Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Upcoming Events

Tuesdays With Tobin: Creating a Successful Startup in the 21st Century

Tuesday, October 17th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Tobin Geatz, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joins the CIE for seminars on entrepreneurship. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation and their unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses. Discover:

  •  What your startup needs to be successful in the 21st century
  •  Why money doesn't solve your problems as a startup
  •  What Seahawk Innovation looks for in its startup companies from an investor's point of view

Please bring your own bag lunch. Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Register here.

UNCW IoT Hackathon Workshop: Micro-controllers

Tuesday, October 17th and Thursday, October 19th

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

One of the optional workshops offered by the Office of Innovation and Commercialization in preparation for the UNCW Internet of Things Hackathon happening Nov. 17-19.

We're powering faculty research in the field of Marine Science and Biotech with technology developed by Engineering and Computer Science students.

*To attend this workshop, students must also plan to participate in the Hackathon.*

Students only. Click here for more information. Free. Register for all Hackathon workshops and the Hackathon itself here.

3rd Annual Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development Week

Thursday, October 19th

8:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This year's theme is Managing the Challenge of Change. Join keynote speaker Oscar Lewis, National MBA of the Year.

UNCW recognizes the contributions of minority businesses in the region. Activities include networking, education sessions, and a luncheon.

Register here.

Small Business Cyber Security

Tuesday, October 24th

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Come join UNCW CIE, local FBI/Homeland Cyber Threat Agents, UNCW Cyber-Security Experts, nationally recognized security professionals and Fluid IT Services for a community discussion to educate our local business leaders on the importance of cyber-security, no matter the business size. You will learn firsthand how to protect your business from cyber-threats. This event will have speakers from both the business community and UNCW plus a panel discussion digging deeper into the cyber-security world and how to prepare your business for the future. The goal of the workshop is to educate business owners and provide the knowledge needed to be prepared for when a cyber-security attack happens.

It’s not IF a cyber-security event will happen, it’s WHEN will it happen.


QENO Emerging Nonprofit Director Bootcamp

Wednesday, October 25th

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

This program is designed for new or aspiring executive directors to learn the role of the ED in various areas related to nonprofit success. The workshop will consist of five sessions: Board Relations, Fund Development, Financial Management, Volunteer/Staff Relations, and Program Development & Outcomes Measurement. Each session will be led by an experienced ED with the knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the area.

Join us at 8:00 a.m. for registration and a light breakfast. Bootcamp will begin promptly at 8:30. Lunch and snacks will also be provided.

Registration is $75. Register here.

Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits: What's the Difference? Pitch Competition

Thursday, October 26th

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Do you have an idea for a project that would address a social problem or community need? Social Entrepreneurship is a way to transform a project that address a social problem into a sustainable business model through planning, testing, community engagement, and refining your business plan. Whether your plan is to start a nonprofit or for-profit enterprise, social entrepreneurship is a great way to help solve problems in your community and enable community members to contribute to the solution!

This Semester's Pitch Competition

Apply now to pitch your idea at the October 26th event, "Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofits: What's the difference?" This is an excellent opportunity to pitch your social entrepreneurship idea along with finding out more about your options and opportunities for developing and implementing your project idea. Use the survey link below to apply by October 19th!

More information coming soon. Apply here to pitch.

Entrepreneurship Week 2017 | Carpe Entrepreneurship: Sensing and Seizing Opportunities

Monday, October 30th - Friday, November 10th

Cameron School of Business

Sponsored by the Cameron School of Business and the Beck Foundation, E-Week is open and free to all UNCW students. It features panels that range from "The Artist as Entrepreneur" to "How to Start Your Own Business," a keynote address from PlayerSpace CEO (and 2017 Coastal Entrepreneur Award winner) Todd John, and the UNCW Innovation Concept Pitch Competition sponsored by Tek Mountain and Elite Innovations.

More information and registration pages are here.

Coffee is for Closers

Tuesday, October 31st

12:00  PM - 2:00 PM

Have you ever been confident you were going to get a sale only to have it fall apart at the very end? You're not alone. Closing is only 10% of the sales process, and yet the majority of the time it's where salespeople go wrong and lose the deal.

At this seminar you will learn how to close effectively by leveraging proven strategies including:

  • Assumptive vs. Permission closing
  • Rebuttals and and re-close techniques
  • The psychology of effective closing

What to expect: live sales roleplay, collaborative learning environment, and a few laughs.

Come with a great attitude, open mind, and lots of questions. Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Register here.

The Coalition's Business Roundtable

Thursday, November 2nd

7:30 AM - 10:00 AM

CFCC's Union Station - 5th Floor

Eight groups devoted to growth and the Business Journal have banded together to host a special breakfast event.

The event will bring together subject matter experts from a range of industries as resources to local companies as well as give people the opportunity to meet the leaders of the eight organizations in The Coalition — UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, CFCC’s Small Business Center, BCC's Small Business Center, SCORE, SBA, SBTDC, tekMountain and the North Carolina Military Business Center.

$25 to register. Register here.

Innovation Concept Pitch Competition

Monday, November 6th

7:00 PM

Cameron Hall Auditorium

Students who have a new business concept or an innovative product or service can apply for the opportunity to pitch their concept to a group of judges. Up to six UNCW students will have the opportunity to pitch their concepts.

