The Camel Accelerator

image of faculty retreat

The Camel Accelerator

10 Week program for underrepresented entrepreneurs

Apply Now

About the Camel Accelerator

Campbell University, in partnership with NC Idea and the RTP Foundation, presents the Camel Accelerator.

Now in its 3rd cohort, the program is dedicated to fostering the growth of small businesses, with a special emphasis on supporting rural and historically underrepresented entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, our 10 week accelerator offers workshops and mentoring in marketing and sales, designed to enhance your business. Each company will also have a team of student interns who will help you along the way while gaining invaluable professional experience.

This program is completely free to the founders. We just ask that they commit themselves to the program, work earnestly with their team of student interns and come to campus for our kick-off and closing celebration.

Join us in this inclusive and empowering journey, made possible by the generous support of Campbell University, NC Idea and the RTP Foundation, and elevate your business to new heights. We welcome a diverse range of business owners, including founders from rural communities, women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Apply NowContact Us

Program Curriculum

  • Lesson: Lean Startup Fundamentals
  • Assignment: Draft a Lean Business Model Canvas.
  • Lesson: Conducting Customer Discovery
  • Assignment: Perform customer interviews and gather initial insights.
  • Lesson: Creating Customer Personas
  • Assignment: Develop detailed customer personas based on discovery data.
  • Lesson: Building and Validating an MVP
  • Assignment: Develop an MVP concept and plan for initial testing.
  • Lesson: Iterative Development and MVP Refinement
  • Assignment: Refine MVP based on initial feedback and test further.
  • Lesson: Introduction to Digital Marketing and SEO
  • Assignment: Implement basic SEO strategies and plan a content calendar.
  • Lesson: Sales Techniques and CRM Tools
  • Assignment: Develop a sales strategy and set up a basic CRM.
  • Lesson: Identify & Engage Prospective Clients
  • Assignment: Build a list of prospects and craft an email outreach campaign
  • Lesson: How to quickly and effectively tell your story.
  • Assignment: Craft and practice your 3 minute elevator pitch
  • Lesson: Crafting an Investor or Customer Pitch
  • Assignment: Create a pitch deck and prepare to present to potential investors/clients.
image of Camel Accelerator meeting

Program Faculty

Scott A. Kelly serves as the Director of Entrepreneurship at Campbell and teaches courses in entrepreneurship and marketing.  Kelly received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. After several years of corporate life (IBM Global Services & KeySource Bank), Kelly began his career in academics by teaching at Ohio State. His experience also includes building innovation programs at Duke and Elon University and most recently was the Founding Director of Elon in San Francisco, a summer long initiative in Silicon Valley.

Adam Schultz is a seasoned entrepreneur, digital marketing strategist, and startup incubator leader with over 20 years of executive experience in creating, scaling, and transforming businesses. With a successful digital marketing agency and 10 startups under his belt, Adam has been at the forefront of digital transformation, leveraging cutting-edge strategies in digital marketing, product development, and business operations since 2002.

We will also have a rotating cast of incredible expert guest lecturers from the NC business community to teach some of these topics and help support students and business owners with that week’s assignments.


“…those business ecosystems outside the Bay Area bubble, where startups have less access to capital or trained startup human capital, and where, especially in many emerging markets, they are more susceptible to severe and unpredictable macroeconomic shocks. Instead of the unicorn, the camel is the more fitting mascot.”