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Established in 2005, the Carolina Challenge has become one of the most dynamic and exciting hallmarks of the UNC entrepreneurship ecosystem. As UNC’s flagship venture competition, the Carolina Challenge gives students the chance to win seed funding for their early-stage idea. Approximately $50K in total prize money is distributed amongst the most promising ventures each year in both profit and non-profit/social tracks.

Perhaps most alluring about the Carolina Challenge, however, is that it welcomes such a diverse population of aspiring entrepreneurs from throughout the University community. For example, this year’s Carolina Challenge winners boasted student founders from Biomedical engineering, Economics, Music, Computer Science, Health Policy, Journalism, as well as the business school.

The Carolina Challenge is much more than a business plan competition. A series of networking events, coaching sessions and practice workshops held throughout the academic year provide aspiring entrepreneurs with hands-on experience in communicating and accelerating their venture ideas. In addition, venture pitch events such as Makeathon and Pitch Party are catalysts for dynamic interactions between students and seasoned entrepreneurs eager to offer their mentorship. Each year, nearly 200 entrepreneurs, industry experts and alumni generously donate their time and energies to the Challenge program.

About the UNC Kenan-Flagler Entrepreneurship Center

The Entrepreneurship Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler delivers the most comprehensive, hands-on and enduring entrepreneurial education anywhere through our unique Learn, Launch, Lead (L3) framework.

“Learn” describes the entrepreneurial courses offered in the most sought-after MBA concentration at Kenan-Flagler. Our curriculum, clubs and competitions help students develop a foundation in entrepreneurship as founders, funders and growth executives.

“Launch” encompasses the full-stack venture development ecosystem from idea generation and problem solving at BLUE Innovation Community to acceleration at our global award-winning Launch Chapel Hill.

“Lead” embodies the leadership characteristics of the students and hundreds of entrepreneurial mentors in our national network, primarily in our one-of-a-kind Adams Apprenticeship program.

Come visit us at the Kenan Center, Suite 402 or contact us at!