CHAPEL HILL – LaUNCh Chapel Hill officially opens its doors Wednesday afternoon opening the pathway for local entrepreneurs to explore their business ideas and help make them reality.

“Launch Chapel Hill is the business accelerator that the town, the county, and UNC have partner (together) in a very unique way to open up right in Downtown Chapel Hill that will support and provide infrastructure to new businesses that are getting started in our area,” says Dina Mills, program manager at Launch Chapel Hill.

Launch has been operating out of its Rosemary Street building in a sort of stealth mode to make sure everything is working as designed before officially opening the doors. Mills says by Wednesday, 18 business startups will be up and running.

“The companies here, I think, match very well the community of Chapel Hill,” Mills says. “We range from very social (ventures) to very commercial ventures. We have both University students as well as alums of the University who have now moved in and made Chapel Hill their home and years after graduating are looking to start a company.”

She says there are even some people who have come in from outside the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.

Wednesday’s grand opening and open house takes place from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Barry Jacobs, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp will be on hand for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.