CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In uptown Charlotte, the option to rent a scooter or a bike is readily available. 

But roughly 40 miles away in Lake Norman, there’s a new option if you’re looking to get out on the water. 


What You Need To Know

A few months ago a business incubator called First Turn Innovations opened its doors in Cornelius

This incubator will help aspiring entrepreneurs in the greater Charlotte area bring their ideas to life

The incubator is currently working with five to ten different businesses to help them get their ideas off the ground


“This is SUP-v,” said Joel Poindexter. “This is your stand-up paddle board vending systems.” 

Poindexter wasn’t looking to start a paddle board vending system when he moved to Lake Norman over 10 years ago. 

“I’ve always been in the construction industry and kind of solopreneur there too… just doing our own thing, flipping houses or remodels, rehabs,” he said. “This kind of just got on my mind, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” 

Poindexter soon realized just how expensive it was to paddle board after taking a trip to the coast a few years ago. 

So he launched a startup called SUP-v, which allows people to rent out their own paddle board.

“This concept is great because it allows people to go experience paddle boarding if you’ve never done it before at a little bit lower price point,” he said. 

Getting this up off the ground was no simple task, but luckily, he didn’t have to go far for help. 

A few months ago, a business incubator called First Turn Innovations opened its doors in Cornelius. A business incubator is a company geared toward propeling the success of a new product or service through different facets, like networking, space and others types of support, according to  

“There’s a lot of talent and a lot of exciting hardware and technology things that go on in the Lake Norman and greater Charlotte area that aren’t really recognized,” said Jeff Schultz. “We’re really trying to tap into the engineering talents both on the hardware and software side. 

Schultz serves as First Turn’s general manager and partner and says this incubator is all about helping aspiring entrepreneurs like Poindexter bring their ideas to life. 

“We help with everything from setting up your business, dealing with patents and really giving people the ability to make and design things with all the hardware we have in this facility,” he said. 

These are the things that have helped Poindexter work to get his startup off the ground. 

“As a solopreneur early stage, you kind of are pulled in tons of different directions and they’ve helped dial it all in for us,” he said. 

While things are still fresh, Poindexter is hoping all these different resources will help push SUP-v out to even more locations. 

“We want to scale, so we’d love to see this in many locations as we possibly can,” he said. 

Schultz says five to ten different businesses are using their business incubator. 

If you are interested in learning more about First Turn and their business incubator, you can find more information here.

For more information on SUP-v paddle board, click here