Teams come into Groundwork at different stages with different needs.  Groundwork is not a curriculum that everyone marches to, but a structure to help each individual team move to their next goal.

“Groundwork Labs was such an incredible place for me to start, as I was provided not only with structured support, but also a network of people who were always eager to help. ” -Janice Smith, Founder, Mission 100%

Groundwork provides founders the following:

Customer Discovery

If you are still at the idea stage, you will be testing your assumptions by getting out of the building and interviewing potential customers and validating your idea and product.

“Groundwork Labs provides the critical structure and process around customer discovery and validation to make your inevitable pivots successful.” Hersh Ashok Tapadia, Co-Founder and CEO, Allstacks

Customer Development

If you already have an MVP,  we’ll focus on building traction and acquiring users.

Mentors and Advisors

We draw from more than 50 well-respected members of the Triangle startup ecosystem.  Each week you will meet with the director of the program or an assigned mentor – who has also agreed to meet with you monthly for several months after Groundwork ends.

“We learned so much from the amazing and extremely talented group of mentors who helped us transform our company from a great idea into a viable start up. We believe 100% that without the knowledge gained through Groundwork, we would not have been in a position to win an NC IDEA grant.”

Helen Fuller, co-founder, Edulync


Twice a week, we will have a conversation with a successful entrepreneur, an investor, or expert in an area that can help your startup (marketing, intellectual property, …)

NC IDEA Expert Network

Most afternoons experts hold office hours that enable you to drop in and get guidance.  They include specialists in sales, marketing, branding, user interface, PR, intellectual property, startup legal matters, and finance.


Beyond just creating a great deck and delivering a great speech, critique of your pitch helps identify the gaps in your business.  And you can work on whatever else you need – a sales pitch, a partner pitch, a one-on-one conversation about your business


Our wide network enables us to make introductions to mentors, advisors, investors, partners, and customers.

NC IDEA Fellows and Interns

We have energetic fellows and interns from the local universities who can help your team – for example, market research, competitive analysis, and web site content.

Other Perks

Finally, there are other perks – awesome office space on the American Tobacco Campus, access to the American Underground, $100K in Google cloud credits, 2 years and up to $5K Amazon Activate credits, Google for Entrepreneurs, HubSpot’s Jumpstart Program, cool outings, and other benefits