Start Team Program

The Start Team program is a $50,000 joint initiative of Campbell University and the Crisp Small Business Resource Center at East Carolina University. The Start Team initiative will place interdisciplinary student teams within high-growth startups to fill critical skills gaps.

Start teams are multidisciplinary teams comprised of student graphic designers, video editors, web specialists, entrepreneurial leads, marketing, law, engineering and design students.  Teams work with promising, high-growth startups to provide needed development expertise and, at the same time, gain hands-on experience for student entrepreneurs on the team. These faculty-managed teams work directly on small business projects to add resources to accelerate growth and address specific, unmet needs of entrepreneurial development for high-growth startups.

Students who should apply:

  • Have skills that could assist startup businesses
  • Would like to gain skills in their discipline
  • Would like to work in multidisciplinary and intercollegiate teams
  • Would like competitive pay while gaining experience

Students will gain relevant work experience in their disciple at companies that are on the verge of experiencing high-growth.

Student Application

Businesses that should apply:

  • Have participated in a program offered by an NC Idea or the NC Idea Ecosystem Partner, for example: Accelerate Rural NC, the Camel Accelerator, NC Idea Labs, or NC Idea grant programs
  • Are seed/early stage and on the verge of fast growth
  • Lack needed skills on the founder’s team that would enable growth
  • Preference will be given for teams located in rural counties in the Campbell or ECU service region

Businesses that are selected will receive assistance from faculty-supervised teams at no cost to the business.

Business Application

Some examples of assistance:

The business is struggling with design and implementation of a direct sales campaign. –  Start Team members from marketing, legal, human resources, and graphic design are assigned to design and implement the campaign with feedback from the business and faculty mentors. The HR student design a compensation plan and success metrics. Legal develops a contract for the salespeople while graphic design creates flyers and materials. Marketing/sales makes sales calls and records feedback from customers.

A startup business is having trouble finalizing a product design that most usable for a target customer.–  Start Team members from design and entrepreneurship are assigned to use customer feedback to create a functional design. Entrepreneurship students engage in customer discovery with potential customers and define the biggest problems from a customers perspective.  Design creates 3d prototype options for additional customer feedback until design is finalized.