Garage Access

Request access

Are you an NC State student with a great idea? Need a place to work on it? Click here to apply

Click here to apply for the Phase 1 Garage.

The Phase I Garage is a 2000 sq. ft. facility complete with meeting rooms, lounge space, basic laboratory space, a wood working shop, and prototyping area. The intent of the Garage is to provide a meeting space for students to foster new ideas and work on entrepreneurial endeavors. The Garage is part of the Entrepreneurship Initiative and as such invites students from all disciplines to participate.

And we’re not talking about your dad’s garage with oil stains on the floor, holiday decorations stacked along the walls, and every bike you’ve had since you were 6 piled in the corner.

This garage is just for students like you – NC State students with a passion for entrepreneurship. Students who need to spread out and settle in for a week or a month or a semester. Students who need tools and equipment – and a sofa to crash on. Students who need to meet with potential investors or clients. Students who want to work at 3pm or 3am – or both.

This garage is The Garage, in Research Building IV on Centennial Campus and is a facility sponsored by the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. Red Hat’s sponsorship provides The Garage with lab equipment, tools, technology and furnishings.

“We are deeply grateful to our friends at Red Hat for their generous support of The Garage,” stated Dr. Tom Miller, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative. “It reflects their commitment to the motivation and talent of NC State students and will enable those students to focus on developing their entrepreneurial ideas in an environment designed to foster innovation and creativity.”

The 2,000 square-foot space includes prototyping studios as well as a lounge with sofas, a work station, and a 60” display. The three meeting rooms, each with an interactive whiteboard, can accommodate three, seven, or 15 people. There are also lockers for storage.

The woodworking shop offers hand tools, cordless power tools, a band saw, a scroll saw, a miter saw, a drill press, and a grinder.

The electronics work area is equipped with oscilloscopes, power supplies, multi-meters, and solder stations.

Stephen Smith, the Phase 1 Garage manager, will be available to answer questions, provide mentoring, and run the daily activities.

Part of the Entrepreneurship Initiative’s vision is to transition into a more permanent facility connected with a living-learning complex planned for Centennial Campus. It will provide a community for students where they will work within the context of real-world problems and find solutions through critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and new business creation. “The first incarnation of the Garage in Research IV represents great progress toward our long-range goal,” Dr. Miller explained. “We are eager for students from all over the university to gather here to work, learn, and share. We want to support these students in becoming North Carolina’s future job creators.”


Students seeking access need to be aware of the following:

  1. The person must be a registered student at NC State.
  2. The student, either individually or in a team, must submit a proposal. Proposals need to be in the spirit of entrepreneurship and new ideas. Ideas, themselves, are unrestricted and left up to the students for interpretation. Proposals will be evaluated based on the team members, the originality of the idea, the impact, and the likelihood of success.
  3. Preference is given to students who have a background of entrepreneurial interest. That background could include taking entrepreneurial courses or demonstrating a history of entrepreneurship.
  4. Preference is given to students with a known history of success. Students who have done well in entrepreneurship classes or have demonstrated a “can-do” attitude towards projects will be given more consideration.
  5. Preference is given to students who are working on their proposals within the context of a class, especially entrepreneurially focused classes.
  6. All students must fill out a Garage Access application in full.
  7. Once an application is filled out in full, the Garage committee, in consideration of the above guidelines, makes a final decision.
    There is a limit on the total number of students in the Garage, and therefore, space limitations may also affect the decisions