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Wilson College of Textiles Sponsors a Team in the Andrews Launch Accelerator Sparking a New Partnership in Innovation

The Andrews Launch Accelerator helps NC State founders turn their visions into reality.

The NC State Acceleration Fund, operated by the Entrepreneurship Clinic and housed in the Poole College of Management, is the product of a $1,000,000 donation from Lyn and Chip Andrews. Through the fund, we allocate equity-free seed capital to support startups from students across the university who complete the Andrews Launch Accelerator. The purpose of the Accelerator is to give NC State founders the opportunity to jumpstart their entrepreneurial journey.

This year, the accelerator is partnering with the Wilson College of Textiles to fund a textile technology alumni, Catalina del Risco.

Catalina del Risco is the founder of Modi, a company solving gender-neutral fashion’s sizing problem. She studied textile technology prior to co-founding Modi. The Wilson College of Textiles is sponsoring this team’s participation where they’ll receive nondilutive funding, expert mentorship and resources for scaling up throughout the 14-week program. 

Modi is Ready Player Me meets Tableau, for apparel eCommerce. Modi was born out of the frustrating disconnect between digitally native apparel shoppers and the transactional nature of eCommerce. Despite increasing online traffic, brands still struggle to personalize their experience to their digital audience and address issues like size uncertainty that lead to excess inventory, returns, and under stocking.

The mission of the Wilson College of Textiles is to advance the success of its students and the textile industry in North Carolina, the U.S., and around the world through teaching innovation, research excellence, strong partnerships and service. Aligning with the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic is creating a force to propel innovation and entrepreneurship at NC State, especially in the textiles industry.

Dean of the Wilson College of Textiles, Dr. David Hinks, shares his thoughts on innovation at NC State.

“One of the many success stories that makes me most proud to be a part of NC State is that we rank in the top ten of U.S. universities for all key metrics of innovation, including startup companies and licensed products. The Andrews Launch Accelerator helps drive those metrics, providing the critically needed support for budding entrepreneurs to thrive. I am so proud to see an Andrews Accelerator team led by a Wilson College alumna — it is illustrative of the lifelong collaboration and learning that drive “Wilson for Life.” The Wilson College of Textiles is a community of entrepreneurs, one we hope to empower through our partnership with NC State Innovation and Entrepreneurship and through the W. Duke Kimbrell Flex Factory, a new state-of-the-art maker space that will catalyze creativity and entrepreneurship success through textiles.”

We are thrilled to announce the beginning of an exciting partnership. If you are interested in discussing sponsorship opportunities for a team in next year’s Andrews Launch Accelerator, please contact Haley Huie. Together, we look forward to fostering innovation and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.