Our Partners

The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network is an unprecedented collaboration among our regions major research universities and the entrepreneurial community. Our EIRs scour the campuses of NC State, NC Central, Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, as well as the community through the Durham-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), for the hottest high-potential ideas. Lead representatives with each of our partners work to make that happen.

Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network RTP office is hosted at The Frontier, a bold new space for the RTP community. The RTP Headquarters location hosts many BEN conference meetings. Research Triangle Park is the home of dreamers, believers, planners and creators. The Research Triangle Park’s founders saw some of the brightest minds graduating from nearby universities. They saw the potential for...

Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network RTP office is hosted at The Frontier, a bold new space for the RTP community. The RTP Headquarters location hosts many BEN conference meetings.

Research Triangle Park is the home of dreamers, believers, planners and creators. The Research Triangle Park’s founders saw some of the brightest minds graduating from nearby universities. They saw the potential for collaboration among business, government and universities. They imagined a place where research communities would come together and invent the future. This was an opportunity to provide meaningful jobs, improve access to education and help North Carolinians live fulfilling lives.

They saw what the future could be. They transitioned RTP from a for-profit real estate model to a not-for-profit venture. Instead of profiting personally, all profits would go directly into strengthening the community. The founders’ spirit of generosity made all the difference. University researchers banded together to form a traveling road show, highlighting the research strengths of our region to industry far and wide. Partnerships began to form between corporations, universities and communities and cross-sector collaboration began to accomplish great feats.

Today, RTP is a home for more than 200 companies and over 50,000 people with expertise in fields such as micro-electronics, telecommunications, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences. Industries invest more than $296 million in R&D at the region’s universities each year – double the average R&D investment for innovation clusters elsewhere in the nation. Today RTP continues the founders’ vision; imagining what the world could be, rolling up sleeves and making it so. This is where ideas are nurtured; where we’re free to look out over the horizon and dream big; this is where asking “What if…” is the norm.

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Triangle Venture Alliance, a partnership between Duke University, the University of North Carolina, NC State University and North Carolina Central University, is a network of alumni angel groups created to fund start-ups founded by alumni, students, staff, faculty and families. By combining the power of these triangle area university angel investors, groundbreaking ideas and innovations are given...

Triangle Venture Alliance, a partnership between Duke University, the University of North Carolina, NC State University and North Carolina Central University, is a network of alumni angel groups created to fund start-ups founded by alumni, students, staff, faculty and families. By combining the power of these triangle area university angel investors, groundbreaking ideas and innovations are given the best chance at success.
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Duke University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is building community and fostering a culture that supports innovation and entrepreneurship. I&E at Duke is creating resources and infrastructure to support faculty, students and alumni in ideation, planning and launching of new enterprises, and celebrating Duke entrepreneurs who are addressing the world’s most pressing problems through...

Duke University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is building community and fostering a culture that supports innovation and entrepreneurship. I&E at Duke is creating resources and infrastructure to support faculty, students and alumni in ideation, planning and launching of new enterprises, and celebrating Duke entrepreneurs who are addressing the world’s most pressing problems through the creation of new ventures. The I&E Initiative aspires to bring the whole university together, to work collaboratively across all disciplines to solve big, complex problems.

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NC Central is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and offers programming through its Entrepreneurship Center to develop, coach and mentor low and moderate resourced entrepreneurs in launching startup business ventures. Through its work, the EC seeks to modernize the business skills of local entrepreneurs and business owners to participate in the development and growth of the local economic...

NC Central is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and offers programming through its Entrepreneurship Center to develop, coach and mentor low and moderate resourced entrepreneurs in launching startup business ventures. Through its work, the EC seeks to modernize the business skills of local entrepreneurs and business owners to participate in the development and growth of the local economic community, prepare entrepreneurs to research and contact financial resources, customer prospects and potential buyers, and educate participants about funding options by utilizing city, state and national resources.

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At NC State individual entrepreneurial projects and programs throughout the university unite to provide students with top-tier resources and opportunities. The Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) encourages multi-disciplinary participation and was formed in July 2008 in response to the Chancellor’s call to “develop an educated and entrepreneurial work force.” By organizing and energizing its...

At NC State individual entrepreneurial projects and programs throughout the university unite to provide students with top-tier resources and opportunities. The Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) encourages multi-disciplinary participation and was formed in July 2008 in response to the Chancellor’s call to “develop an educated and entrepreneurial work force.” By organizing and energizing its efforts through the EI, NC State provides a comprehensive springboard for ideas, projects, and partnerships. By leveraging its core strengths in science, engineering, and technology, NC State is developing entrepreneurial solutions to society’s current problems and future needs.

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To have impact requires people to be connected to communities, recognize needs, turn needs into opportunities, have the passion to persevere, and work hard to implement their ideas. Innovators–those who successfully traverse this process and implement the unique and valuable–change the world. They see what others do not. They believe when others doubt. They execute when others merely talk. At...

To have impact requires people to be connected to communities, recognize needs, turn needs into opportunities, have the passion to persevere, and work hard to implement their ideas. Innovators–those who successfully traverse this process and implement the unique and valuable–change the world. They see what others do not. They believe when others doubt. They execute when others merely talk. At UNC the Chancellor’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship works to strengthen UNC’s entrepreneurship ecosystem to meet the needs of faculty, students, staff, and community members as they translate their novel ideas into practical benefit and change the world.

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CED is a community of people inspired by entrepreneurship, and includes a wide range of members including startup companies, more mature growth-stage firms, investors, service partners, academics, and individuals. All who wish to be part of this dynamic enterprise are invited to participate. CED was founded in 1984, and later incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to identify, enable...

CED is a community of people inspired by entrepreneurship, and includes a wide range of members including startup companies, more mature growth-stage firms, investors, service partners, academics, and individuals. All who wish to be part of this dynamic enterprise are invited to participate. CED was founded in 1984, and later incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to identify, enable and promote high-growth, high-impact companies and accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the Research Triangle and North Carolina. CED provides education, mentoring and capital formation resources to new and existing high-growth entrepreneurs through annual conferences, forums, workshops and programs on entrepreneurial management and finance.CED has helped entrepreneurs in a myriad of industries and at all stages of development – from high-tech, life sciences, and service companies, from one-person start-ups to 1,000-person businesses. With more than 5,500 active members representing over 1,100 companies, CED is the largest entrepreneurial support organization of its kind in the United States.

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