Current Initiatives

Change for the community, by the community 

Be part of creating a powerful vision for the future of Southeast Raleigh. And make it real. The community’s best assets are its people so the focus of this Challenge is to find, highlight, and fund great ideas to help bring jobs, resources and support for innovation to fuel the economic engine of this vital and historic part of Raleigh.

The Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge is a chance to win funding from a $120,000 prize pool for new ideas and solutions that are innovative yet practical.

And that can only come from people who know and are committed to their community.

Challenge is open to SE Raleigh addresses within the 27610, 27601, and 27603 zip codes — existing and aspiring small businesses, young people (aged 14+), and community organizations including nonprofits, churches, and other social enterprises are encouraged to apply!

  • Small Business (existing or aspiring)
  • Young People
  • Nonprofits and Innovators 

Click Here to Submit your FINAL Application

Here’s How The Challenge Works:

Create it

What change do you want to see? Turn your passion into an idea that will benefit Southeast Raleigh. A new approach to job skills training? Creating success for youth? A new kind of business that address a social need? You decide. Creativity counts.

Share it

In one minute, share your idea on July 22nd. Then you’ll connect with community partners and coaches who will work with you to make your good idea even better.

Submit it

Answer 4 quick questions about your idea and submit it online by July 28th. Just the idea! No full business plan needed. If your idea is chosen, you’ll take part in training to make your idea into a plan.

Shape it

Selected ideas will move on to the skill development program – 6 weeks of training and coaching from local business leaders and mentors to refine your idea. Take your vision from idea to plan.

Submit it

After the skill development program, you’ll submit an online application in September.

Pitch it

Finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges at the final pitch competition in October for a chance to receive funding from a $120,000 prize pool.


Final Date For Idea Submissions  – Friday, July 28th

Skill Development Sessions – August-September 2017

Final Application due – September 2017

Final Pitch and Winners Announced – October 2017


United Way of the Greater Triangle, Wake County, the City of Raleigh and Southeast Raleigh Promise are committed to the ideas that the people best suited to create solutions for Southeast Raleigh are those who live and work there. As a result, we have partnered to provide a prize pool of $120,000 in funding to increase both financial and intellectual capital in support of ideas that address community needs. The Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge is a competition open to individuals, businesses, high school and college students, churches, civic groups and nonprofits based in Southeast Raleigh who have innovative ideas to drive workforce development in the community. Ideas that address workforce development can include anything from job skills training, job creation, entrepreneurship, and more!

The Challenge kickoff on Saturday, July 22nd, allowed community members to give a 1- minute idea pitch and receive feedback from area entrepreneurship experts before they applied to be selected as a finalist for an accelerator process to further develop their skill set and concepts. Final selected ideas will then be pitched to an audience in October 2017, where prize money will be awarded.

  • Partners
    • United Way of the Greater Triangle
    • Wake County Government
    • City of Raleigh
    • Southeast Raleigh Promise
    • Carolina Small Business Development Fund & Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
  • Co-Design Team
    • Verna Best, Wake County
    • Kristin Feierabend, North Carolina Cooperative Extension
    • Kia Baker, Southeast Raleigh Promise
    • Quintin Murphy, Southeast Raleigh Assembly
    • Tamisha Thomas, Too Much TV
    • Talib Graves-Manns, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
    • Kirby Jones, The Daniel Center
    • Diana Powell, Justice Served
    • Teia Evans, Carolina Common Enterprise
    • Joe Battle, Carolina Small Business Development Fund
    • Richard Moore, Carolina Small Business Development Fund
    • Priscilla Awkard, Coastal Federal Credit Union
    • Britney McCoy, United Way of the Greater Triangle
    • Melanie Davis-Jones, United Way of the Greater Triangle

Download a flyer for the Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge here.

Contact Britney McCoy with any questions., 919-463-1378