The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Local businesses graduate from Launch

Mary Catheryne Hutton and Callie Brauel sit in their year-old office space at LaUNCh Chapel Hill as they work for the nonprofit organization Aban, a startup that creates products from recycled materials to raise money for a school in Ghana. "We get lots of interns from UNC, so its been helpful to have this space," Aban says.
Buy Photos Mary Catheryne Hutton and Callie Brauel sit in their year-old office space at LaUNCh Chapel Hill as they work for the nonprofit organization Aban, a startup that creates products from recycled materials to raise money for a school in Ghana. "We get lots of interns from UNC, so its been helpful to have this space," Aban says.

Three local start-ups have left the Launch pad.

Launch Chapel Hill, a business incubator on Rosemary Street, graduated three of its businesses this month and made room for seven new start-ups.

The three businesses that graduated from Launch’s five month program will share and work out of the same facility in town for at least six months.

Launch helped the entrepreneurs of Impulsonic , Keona Health and Turnsmith grow and manage their companies.

Dina Mills, program manager for Launch, said the three companies had to reach certain goals in order to complete their term with the start-up accelerator, like raising money and hiring new staff.

“For Keona Health, much of their goals were around funding, and across the three companies, they all added staff,” she said.

“Keona plans to triple their staff by the end of 2014.”

Mills said Launch wants to maintain a connection with all of its graduates, and for the next six to eight months, the three graduates will occupy the same building in Chapel Hill.

“By putting the three together, they can share utilities cost,” she said.

“They have access to some of our programming just in case they need to freshen up on business strategies and so on.”

Anish Chandak, CEO of Impulsonic, said his business is working on projects with architectural acoustics and is developing audio technology for video game developers.

“We didn’t have to worry about anything — we would just have to go to (Mills),” Chandak said about working out of Launch.

“A supportive system like this is great for any start-up business. I hope the program continues to grow in Chapel Hill.”

Chandak said the temporary arrangement is great, and he expects to roll out projects in 2014.

“It is a pretty sweet arrangement, and Launch and Dina have been kind enough to give us this space,” he said.

NanoOncology, Inc. is one of seven companies to start its term with Launch. Bruno C. Roy, the CEO, said it’s a bio-tech company that is developing effective and safe therapeutic relief.

Roy said Launch has a great number of individuals who have contacts within the community.

“I have been able to make contacts with others that I did not know before,” Roy said. “A lot of them are successful entrepreneurs themselves. They are very supportive and helpful in expanding networking opportunities.”

Mills said she has high hopes for the graduated businesses.

“I hope that they each flourish and maintain in Chapel Hill,” she said.

“I think each of these companies are certainly becoming a player on the national stage.”

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