NC Central University Is Part of The Network

Boosted by a $250,000 federal grant, four Triangle universities are forming the Triangle Venture Alliance, which plans to work with alumni in funding startups. Duke announced the Triangle Venture Alliance, noting that its Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative had landed a $250,000 federal grant to provide seed funding. The grant came through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“Seed Fund Support grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that provide equity-investments in early-stage, innovative startups that have high growth potential but that often struggle to secure funding early in their lifecycles,” the Commerce Department said in announcing a series of grants in early February. Participating with Duke are UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State and NCCU.

Henry McKoy, Director of Entrepreneurship for the School of Business, was named Coordinator and Managing Director of the alliance at NCCU. McKoy recalls the landscape, saying “25 years ago I arrived in the Triangle to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. I found RTP to have a dynamic business environment. A quarter of a century later, the Triangle continues to be just as dynamic. RTP still has those major corporations, but now it also has a thriving and growing entrepreneurial environment. We have become a national player in the startup ecosystem.”

The group aims to attract “innovation funding” by forming a network of “cooperating angel groups.”

“In order to go to the next level, and become a global leader in the entrepreneurial landscape, RTP is going to have to support even more entrepreneurs and the startups they create,” said McKoy. “Early stage capital is the hardest to come by. That is why the Triangle Venture Alliance that brings together North Carolina Central University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke and NC State is so critical to this future vision for our region.”

Dr. Undi Hoffler, Interim vice chancellor for the Division of Research and Economic Development leads the initiative along with the School of Business. The Triangle Venture Alliance is open to any NCCU student, faculty, alumni, and friends. “We will be committed to a diverse and inclusive startup ecosystem that will not only increase RTP’s national impact in entrepreneurship, but our global impact as well,” said McKoy.

-NC Central University School of Business


Henry McKoy currently serves as Lecturer and Director of Entrepreneurship for the Entrepreneurship Curriculum at North Carolina Central University School of Business, as well as Managing Director for the Eagle Angel Network. McKoy is an Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC-CH and Mentor-in-Residence for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Social Entrepreneurship CUBE incubator. He sits on numerous local, state, national and international advisory boards including a former member of the White House Business Council. He has advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms over the years, in addition to leaders from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. McKoy is a former banking executive with Suntrust Banks where he created, led, and managed several multibillion dollar divisions. He is also a former entrepreneur and business owner and is the former Assistant Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce where he was the state’s leading community development official, managing 100 employees and over $1 billion in investments.