Launch Chapel Hill welcomes seven new teams to kick off spring season

Seven new startups will participate in the spring session of Launch Chapel Hill, a five-month accelerator program to support the successful launch of entrepreneurial companies.

Launch is a unique collaboration between the Town of Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Orange County and a private donor. Four of the new teams have UNC connections.

Here are the new teams:

  • NanoOncology, Inc., a biotechnology startup incorporated in 2013, is dedicated to delivering and developing more effective cancer treatments with fewer adverse events by using NanoJacket technology to develop more powerful, targeted chemotherapeutics with reduced toxicity profiles.
  • RethinkH20 will help large-scale water users reduce water costs, increase sustainability and enhance water independence.
  • Get Spiffy is a car washing and detailing program that provides a more convenient service for customers.
  • Hypestarter crowd-sources event content from locals to create a complete map of every event happening in the city.
  • Persever8 provides life skills education and vocational training to adults with high-functioning autism.
  • Zip-Services provides restaurants, bars, salons, spas, hotels and other businesses with towels, napkins, aprons and other linens that are vital to their operations.
  • Let’s Chip In is a crowd-funding platform for gifts surrounding life events.

The new teams joined seven resident companies at the Launch office on Rosemary Street. Three teams graduating from the Launch program -- Keona Health, Impulsonic and Turnsmith – will move into newly acquired co-working space at University Square. Having met their benchmarks, they will receive an additional six to 12 months of in-kind support.

“When we looked at these three companies, it was clear to our steering committee that we want to be able to continue to offer support in any way we can at this critical phase of their growth,” said Dina Mills, Launch Chapel Hill program manager.

Plans to support companies after their graduation from the program has been an ongoing part of Launch’s work, said Judith Cone, UNC’s special assistant to the chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. Cone has been working closely with Town of Chapel Hill officials to help identify affordable space for young companies to stay local.

“It’s important that we keep building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Chapel Hill by making sure that startups can afford to grow their business in our community,” Cone said. When they finish with the Launch program, or come out of the other campus and community support services available to startups, we want them to find an affordable place with access to a network of support where they can continue to thrive.”