Last Thursday I joined over 500 hundred friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, and investors at the Friday Center for the 2019 UNC Chapel Hill Innovation Showcase; yet further confirmation that commercial and social innovation are alive and well at Carolina and across the Triangle.
The tenth annual event, presented by Innovate Carolina, featured a wide array of fifty commercial and social innovators exhibiting and pitching their exciting new ventures and research. Highlights for me included Phyta’s farming seaweed to create eco-friendly plastic substitutes; a nationwide, local news network for connected television and smart TV, called City News Beat, and Asystbio Laboratories ground-breaking next-generation DNA sequencing for cancer genomics.
As Judith Cone, Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic
Development at the University made clear “Not only did the Showcase set records for attendance and the number of presentations and exhibits, we also saw outstanding diversity in the types of ideas that students, faculty, alumni and local business leaders pitched and exhibited. Innovators at Carolina are passionate about pursuing research and social and commercial ventures aimed at solving a wide range of problems. The Showcase celebrates their accomplishments and helps them connect with investors and entrepreneurial experts who will work with them to take their ideas even further - in making an economic and social impact in North Carolina and globally.”
If you weren’t lucky enough to attend, or simply want a refresher, you’ll find all fifty of the presentations here; I’m sure you’ll find something inspiring.