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There are many resources available to help a University Innovator Launch, Build, and Scale their new venture. Below are links to funding opportunities available at the university, regional, and state level.

Be sure to check the criteria for each opportunity to make sure your venture is a good fit and feel free to reach out to Zach Williams, New Ventures Program Manager, for any questions you might have on pursuing these opportunities.


NC State I-Corps

NC State’s NSF I-Corps Site Program provides participating teams with training in customer discovery best practices and understanding market feedback. Teams receive travel funding to interview potential customers and end users of university technologies to better understand market needs and this funding can include travel to conferences and trade shows.

SWEAT Equity

ORC’s SWEAT Equity Program is a competitive application idea challenge that provides funding and technical expertise necessary to turn a software app idea into a startup company. Program participants are trained in customer discovery best practices to validate the idea and receive funding to enable the professional development of a prototype.

NC Biotechnology Center

NCBiotech offers several funding programs designed to fill gaps in technology development and company growth. These funds help university researchers and companies conduct critical studies and reach significant development milestones that enable them to attract follow-on funding.


Spark Plug

ORC’s SparkPlug Program provides funding to NC State startup companies that are pursuing SBIR/STTR grant funding. Selected applicants receive funds to be used towards professional grant writing assistance to maximize the chance of proposal success.

Daugherty Endowment

NC State’s Daugherty Endowment Fund is an annual business plan competition for NC State startups that have licensed NC State intellectual property within the last three years. The top three companies receive funding that can be used for any business expense.


Wolfpack Investor Network

NC State’s Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) is an angel investing platform that engages and leverages the power of the NC State alumni network. WIN matches NC State alumni investors with NC State startup companies to support growth and success.

Angel & VC Funding

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) and surrounding region has a variety of funding resources available to research-based startup companies, which includes angel investment and venture capital funding.