The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

I recall in 7th grade reading from a pink and green social studies book a passage about what makes America exceptional. The list included benefits such as freedom of religion and our highway system, but the last two words on the list are what I remember most: Free enterprise.

Today those two words have given way to another couple of terms: Innovation and entrepreneurship.

In a world where ideas drive economies, the rapid rise of innovation and entrepreneurship is no surprise.

In response to this inevitable change, the University and the town of Chapel Hill have produced a host of resources to support the growing innovation and entrepreneurship communities.

In conjunction with the entrepreneurship minor, Chancellor Holden Thorp teaches a course on innovation that infuses creative thinking and entrepreneurship into the curriculum.

Bridging the gap from introducing ideas to supporting them in practice are programs and initiatives such as Carolina Creates, the Campus Y Social Incubator, the Carolina Challenge, Kenan Flagler’s Launching the Venture course, Carolina Launch Pad and the new innovation space in the Student Union.

Social Venture Chapel Hill, a recently launched networking event, brings people together from the Triangle to further support these entrepreneurs and innovators.

UNC has become a fountain of potential and ideas, or an innovation station. So hop on board this train of opportunities; the next stop is up to you.

Julian Wooten is the founder/CEO of Social Ventures and STENCIL. HE is a UNC alum from Fountain, N.C. Contact him at

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