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What is the Incubator?  

Our Incubator, SEPIA, offers UNC students a space and support system to manifest the Asian American academic and community engagement projects they are most passionate about. This can look different for each group that works with the AAC; it can be a matter of helping find spaces, appropriate mentorship connections, resources and research, and access to networks to help focus and strengthen the project proposals. The AAC provides support for students to start working on projects they might otherwise not have resources or guidance for; usually, this entails regular check-ins, meetings with additional units/visiting speakers, and creating a concrete plan and timeline.

Ultimately, our goal is to promote growth through providing support and resources. We also offer mentorship in professional development and management of projects. Students whose projects require specialized funding may apply on a rolling basis. However, SEPIA is meant to offer more engagement and is not simply a funding source.


How do students take advantage of this opportunity?  

Send us an email at with the title “Incubator Interest” to set up a meeting, OR set up a meeting directly at this link; you can come to the meeting with as much (or as little) as you have available, and we will walk you through next steps, provide options, and offer ways to create a stronger, more concrete project.  


Why is the AAC Incubator useful?  

Incubators tend to be productive for small groups and individuals for a number of reasons; the AAC Incubator can help you more concretely and specifically plan, launch, manage, and grow your ideas.

  • First, you have a built-in space supported by the university that has an expertise in Asian American experiences and studies.
  • Second, alongside the AAC staff, we have networks across the nation to other scholars, alumni, community organizers, and artists that we can connect to deepen projects for a richer outcome.
  • Third, we offer a space in which you can enter into conversations with other like-minded students who can also serve as a support group.
  • Finally, we can offer structure and accountability to ensure you are working towards concrete goals and a specific vision for a sustainable future.  

Can you access funding through SEPIA?  

We review requests for funding that align with the AAC’s mission, vision, and goals of cultivating a critical understanding of Asian American peoples, cultures, and histories; we have limited funding for student projects and prioritize unique and new projects.

  • Successful project applications will concretely describe how the project aligns with AAC’s mission
  • You must meet with AAC staff for a discussion about your project prior to applying for the grant; the grant application link will be sent to you pending a successful discussion covering the following details:
    • Detailed description of project, including its novelty and its planned impact (audience, purpose, context)
    • Articulation of alignment with the AAC’s mission
    • Line-item budget

General Parameters

  • No fees or donations may be collected for programming
  • Funding cannot be used for salary, stipend, or travel
  • All project marketing (if applicable) must go through center channels
  • Funding cannot be used as seed money for a fundraiser of any kind
  • Certain purchases must go through the AAC in order to meet university funding requirements
  • You must apply for funding two months (8 weeks) ahead of the projected implementation date
  • Part of the budget may be used for food or drink, but the project cannot be solely social in purpose
  • Other restrictions may apply

Grant Application

Available to UNC faculty, students and staff looking for co-sponsorship or seed funding for a project that aligns with the AAC’s mission, vision, and goals of cultivating a critical understanding of Asian American peoples, cultures, and histories.