Durham, NC - 5/25/2023

NCInnovation Will “Generate HomegrownCompanies that Will Stay in North Carolina”

Last week, legislators unveiled the most ambitious economic development initiative since Research Triangle Park.

NCInnovation will support rural economic development by partnering with UNC System universities to commercialize applied research. Other states have deployed billions of dollars in an “innovation arms race,” and NCInnovation looks to position North Carolina for continued growth by centering rural economic development on UNC System schools around the state.

In that way, research outputs from universities can turn into companies that stay in those areas, instead of chasing capital and commercialization support elsewhere.

The Associated Press wrote that NCInnovation’s Board of Directors “includes an all-star lineup of state financial, university and research luminaries.”

“NCInnovation’s plan could particularly help rural areas of North Carolina by not only bringing money, but also business training and mentorships to areas,” Business NC wrote.

The headline on WRAL Techwire read, “NCInnovation could ‘transform lives of generations.’”

And the Winston-Salem Journal wrote, “The nonprofit would enable North Carolina to better compete with other states for the ability to commercialize innovations resulting from in-State, world-class educational and research entities…”

Ven Poole, retired Chairman and CEO of Waste Industries, Inc., said that “NCInnovation is the next leg of North Carolina’s transformation into ‘The Innovation State.’ RTP put us on the map, and NCInnovation will position us for decades of future growth in areas beyond our urban centers.”

Bottom Line: Some of the brightest minds in business, academia, and research see NCInnovation’s model to boost rural economic development and position North Carolina to outcompete its peers as a national blueprint.

NCInnovation is 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation focused intensely on accelerating commercialized innovation from North Carolina’s universities. NCInnovation deploys funding, mentors, and support services so that North Carolina university proofs-of-concept turn into companies and create jobs that remain in North Carolina. Learn more at