Groundwork Labs is a not-for-profit, pre-accelerator for selected entrepreneurs to test their idea and get expert guidance before they take their next step, whether that be getting their first round of funding, gaining admission to an accelerator, or bootstrapping their company to revenue. Groundwork is targeted at scaleable technology companies in North Carolina. Programmatically, we look very much like an accelerator: we are selective, mentor-driven, intense, and time limited to several months. But we do not invest and take equity in the company. We do offer our program at no cost to the entrepreneur. Groundwork is funded by NC IDEA, a private not-for-profit whose mission is to grow the North Carolina economy by helping startups in the state.
The Groundwork workspace creates an environment where entrepreneurs at a similar stage can share ideas. Our location in the American Underground in Durham creates intentional and accidental meetings of people throughout the North Carolina technology startup ecosystem. At Groundwork, teams focus on customer discovery and development and searching for product-market fit. Nearly every day, mentors are available with expertise in startup legal matters, sales, marketing, branding, software development, user experience, and other essential areas.
Groundwork Labs was launched in 2012 and since then more than 80 companies have been through the program.
Following their time at Groundwork:
More than 20 companies have raised more than $2.4 million in equity and $1.4 million in grants. These include such rising stars as Groundfloor, Klever, and FotoSwipe.
Seven companies have won NC IDEA grants (Cellbreaker, AnyCloud, SnapYeti, FokusLabs, Motaavi, Gema Touch, and Impulsonic)
Nine companies have been accepted into accelerators: The Startup Factory: SnapYeti, HostelRocket, HomeWellness, AIP, Able Devices Tech Stars: Sqord Tech Wildcatters: Upswing ImagineK12: Mission 100% Healthbox: Gema Touch