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Office of Research Commercialization Advisors (ORCA) Network

The Office of Research Commercialization Advisors (ORCA) program is designed to provide a comprehensive way for a broad range of external advisors and expert management to engage with NC State startups and research teams.

About the ORCA Network

We pair experienced entrepreneurs and industry executives with NC State research teams and startups for continued coaching and guidance. Use your expertise to help further develop our most interesting technologies, identify potential opportunities that may be appropriate for a startup, and help our existing startups grow and scale

The copper wolves of Wolf Plaza on a summer day. Photo by Marc Hall

Levels of Engagement


  • An entry-level position for external advisors to learn more about NC State startups and opportunities that exist within the network
  • Receive the ORC monthly newsletter highlighting upcoming engagement opportunities with NC State startups and teams
  • Includes invitations to specific ORCA networking events and ORCA swag 
  • Members will be asked to fill out a form to understand their background and interests in working with NC State startups


  • A volunteer subject matter expert
  • Mentors bring experience in specific business roles or technical disciplines to help answer specific questions or in planning for an inflection point for a startup
  • Attend action-oriented meetings to help teams make decisions
  • Opportunity to work with startups and research teams one-on-one for regular meetings to accomplish a goal (ex. NC State I-Corps Program) 
  • Ways for Mentors to engage:
    • Become an I-Corps regional or national mentor 
    • Assist startups with external management recruitment
    • Connect mentees to potential partners and investors
    • Attend Think and Do meetings

Network Events

Happy Hours

A general networking event will be held quarterly to encourage membership, engagement with the ORC startup community, and updates on ways to be involved in ORC programs. Locations will rotate throughout the campus and community.

Think & Do Meetings

  • “Think” Meetings: ORC is seeking feedback on the market opportunities for a specific technology.
  • “Do” Meetings: ORC is seeking feedback on the specific milestones/inflection points for an NC State startup.

ORC Annual Showcase

An annual event to highlight the strength of the Pack! Startups will have the opportunity to network, and startups at various stages will give their 10-minute pitch presentations as attendees celebrate a year of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Get Involved!

Interested in joining the ORCA Network?