First and foremost, we are looking for ambitious founders and teams. Though a majority of NC IDEA LABS participants will begin at an “idea” stage, the impact of the program is not limited to the stage of the company itself. For example, if you are already generating revenue but need to assess if and how your company can scale, your company may also be a strong fit for our program.

At least one founder must be full-time during the program. We will accept individual founders and can be a valuable resource in helping find co-founders.

We look for a unique idea that gives you a competitive advantage in a large market. We do not accept consultancies or retail/small businesses, or companies that have limited opportunities to scale.

During this program, varying benefits can be achieved depending on your company type, stage and needs. No matter what idea you are pursuing, this program is meant to help you assess not just if a solution CAN be built, but SHOULD it be built in the first place.


What We Look For

At NC IDEA LABS, we care more about the entrepreneur than the idea itself. Though we maintain an interest in companies with growth potential, our investment lies with you. We look for entrepreneurs that are:

  • Stubborn and Flexible: stubborn enough to persevere and hold onto building the company when everyone around is saying it won’t work, and flexible enough to pivot when needed
  • Growth-Oriented: want to build a business through a rapid-growth trajectory
  • Ambitious: actively seeks opportunity and demonstrates the ability to react accordingly
  • Committed: no wantrepreneurs, only folks who are all in despite the challenging road ahead
  • Coachable: demonstrate the ability to listen, take feedback and react accordingly

It is important that all participants are willing to “buy-in” to the Lean Methodology and/or Human Centered Design. If you want to build a product before assessing market demand, this is not the program for you.

Finally, we are looking for founders who will be positively impacted by the program, and in turn will positively impact their fellow teams in the cohort. You must be open, ready to be challenged and want to engage with your peers. You should be willing to give up a bit of time helping your peers knowing that same person will reciprocate and help you when needed.


Back to NC IDEA LABS program page →

“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