September 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Sociology-Criminology Alum ‘Developing Data-Driven Strategies’

Lauren McCullough ’12 recently started working with NC IDEA, after working with ArchiveSocial.

“I focus heavily on process improvement and evaluating our current programs, which ultimately will help me develop data-driven strategies on how our organization will grow in the coming years and what activities can best leverage entrepreneurship as an economic development force across the state,” she says.

Lauren McCullough

McCullough graduated from Ohio University with a B.A. in Sociology-Criminology, and minors in Political Science and Psychology from the College of Arts & Sciences. She earned a master’s in Public Administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership & Public Affairs and a graduate certificate in War & Peace Studies from the Center for International Studies.

NC IDEA is a private foundation providing funding, programs, and assistance to North Carolina’s entrepreneurial community, primarily through two grant sources.

“The first, our Seed Grant Program, provides funding up to $50k for early stage companies. Currently we award approximately half a million dollars annually directly to startups through this program. We also recently launched a program called the ‘ecosystem partner grant,’ where we provide funding to both non- and for-profit organizations that provide programming to stimulate entrepreneurship in the state.

“Our organization also runs a three-month accelerator (Groundwork Labs) and a program (SoarTriangle) that addresses the funding gap faced by female entrepreneurs,” McCullough says. “Spending the last 3 years immersed in the startup community both in Athens and North Carolina, this was a logical next step.

“My primary role in the organization as program manager is to manage our grant programs, specifically our Seed Grants, including overseeing review processes and maintain relationships with grant recipients. I began working in entrepreneurship because, as a graduate student interested in economic development, it was an obvious way to stimulate local and statewide economy, creating more high paying jobs in communities.”

Working with TechGrowth and the Ohio University Innovation Center gave McCullough an “excellent bedrock” to build her career.

“My newest position with NC IDEA will allow me to continue to build on all of my experiences and use all I have learned about entrepreneurship to truly, and strategically, impact North Carolina’s startup community. ”


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