The Innovation Economy Needs Students

CED is invested in the North Carolina ecosystem, which also happens to be home to 130 degree-granting colleges and universities. Our goal is to invest in these students to further champion success across our region. We offer several volunteer opportunities throughout the year. These are unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience and learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Carolina.

  • Kyle Ritter headshot


    For anyone looking to get plugged into the entrepreneurial and venture ecosystem in the Triangle area, look no further than CED. Volunteering is a great way to get connected – and more importantly, stay connected – to the top investors and entrepreneurs in the venture community. Not to mention, the events are world-class, so volunteering my time in exchange for a front-row seat was a no-brainer.”

    Kyle Ritter // Duke University // NextEra Energy, Inc.

  • Jenna headshot


    The internship was a transformative experience, contributing significantly to my personal and professional development. I was exposed to multifaceted aspects of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and non-profit management from a strategic planning perspective and day-to-day execution.”

    Jenna Houchins // Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Sanford School of Public Policy

  • Adam Canosa headshot


    As a first-time founder making a pivot out of the classroom into edtech, I really enjoyed my opportunity to volunteer with CED at their conference in Durham. The onboarding process was smooth, and I was able to plug in and serve the attendees. When I was off the clock, I was able to attend some workshops and schedule one on ones with attendees in my space. I would highly recommend the experience to new entrepreneurs looking to connect with the community in North Carolina.”

    Adam Canosa // University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Lhamo headshot


    What I enjoyed most about working for CED was how the team fostered a creative, adaptive, and fun-loving environment. We were encouraged to explore our own interests and pursue projects that honed in on our personal strengths. There was never a time when I felt restricted or bored by a project: each was comprehensive, challenging, and rewarding, with tangible, real-world results.”

    Lhamo Dixey // Duke University

We offer early exposure to the innovation ecosystem and high-growth technology and biotech companies. Whether students are motivated to find a job or build a company themselves, we provide early access to the startup teams building big companies in the region.

Student Engagement Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are ready to connect, Submit your Volunteer Interest Form or keep reading to learn more.

Signature Programs – CED hosts several large community programs that are powered by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Venture Connect is CED’s largest program that hosts over 1200 people, over two days. The community comes together to support 180 companies that pitch live onstage to share stories about the company they are building. This program requires the support of 60 volunteers to power the logistics.

GRO Demo Day is held 2-3 times a year to celebrate the accomplishments of our latest GRO Incubator cohort. This program requires the support of 3 volunteers to power the logistics.

Investor Fly-in is an annual invite-only event that offers invite-only company pitches and syndication with regional investors. This program requires the support of 2 volunteers to power the logistics.

Annual Board Luncheon is an annual invite-only gathering where we share an update on how our partners’ investment in CED is impacting emerging companies in the region. This program requires the support of 2 volunteers to power the logistics.

We host a variety of Meet-ups throughout the year that also require the support of 2 volunteers to power the logistics.

Startup TNT Internship

Startup TNT Internship

Startup Talent and Training (TNT) is a 10-week rotational internship in partnership with Duke I&E. Your rotational work will encompass all phases of CED – investor relations, startup support, marketing, programs, events, and board management. You will have the opportunity to work directly with our team members and gain valuable insights from their expertise. You should also have a demonstrated interest in startups and entrepreneurship.

You will learn how startups tick, what they need to survive and the functional areas of a business. You will also have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in school to the daily operations of a fast-paced non-profit organization operating in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

CED plans to expand this program to other schools in 2024. If you are interested in making a donation to scale this program, you can reach out to Kelly Rowell,, or make a donation online.

Read about Startup TNT: Press Release with Duke I&E

Spring 2024 Intern Blogs: John Buxton || Emma Martinez-Morison

Fall 2023 Intern Blogs: Lhamo Dixey ||  Jenna Houchins

Jarrett Mansergh || Shaan Yadav