their startup programs and provide the necessary support for students to successful manage and sustain their new business ventures. Through research, teachings and workshops, the office provides practical knowledge needed to successfully run their businesses.

Shaw University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

The Shaw University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is a support center that provides Shaw University students and members of Raleigh community with daily training, mentorship, and a series of lecture programs geared towards starting up new business ventures. The center, which started its operations in 2018 is in partnership with Carolina Small Business Development Fund. The center is located in Southeast Downtown Raleigh. The center connects Shaw University students with experts and provides them with the necessary tools needed to develop their business skills and knowledge.

Startup Stampede

The Startup Stampede helps emerging entrepreneurs build up their businesses through online networking. It also provides two months training and mentorship that helps emerging business investors to strategically manage their startup businesses. The program equips young entrepreneurs in web development, e-commerce, logistics, order fulfillment, branding, digital marketing, as well as launch an online storefront.

NC State Andrews Launch Accelerator and Acceleration Fund

The NC State Andrews Launch Accelerator and Accelerator Fund is designed to provide a three-month course program for its clients as well as equity free grant of about $50,000.00. It also runs a five-module business program geared towards development of businesses. Apart from the module programs, each team member is assigned an Executive in Residence who meets with him/her on a one-one basis. The Executive in Residence provides guidance based on the specific needs and level of the team member.

NC State Entrepreneurship Collaborative

The NC State Entrepreneurship is housed at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. As the name indicates, this is a collaborative learning environment where professionals, startups and future entrepreneurs meet to seek solutions and guidance to their business ventures. The program brings together real-life experiences and research findings to work as students learn from service providers and seasoned executives. In turn, students put to work the knowledge gained through research findings to develop their business skills. This NC university program offers both graduate and undergraduate courses.

1789 Venture Lab

1789 is a co-working space tailored to meet the business needs, aspirations, and desires of both current and former students of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hills. The program, which is housed at 173 E. Franklin Street downtown Chapel Hill, provides workshops, office hours, classes, and other events in partnership with Campus Y, Launch Chapel Hill, the UNC Minor in Entrepreneurship, and Carolina Challenge. The program provides a good opportunity for participants to explore and further develop their business ideas.

Bunker Labs RDU

The Bunker Labs RDU is designed specifically for veterans and active duty service men and women. Like most of the programs, the Bunker Labs provides mentorship and business services to its participants. The Muster RDU is a free annual conference hosted by the organizers of the program to provide mentorship and services to these military personnel. This is also a national non-profit program that gives the service members not only the unique opportunity to turn their business ideas into successful business ventures but also to receive the necessary supports and also connect with members of the community. From generating of ideas to growing successful businesses, the Bunker Labs guides and supports service members.

Duke I&E

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is a Duke University initiative that brings together entrepreneurs, faculty, staff, students and alumni to deliberate on possible ways through which their ideas can better serve individuals, communities, institutions and societies. It provides resources, trainings, mentorship, community and intellectual leadership for its participants.

The mission is to train members of the university community for innovative leadership, and create an entrepreneurial spirit that could bring changes to both the university community and its environs. The program offers certificate courses for both undergraduate and graduate and professional students. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy provides a wide range of programs and courses tailored to meet the various needs of faculty, staff, students and professionals to expand their Entrepreneurial and innovation skills. From programs that revolve around new venture funding, writing business plans, design thinking, to developing innovation solutions, the various participants are equipped and exposed to different skills needed for the successful running of business ventures.

Thanks for reading "Raleigh Startup Accelerators and Entrepreneur Mentorship Programs", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

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