Who will benefit most from Groundwork Labs?

  • An Expert: whether that be in the sector the company is pursuing, the technology required for the company’s success, business, or sales
  • who is Stubborn and Flexible: stubborn enough to hold onto building the company when everyone around is saying it won’t work – and flexible enough to be coachable
  • with Commitment: no wantrepreneurs, only folks who are all in 100%
  • and a Gap that we can help fill: whether that be understanding a business model, finding product-market fit, finding a co-founder, …

We are looking for founders who will be positively impacted by the program and will positively impact the other companies in the cohort.  There is plenty of evidence that a founder can build a company in their living room – and that’s great – but if a founder is going to participate in a program like Groundwork they must be open and wanting to engage and be challenged by their peers and mentors.  They must enjoy rubbing elbows with other entrepreneurs and be willing to give up time today to help their peer knowing that tomorrow that same person will reciprocate with time to help them.

First and foremost we’re looking for great founders and teams.  We realize your idea may change over time and so we look for folks who are stubborn enough to persevere and flexible enough to pivot when needed – and above all are committed to what will be a very challenging road ahead.  We accept individual founders and can be a valuable resource in helping you find co-founders.  We look for a sizable and/or growing market, a unique idea that gives you a competitive advantage, and a plausible revenue model.

The stage of the company isn’t nearly as important, so long as we can identify a gap that Groundwork will help the company fill.  We are typically most impactful somewhere between an idea and an MVP, though companies who have just started shipping a product have found benefit as well.

At least one founder must be full-time and have sufficient financial runway to give their company time to bootstrap or raise outside funding.

Groundwork launched in 2012, and as of August 2017, we have helped more than 130 teams and more than 250 founders.

  • 17 companies have gone on to win NC IDEA grants
  • 13 companies have gone on to other accelerators, including TechStars, Healthbox, The Startup Factory
  • More than 30 companies have raised more than $29 million in equity

Of course, reaching these goals is the result of the founders hard work, and Groundwork is just one part of the equation – many have received help from other organizations and mentors – the North Carolina startup community is strong and helpful.

Click here to learn more about our Groundwork Labs companies.

“I was initially worried about the demands on my time. Many of my days are packed with coaching sessions, speaker events, meetings with domain experts, and other events, but I found that the relevancy and value of the program actually increased my productivity and effectiveness.” 
– John Hawes, Founder and CEO, Taurus Math and Technologies