Economic Powerhouse

NC State has never been an ivory tower. Our land-grant mission demands we pursue research and education with purpose. The ideas we generate, the companies we start and the graduates we prepare to lead in the world all share the same goal: creating prosperity.

When NC State solves problems, we create prosperity.

The work we do at NC State creates a ripple effect across the state, the region and the nation. NC State turns bright ideas into bold research into brilliant new companies, bringing investment and jobs to North Carolina. For our graduates, the investment in an NC State education pays off over the rest of their working lives. And for the wider public, every dollar spent on NC State has a ninefold return on investment in added state income and social savings.

100+ Companies Launched

From NC State Ideas

NC State research doesn’t go on a shelf to gather dust. We seek solutions to real-world problems, spark ideas with real-world significance and start new companies that have real impact.

More than 100 such startups and spinoffs have been created directly from research conducted at NC State, including international giants such as CREE, which leads the way in LED lighting. Other multinational companies, including SAS — the world’s largest privately held software business, with annual revenue of more than $3 billion — also began as projects on our campus. Our NC State Entrepreneurship programs support students in turning their bold ideas into successful ventures even while they are still students.

Our startup companies are helping to revitalize entire towns. Take NC State startup Aseptia, which opened Wright Foods in Troy, North Carolina, bringing 500 jobs and more than $50 million in investment to the town. Launched by two NC State food scientists and a local entrepreneur, Aseptia has turned its patented food-preservation process into one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation.

With groundbreaking programs such as the Technology Incubator, licensing and patent assistance, and industry-friendly research agreements, we turn powerful ideas into powerful economic engines.

$1.6B in Venture Capital

Attracted by NC State Startups

NC State startups don’t just bring new solutions into the world; they also bring new investment — and new jobs — to North Carolina. Companies launched from our research have attracted more than $1.6 billion in venture capital. According to our Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, that investment has led to the creation of more than 3,500 jobs in North Carolina alone.

A 2015 economic impact study found that NC State startups have generated $1.2 billion in added income for the North Carolina economy. That’s a remarkable 86 percent of the total $1.4 billion generated by startups across all 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. When it comes to driving ideas to market, NC State is the runaway leader.

Part of that success stems from our understanding of the long, uneven road between research and the real world — and the funding gaps that plague the path. In 2010, we launched the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund to help turn promising ideas into marketable products. Since then, the fund has supported 23 projects with a $1.4 million commitment. And we’ve already seen a major return on investment: $4.4 million in follow-on funding, $926,000 in licensing revenue and seven new startup companies.

$6.5B in Annual Economic Impact

in North Carolina Alone

In 2015, Economic Modeling Specialists International estimated that NC State generates more than $6.5 billion in added income for North Carolina each and every year. That figure is approximately equal to 1.5 percent of the gross state product — and equivalent to the creation of 91,505 new jobs.

For North Carolina taxpayers, money spent on NC State is an investment that pays for itself many times over: Students who graduate from the university enter the workforce, become taxpayers themselves and often create businesses and jobs that benefit everyone. Each dollar taxpayers spend on the university returns $3.80 in increased tax revenue and decreased demand for government-funded services.

The entire state likewise benefits from added state income over the course of graduates’ working lives, and communities benefit from the social savings resulting from lower unemployment, reduced crime and increased health and well-being statewide. Every dollar spent on NC State by society as a whole returns $9 in added state income and social savings.