"We went into NC IDEA LABS with a prototype and quickly grew into a
business with significant traction. The coaching, network and support
have been essential in our company's success."
Chris Lorkowski, Founder, BruVue

Around half of all new startups fail in the first 12 months. NC IDEA LABS, formerly Groundwork Labs, helps founders make better decisions, make those decisions faster and take the proper steps to avoid mistakes frequently made by new entrepreneurs. Essentially, we help reduce risk.

From a program standpoint, NC IDEA LABS looks a lot like a technology accelerator – we are a mentor-driven, selective, 12-week program. The difference is that we do not make an investment nor do we take an equity stake; and the program is offered at no cost.

Since our founding in 2012, NC IDEA LABS has established itself as the premier program of its kind in North Carolina. More than 150 companies and 250 founders have participated. Nearly half of these companies are still operating today; 30 have raised more than $30 million in equity funding, 17 have been awarded NC IDEA SEED grants and 14 have been accepted into full-time accelerator programs, including Techstars and Healthbox.



NC IDEA LABS works closely with you to iterate your idea and accelerate the development of your company through:

  • Coaching: We have a volunteer network of more than 100 of the best mentors, advisors and speakers who provide hands-on guidance on every aspect of your startup.
  • Community: Every day you will work alongside other outstanding founders and learn from one another, as well as make connections to potential customers, partners and investors. NC IDEA’s network is our most powerful asset.
  • Structure: We help you focus your energies and time on the most important actions necessary to accomplish your next company goal.

Program Details

Teams come into NC IDEA LABS at different stages with different needs. NC IDEA LABS is not a curriculum, but a structure that helps each team move toward their next goal.

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Who Should Apply?

First and foremost, we are looking for great founders and teams. NC IDEA LABS is most impactful somewhere between the time you have your idea and the time you have a minimum viable product.

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NC IDEA LABS Lite is a condensed version of our regular NC IDEA LABS program. Just like business schools offer a “weekend MBA”, this program targets those not quite ready to quit their day job.

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