In this issue:
About Us
The Business Launch initiative is a specialized service of the SBTDC that helps entrepreneurs to evaluate an idea, form the idea into a business model, and launch the viable idea into a new North Carolina business. SBTDC established this initiative in 2019 to help early stage innovators, particularly those around university ecosystems, move forward with forming a business and to keep our state on the forefront of tech business creation.
The Team
Heather McWhorter
Statewide Launch Director

Ben Robbins

Anthony Abney

Arden Rosenblatt

Kale Pasch

Jamie Stalfort
Welcome to the first newsletter of the SBTDC Business Launch initiative! The goal of our initiative is simple: to empower people with big ideas to move forward and create new businesses in North Carolina.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may seem a little crazy to launch a business. However, past economic downturns have proven to be a great breeding ground for successful startups. Here's a few notable startups created during the Great Recession:

Square CEO and Co-founder Jack Dorsey.Source: Fairfax Media/Getty Media
  • Airbnb (2007)
  • Groupon (2008)
  • Slack (2009)
  • Square (2009)
  • Uber (2009)
  • Venmo (2009)

We encourage you to embrace your inner entrepreneur, make progress every day on forming your business idea, and pivot as needed. Our experienced Launch team offers free, confidential business counseling to entrepreneurs preparing to launch their next venture and is available to work with you via zoom, phone, and email to comply with social distancing requirements. Contact a Business Launch Specialist near you or email us at .

Emmalee Butler, owner of SugarWhirled Cotton Candy Catering Co., was a member of the inaugural SBTDC Taking the Leap cohort in Asheville earlier this year.
Emmalee shared her experiences in this Medium article . "We have so many resources [available]...and to use them all at the same time really elevated my approach," she shared. Emmalee started her business just before the COVID-19 outbreak and is using her downtown effectively. "It's given me the opportunity to pause and streamline my business. It's a good time for me to really hone in on the details and confirm how I want to launch."

Contributed by Kale Pasch, SBTDC Business Launch Specialist at 
UNC Charlotte
The most common "discovery" you will make as an entrepreneur is that human nature and indifference are your two biggest enemies. Human nature is illogical. Indifference, in the form of doing nothing, will always be your customer's first choice. Mountains of data and obvious logic are not preconditions of success in business.
That is why it is essential that you go beyond what people "want" and get to what they "need". People pay for needs and use Pinterest for wants. Actions, not answers, are the key to finding these needs.
Observe as much as you listen and focus any questioning on behavioral patterns rather than the abstract. Once you think you may be on to something, test, observe, and adjust. Through this process, you will uncover the important difference between who your customers are in theory and who your customers are in real life.

Great news! Our popular  Taking the Leap - Starting Your Business in 4 Weeks cohort-based class was migrated fully online (temporarily) and the reviews have been fantastic. Now is your chance to sign up for a FREE virtual class to turn your big idea into the next great business. 

You will learn how to:
  • Identify potential markets
  • Discover your customer's needs
  • Create a business model or plan
  • Understand business finances
  • Develop an elevator pitch
  • Market your products and services
June 23 - July 14 | Applications open now

For additional information, visit .

5 W Hargett St., Ste 600
Raleigh, NC 27616
(919) 715-7272