High Growth Entrepreneurship
The ability to develop and execute an idea into an commercially-viable venture is the hallmark of an entrepreneur, and Charlotte has just the right eco-system to support this vital role. The resources below provide technical expertise, counseling and capital to support Charlotte’s entrepreneurial culture.
Education & Training
With an office in Charlotte, the SBTDC is North Carolina’s leading resource for growing and developing businesses. SBTDC’s “Becoming an Investor Ready Entrepreneur Program” is designed to educate and prepare growth-oriented entrepreneurs to successfully engage private equity investors. Getting ready includes a wide range of activities and decisions that will help the entrepreneur with their business in a number of ways. This program was developed with direct input from experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, angel networks/fund executives, and venture capitalists, and provides an “insider’s look” into the world of equity funding.
The Center is designed to be the hub for entrepreneurial scholarship and dialogue in the Charlotte business community, offering a tremendous network of resources to students and emerging classes of small business owners.
Committed to building strong partnerships in the Greater Charlotte region and beyond , the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte offers outstanding business education programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.
Business Advisory & Incubation
Ventureprise, formerly the Ben Craig Center, a UNC-Charlotte business partnership, supports the success of innovative technology and business process start-ups and early-stage entrepreneurs through business incubation and acceleration services.
Packard Place provides a community center for entrepreneurial activity in the heart of the city allowing access to technology, education and hands-on assistance to help business partners and start-ups design, build, market and deliver innovation and solutions.
Queen City Forward is a non-profit organization that aims to help increase the creation, scale, and impact of social ventures in Charlotte, NC. It is guided by the conviction that in purposefully encouraging, enabling, and scaling high-impact social ventures and socially driven entrepreneurs, Charlotte can create a robust cluster of innovation for the region that spurs economic development, improves the lives of citizens, and drives a new model of sustainable growth.
Project for Innovation Energy & Sustainability (PiES) incubator helps green businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs create jobs in the new economy with emphasis on recycling, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, sustainable food and more.
Charlotte’s small business incubator for creative artists of all sorts, cutting edge media personnel, musicians, all sorts of craftsmen, builders, designers, writer, etc.
This exciting initiative will bring together the brainpower that creates new ideas & inventions with the risk-taking, business-savvy entrepreneurs who bring innovations to the marketplace.
Financial Capital Resources
A local angel fund that considers investments of dollars, time and relationships in early stage, high quality and high growth companies in the Charlotte area in order that those companies achieve success.
The Charlotte Angel Fund is a private equity fund of angel investors located in Charlotte providing funding and post-investment support to high-growth, high-technology companies with the potential of providing high returns.
Providing seed and early stage equity funding, along with company building expertise to IT, software, materials technologies and medical device companies. We seek to serve as a bridge between angel and institutional investors.
Learn about other financial programs and incentives available in the region.
Networking & Advocacy
Business Innovation & Growth (BIG), a membership non-profit organization, aims to create an intimate community of like-minded, high potential entrepreneurs and provide a meaningful and rewarding peer-to-peer exchange among those facing similar challenges with growing their businesses
The Charlotte Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization engages leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow. EO Charlotte members have four things in common: a passionate desire to grow their businesses, to learn from their peers, to share their experiences with others and to have the time of their life doing it.
Started some twenty-plus years ago by Hugh L. McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, the ELC has grown to be the recognized leader in fostering and rewarding entrepreneurship.
The National Association of Women Business Owners Charlotte Chapter propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. Today, NAWBO® Charlotte is the only organization specially designed to serve, support, and strengthen the 42,000 women-owned businesses in the greater Charlotte, NC metropolitan area.
NHEO seeks to establish an innovative ecosystem, fostering and helping early-stage entrepreneurs to realize their aspirations, providing them with hands-on support, capital, knowhow and access to a high-quality global network of professionals.
Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event focused on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. Bringing together people with different skill sets to build applications and develop a commercial case around them, the weekend provides the networking, resources, and incentives for individuals and teams to go from idea to market.
From the Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte, the annual venture challenge competition supports and celebrates local entrepreneurship be awarding cash prizes and providing mentoring teams from some of our region’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The Geek Festival (TGF) is an exciting and eclectic annual celebration of the “geek” in all of us; an event designed to educate the hearts and minds of our community by highlighting and celebrating the creative and exciting innovations of new technology, media, and industry. Remember, geek is chic. It is no longer only limited to the technical aspects of life :)
In an effort to support social entrepreneurs, Social Ventures Partners Charlotte created SEED20, an annual competition designed to discover, spotlight, and fund the region’s greatest ideas for building social value.
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