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Entrepreneurship

The Triangle area is home to an abundance of innovators and entrepreneurs. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill initiatives like Innovate Carolina enable inspiring stories of innovation, inventiveness, and perseverance. The University has many resources available to support affiliate innovators and entrepreneurs at BeAM locations and elsewhere across campus.


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@ BeAM

The BeAM@Carolina Network can support UNC entrepreneurs with prototyping tools, design consultation services, and collaboration spaces to work on your idea. Visit the tools page to learn more about tools available at BeAM and access required trainings, or check out each of the BeAM locations to find the space best suited for your project.


Across Campus

UNC-Chapel Hill has a variety of spaces, programs, and other resources to support entrepreneurs at every step of the process in bringing their invention or business concept from idea to reality. What type of support are you looking for?

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Find places to access mentors and educational workshops to seek guidance and learn new skills on your venture.

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Need a co-working space to collaborate with your team, or a supportive, fast-paced program to launch your idea? Consider these resources:

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You’ve already found us here at BeAM! But UNC has more than makerspaces for creating material drafts of your envisioned product — check out the Design Center as well as other UNC prototyping powerhouses:

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Looking to build an application, game, or website? These on-campus resources can help make your idea a reality — virtually.

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BeAM makerspaces are free to use, but other stops on your entrepreneurial journey might require capital to get your idea off the ground and into the market. Funding for your project at UNC can be found through awards, contests, investors, and more (visit the Opportunities Table for the ‘and more’).

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All these creative places are amazing, but I just want to do some more reading on my own, you say? Here’s some informative pages covering the business of business:

Innovate Carolina

The above resources and many more can be found through UNC’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiative, Innovate Carolina. This initiative offers access to strategy and advising services, and connects visitors to a multitude of campus, regional, and national resources.


Available Tools at BeAM

3d printing
Basic tools
Electronics
Embroidery
Laser cutter
Metal shop
Serger
Sewing
Shopbop
Vinyl cutter
Wood shop

Entrepreneur FAQs

All of BeAM’s resources are available to UNC-affiliated entrepreneurs. Some popular tools that may be useful for physical prototyping include the 3D printers and laser cutters. Entrepreneurs also may want to explore co-working spaces such as those at the Kenan Science Library Makerspace and Carmichael Hall Makerspace locations.
Yes, please use our reservation system to schedule a time to visit our makerspaces. Reserving times in advance ensures that you will have access to the tools you need to use. We also welcome walk-ins during our open hours for entrepreneurial projects, but you may not be able to access the tools you need if someone else has already reserved them.
Completing BeAM 101 is a great starting point to familiarize your self with the makerspace and the potential uses of the different tools available. You might also benefit from a consultation with our staff — see the bottom of this page for a contact form. You are also welcome to stop by and chat with on-duty makerspace staff during our open hours. Seeking design advice from Innovate Carolina or the Design Center may also help you on your way to developing your project.
In general, no. BeAM makerspaces are appropriate for exploratory and iterative prototyping phases of entrepreneurial projects, but are not designed for large-volume fabrication of final products for sale.
In general, yes. For questions about material use or bringing your own materials, please fill out our contact form.
Email beam@unc.edu and we will see if we can accommodate your request. All trainings listed on the online calendar are first come, first serve, so your group may arrive early and complete one of those. Generally, we need a month’s notice to schedule a special event for a group. BeAM services are currently only open to affiliates of UNC.
Yes! Please visit the BeAM Design Center website and submit a request there. Email design.center@unc.edu with questions or to set up a consultation appointment.
Congratulations and thanks for including us in your acknowledgements. Please include us as “the Be A Maker (BeAM) network of makerspaces” at UNC Chapel Hill. Also, please email anna@beam.unc.edu to copy/link to your publication!
Intellectual property ownership of projects developed using University resources varies dependent upon who is working on the project. Students retain IP for their work in its entirety, while the policy is different for faculty. Please review the policies on Entrepreneurial Activities and Patent & Invention at the Office of Technology Commercialization for more information.

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