Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I start?

You start by completing our Schedule a Visit form.

Is this a good idea?

Every good idea solves a problem worth solving. At the same time, the idea must include a business model that generates enough money to continue operations. We will walk you through a process to figure these things out, and in the process you will discover for yourself if your idea has the potential to be a meaningful endeavor. With any startup, it's important to invest the time to assess your idea on paper before it consumes your time, energy and resources.

Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement before we meet?

As employees of the State of North Carolina, we cannot sign agreements that represent the University. We can ensure you that we deal with innovative ideas all the time and confidentiality is our job. We work on behalf of your best interests and will provide the best resources to help your idea grow cannot guarantee confidentiality.

Do I need a patent?

There are different types of patents and protections which may be applied to your idea, and we have a resources to help.

I am an Appalachian alumnus/alumnae, can I still come to you?

We serve faculty, staff, current students and alumni. If you have a good idea you need help on, we are here to help.