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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Report shows that North Carolina start-ups are improving economies across the state

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 5th, 2018

A biannual report from the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill concludes that local communities across the state have reaped significant economic benefits from start-ups launched out of the university and across the state.

Conducted by Innovate Carolina, an initiative for innovation and entrepreneurship at UNC, the report indicates that university start-up creation has grown by 21% and that 83% of start-ups are headquartered in-state, earning $10.5 billion out of the $11.2 billion in annual revenue earned by all active UNC-Chapel Hill start-ups. The report also shows that 71,986 people are employed by UNC-Chapel Hill start-ups, with 8,902 employees located in North Carolina.

Additional analysis conducted by the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization shows strongly positive trends in go-to-market activity when comparing two five-year periods (2009-13 compared to 2014-18). As of the end of fiscal year 2018, the data show:

  • a 17% increase in IP-based start-ups created (41 versus 35).
  • a 94% increase in U.S. patents issued (262 compared to 135).
  • a 99% increase in licensing revenue ($26.5 million compared to $13.3 million).

“Our faculty and students are working hard to imagine new possibilities and then turn their ideas into real-world innovations and companies that can take root and grow in North Carolina communities,” says Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Moving ideas that are hatched within our classrooms and labs into the market infuses more jobs and revenue into local economies,” Cone adds. “Our citizens also experience Carolina innovations on a human level that transcends pure economics. New products, social ventures, novel medical devices and promising treatments improve and save the lives of people across our state and around the world.”

Source: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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