CUBE Application Cohort 6

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Please read all of the following information carefully. The application questions are at the end. You and your team members (if applicable) will also be required to send an updated resume(s) directly to Jaki Bonilla at

The Campus Y, in collaboration with Innovate Carolina and UNC Public Policy, is looking for undergraduate and graduate students interested in developing social venture. Social innovation is more than just thinking about and producing a business idea or product - it's about collaborating and creating ethical solutions to issues with communities for a greater good. We are looking for students with a commitment to social good to join us for one year of specialized programming that will include modules, credit-bearing courses (both semesters), two 1-credit courses, coaching, and a network of social entrepreneurs and resources.

Applications will be open from Feb 1 to Feb 25, 2020. If you have any questions during the process, please reach out to Campus Y's Social Innovation Initiative Coordinator, Jaki Bonilla, at She is also available to address any questions about your challenge/issue statement or the application.

*Interested faculty and staff should also reach out directly to Jaki Bonilla.
What will the program entail?

CUBE consists of 12 months of specialized programming and support across three phases for up to 10 Tar Heel teams generating impactful social ventures:

Phase 1: Summer - Inspiration - Students will explore the mindset, assumptions, and biases they bring to their social innovation as they dive into tools and best practices.
  • Modules to create a sense of community among the cohort, learn and shared language and methods used by experienced social innovators, and develop personal goals through curated readings, discussion, and reflection. (~2 hr/week)
  • 1-day cohort retreat before the Fall semester.
Phase 2: Fall - Ideation - Students will focus on developing their solution and ensuring that it meets the needs of end-users and beneficiaries through prototyping and testing. 
  • Enroll in a credit-bearing course
  • Participate in networking events and capacity-building workshops
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week and Carolina Challenge
Phase 3: Spring - Implementation - Launch a potential solution into the field with a focus on demonstrating the long-term impact of desirability, feasibility, and venture sustainability. Students will spend the semester in an entrepreneurial environment with other CUBE ventures working rigorously on their projects. During this time, they will develop agreed-upon deliverables and be prepared to scale their solution.
  • Enroll in a credit-bearing course led by Prof. Melissa Carrier, Professor of Practice, Public Policy, and Director of Social Innovation at Innovate Carolina 
  • Attend networking events and capacity-building workshops.
  • Participate in the Innovation Showcase.
  • Evaluating next steps -> Pursuing a summer accelerator or other opportunities.
During these three phases, CUBE will be offer:
  • Academic credit
  • Co-working space: 24/7 access to the 1789 Venture Lab space.
  • Individualized assistance: Network of coaches for support in refining your understanding of the problem and the development of your social venture.
  • Capacity-building workshops: Example topics include: measuring impact, grant writing, and compliance, budgeting and fundraising, storytelling, strategic planning, building highly effective teams, and mindfulness for social impact.
  • Collaboration with other dedicated Tar Heels and CUBE teams.
CUBE Timeline
February                            CUBE application opens
Feb 24                               Applications due
March                                Application review; Semi-Finalists invited for additional conversation
Late March                         Finalists notified
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Social Innovation: A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than to private individuals. From Phillis, Deiglmeier, and Miller in "Rediscovering Social Innovation," Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2008.
Social Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship that creates and sustains social value (not just private value); recognizes and relentlessly pursues new opportunities to serve that mission; acts boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand; and exhibits heightened accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created. From Dees, J. Gregory in "The Meaning of 'Social Entrepreneurship'," published by the Kauffman Foundation and Stanford University, October 1998.
Innovation: The successful implementation of a novel, valuable idea. This definition emphasizes the equal importance of three elements: novel - valuable - implemented. In the context of our University, innovation is summarized as: Important ideas put to use for the public good.
Impact: The desired result of innovation, which is positive change for citizens of North Carolina and the world. Effects can range from direct economic gains (job creation, higher efficiency) to improving the standards of living or quality of life in other ways.
Entrepreneurship: Creating an enterprise to deliver a product, service, or process valued by a specific audience, without regard for the resources currently at hand.
Entrepreneurial mindset: A way of thinking that questions the status quo, converts problems to opportunities by finding new and better actions, convinces others to support the new approach, perseveres through the hurdles and accepts ambiguity and risk as part of the disruption process. The entrepreneurial mindset - and its related skill set - can be applied in any working environment, not only in startup ventures.
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Application Questions
Identifying and Describing the Issue

Missing Information & Needs

Venture Development

Lead Applicant Information


Team Member Information

2nd Team Member

3rd Team Member

4th Team Member

5th Team Member

6th Team Member