how CED supports early stage companies

We have a proven track record in supporting companies at the most critical time. Our outcomes are based on our ability to deliver effective education while engaging a powerful network of experts to assist along the way. GRO, an incubator by CED leverages a network of experts that have been cultivated over the years to help your venture take off. Cohort companies will attend weekly classes delivered by top-notch speakers, receive 1:1 coaching from industry leaders and entrepreneurs, and complete assignments to help launch their venture.

“I can sum it up in three letters. WOW! GRO was the best spent weeks in the life of Active Defender.” – Jim Boyte, Active Defender Founder/CEO

12 Weeks | 24 Sessions | A game-changing experience

The secret sauce to our success is the culmination of forty years of expertise held within the CED Network. These are coaches, successful entrepreneurs, and domain experts dedicated to giving back and paying it forward to early entrepreneurs just starting their journey. In a sense, the CED Alumni Network reengaged to teach, share and support the incoming freshman class. And there is no one else in North Carolina better positioned to bring together this experience.

“Our coach was incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. He dispensed his advice and suggestions in a professional yet caring manner, leading us to make discoveries by guiding our thought process.” – Dominique & Serge Mouthon, Clever Education Solutions


what to expect

Each cohort is capped at 15 companies in order to create an effective learning environment and promote cohesion among participants. The cohorts meet for two sessions each week. The first session delivers the content for a week in an interactive format by subject matter experts.  The second session is a working session where content is applied to each venture in tandem with their matched coaches. Group share is prioritized weekly to promote healthy feedback and build on strengthening relationships within the cohort of companies. At the end of the program, each company will make a pitch to the community with their unique ask for support. 

Tech Company CurriculumLife Science Curriculum
Week 1The Importance of Customer DiscoveryDe-Risking a Life Science Startup
Week 2Using a Business Model CanvasDoing Effective Customer Discovery
Week 3Getting your First Customers and What is Organic GrowthDocumenting Assumptions –
Business Model Canvas
Week 4Crafting an Effective Investor PitchUnderstanding Non-dilutive funding
Week 5What is Product-Market Fit?Building an Intellectual Property Strategy
Week 6Managing the Business — Cash ManagementDesigning a Regulatory Strategy
Week 7Growing Your Customer BaseManaging the Business – Cash Management
Week 8Building a repeatable Business ModelBuilding an Effective Investor Story & Pitch Deck
Week 9Open SessionOpen Session
Week 10Understanding the Support You Need to Cross the Finish LineUnderstanding the Support You Need to Cross the Finish Line
Week 11Wrap-up & Pitch ScrubsWrap-up & Pitch Scrubs
Week 12Demo DayDemo Day

how to apply

Choosing the best investment for your company at such a critical juncture is never an easy decision. We ask that all participants be committed to the program wholly, and prioritize the work. We do not ask for equity. Your investment is $950*, which includes access to the knowledge you need, entrepreneurs who will be long-term supporters and the coaches you need to make progress.


Applications for our next cohort will open in February 2023.

If you are interested in applying, sign up to receive updates on the next cohort.

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