NC IDEA LABS is not a curriculum, but a structure that helps each team quickly assess demand, understand customer pain and iterate on their concept.

The NC IDEA LABS program is meant to be incredibly intensive, which requires a full time+ commitment for the duration of the program. Though content, meetings and workshops will help guide and optimize your activities, you will spend most of your time interfacing directly with potential customers.

For the first half of the program, participants will receive support on performing effective customer interviews and using validated techniques for identifying their target market. Through a guided approach, participants will speak directly with potential users, customers and stakeholders. By doing so, entrepreneurs will better understand WHO is experiencing a specific problem, HOW that problem is felt and WHAT solutions may satisfy their current pain.

Participants that successfully demonstrate a market pain will then be guided through generating a viable solution and testing it within their target market.

After the completion of the program, those who demonstrate coachability and demonstrate meaningful progress will continue to receive support from NC IDEA though mentorship and programming.

Applying to NC IDEA LABS

NC IDEA LABS accepts applications throughout the year in 4-week cohorts. We typically receive 50 applications each deadline. From each applicant pool, approximately 15-20 founders will be selected for interviews, with 6-8 selected for each cohort.


Upcoming Dates and Deadlines

Spring 2019 Cohort #2: May 6th through May 31st

Application Now Closed

– Upcoming LABS cohorts and application deadlines will be announced in late Spring 2019 –



Back to NC IDEA LABS program page →

“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 startup. We believe 100% that without the knowledge gained through NC IDEA LABS, we would not have been in a position to win an NC IDEA SEED grant.”

Helen Fuller, Co-Founder, Edulync
NC IDEA LABS Alumni and NC IDEA SEED Grant Recipient