Award-winning business accelerator Launch Chapel Hill, together with the Town of Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Orange County, announced the 10 businesses selected for its 2019 spring cohort at an open house celebration on Friday, Feb. 8.
More than 40 companies applied for the 10 spots in Launch Chapel Hill’s unique program, designed to help entrepreneurs build their early-stage businesses into self-sustaining enterprises in just 16 weeks. In the past six years, 95 companies have expanded their business and brand with Launch Chapel Hill, with alumni companies earning $25.9 million in revenue last year.
“Each impressive class of entrepreneurs comes to us with solutions for real-world problems, and this group is poised to make a meaningful impact in a wide variety of sectors,” said Amy Linnane, program manager at Launch Chapel Hill. “Together with the Town of Chapel Hill, we are building a thriving business community that provides innovators with the resources and mentorship to help them succeed.”
Launch Chapel Hill selects a new cohort group twice each year, evaluating each applicants’ innovation and commitment to solving real-world problems. Over the course of 16 weeks, an expert roster of entrepreneurs, industry experts and mentors provide the tools and knowledge needed to decrease risk, reduce go-to-market time and accelerate the growth of start-up businesses.
The 2019 spring cohort members include:
• blockciti is a royalty-based social platform where users to earn rewards for their network contributions.
• Cadre VR is a virtual reality media company specializing in 3D 180-degree and 360-degree video content. The company creates narrative VR films as well as VR social media marketing services.
• City News Beat is a nationwide, local news network for connected television. In a hub and spoke production model, City News Beat applies trending topic data of local interest to produce daily video news stories from publisher brands consumers already know, delivering an updated, informative, binge-worthy local news experience on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Samsung TVs.
• Everywhere Ad is a rideshare advertising platform for small businesses. Everywhere Ad pays Uber and Lyft drivers to market small, local businesses to rideshare passengers through a mobile advertising platform, allowing drivers to increase their income, passengers to receive exclusive deals and small businesses to increase their customer base.
• Indy Care transforms independent pharmacies into collaborative healthcare hubs that communities look to for acute care, screenings, diagnostics, holistic support and insights into how to be well and stay well.
• Ozanam Strategic Insights collects statistically-significant data sets on customers in developing and emerging markets. Ozanam applies soft and hard sciences to this data to create unique profiles that help clients better understand their customers and markets. This allows clients to prevent mistakes and operate strategically.
• Phyta provides new strategies of seaweed cultivation to promote plastic substitutes, climate resilience and economic development. In addition to offering a sustainable and cost-effective consumer ingredient, Phyta seeks to build out the marine carbon and nutrient credit market. With growing global demand for marine-based companies to actively support planetary health, Phyta will use existing markets and distribution channels to increase the commercial viability and social impact of seaweed – thereby supporting the growth of the industry in the U.S. and internationally.
• SP0T is a mobile app that gives you access to a personalized map of interesting places found by people in your community, along with secret spots shared between your friends. SP0T brings the personalities of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, dive bars, shops, and hidden gems in nature to life by creating digital guestbooks that only the spot’s visitors can see. SP0T unlocks authentic experiences that you never knew existed and empowers anyone to rediscover their world.
• Trafficlight is an activity-based social connection app for connecting like-minded people who have collided in the real world.
• Visual Data Tools creates modern data analysis and visualization software for the Mac platform. The tools take a unique visual approach to data analysis and programming.
“Launch Chapel Hill graduates like Quantworks are already making a lasting impact on the Chapel Hill community,” said Dwight Bassett, economic development officer, Town of Chapel Hill. “To create a thriving business community, it is vital that we continue to provide early-stage companies with the support they need – whether it’s opening new flexible co-working spaces or providing valuable mentoring through the Launch Chapel Hill program.”
To celebrate the new cohort, Launch Chapel Hill hosted an open house celebration at 321 West Rosemary St., in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
Contact: Jordan Lockhart