The competition provides an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their ideas. The judges may also provide some feedback when they rate each presentation.

  • There will be a prepaid credit card for $500 for the winner, $250 for second place, and $150 for third place
  • Students with particularly noteworthy concepts may be invited to visit tekMountain for a follow-up meeting
  • The winner will also get ten hours of consulting from Elite Innovations, also a sponsor of the competition

More information available here.

Cucalorus Connect

November 9th and 10th

Downtown Wilmington

Cucalorus Connect 2017 is a technology & innovation conference held November 9th & 10th as one of the three main components of the newly re-branded Cucalorus Festival.  This year’s conference, led by Connect Executive Board President Tom Looney, will focus on the connected digital economy. The conference will explore the digital transformation through three primary tracks: digital industrial, digital enterprise, and digital consumer. Local companies, regional thought-leaders and presenters from across the US will discuss emerging trends in tech, media, social entrepreneurship and industry.

The conference includes dynamic speakers, interactive workshops, Rocket Pitches, networking opportunities and parties.

  • We serve as a hub to cultivate connections—powered by straight-up innovation
  • We attract a spectrum of cutting-edge thinkers, creators, educators, visionaries & pioneers
  • We intersect the creative sector with the business sector, the creative economy with the innovation economy
  • We connect people, places and businesses to spark new opportunities in the “Digital Connected Economy”
  • We catalyze digital transformation in the economy, touching every aspect of our lives

Get more information here and register now.

NC Entrepreneurship Educators Conference

November 10th - 11th

UNCW, in partnership with UNC Chapel Hill’s Center for Entrepreneurship, is excited to announce the first annual North Carolina Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (NCEEC). This one-day conference will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 with a reception the Friday night before. The conference will be held at the CIE.  

The NCEEC focuses on the pressing issues facing college and university level entrepreneurship educators in the Carolinas. The NCEEC will be divided into three different segments: 1) New developments and best practices in entrepreneurship pedagogy, 2) current hot topics and strategies in entrepreneurship and innovation research, and 3) how to better integrate entrepreneurship faculty with university centers, technology transfer offices and other units on campuses.

Register here.

Tuesdays with Tobin: From Problem to Product

Tuesday, November 14th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Tobin Geatz, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joins the CIE for seminars on entrepreneurship. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation and their unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses.

We began at the end and went back to the beginning (Exit Thesis)!  Now it’s time to build a business model to connect it all together. In today’s fast-paced startup world, a comprehensive model that shows where all cash flows interact with your solution is way more important than the old “classic” business plan. The business model approach is a flexible, living, breathing representation of how to make money! By the end of this session, you should all be able to identify the single biggest threat to you startup succeeding. Who knows what that is? Come find out!

Please bring our own bag lunch. Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Register here.

UNCW IoT Hackathon

Friday, November 17th to Sunday, November 19th

The second annual UNCW Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon's theme is to create IoT solutions for two of UNCW’s strategic areas of research: Marine Science and Biotechnology.

Overall, innovation in marine technology and biotechnology via IoT plays a critical role in advancing research and ocean societal needs. Outcomes from UNCW’s 2017 Hackathon will provide benefit to the greater Wilmington community, North Carolina, and ultimately the globe. The technological advances will result in protection of lives and property, securing energy independence, sustaining ocean productivity and fisheries, maintaining our national security, and growing the workforce and ocean economy.

UNCW IoT Hackathon 2017 Goals

  1. Students learn practical skills in computer science and the Internet of things (IoT). 
  2. Connect the marine science, biotechnology, business, and computer science communities together in order to foster IoT solutions with real potential. 
  3. Connect potential employers to student talent. 

Students only. Click here for more information. Free. Register for all Hackathon workshops and the Hackathon itself here.

Increase Revenue By 3% Just By Simplifying Your IT!

Tuesday, November 28th

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Running any business in 2017 is challenging and expensive. Too often business owners go to extreme measures to cut costs and grow the bottom line. Most companies aren’t aware that they can accomplish some of this easily by simplifying their IT. At this seminar you will learn about one technology known as virtual machines (VM) and how this solution can transform the way companies use computers without buying new equipment.

What to expect:

  • The speaker will create a mock company (with participants as the employees) and develop an environment that they can begin working from with their laptops in 15 minutes!
  • Working from this environment, participants will experience a tremendous increase in the performance of their device. They will be able to surf the net up to 10X faster, without any software or programs being installed on their computer.
  • Advice from one the brightest minds in IT in the city on what the participant's business needs to do to simplify their IT, even if VM is not the ideal choice.

Come with a hungry curiosity, lots of enthusiasm, and prepared to have a great time! Please bring a laptop.

$15 for nonmembers, free for members. Register here.

Tuesdays with Tobin: Exit Thesis

Tuesday, December 12th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Tobin Geatz, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joins the CIE for seminars on entrepreneurship. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation and their unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses.

In this session, participants learn Tobin's "truths" about exit points, exit valuations, and the path to get there. They will learn the difference between a strategic exit and financial exit.

Please bring your own bag lunch. Free for members, $15 for nonmembers, Register here.

Drivers of Regional Technology and Economic Development


3:00 - 5:00 PM

The program will examine the modern concepts of regional economic development, particularly the economic drivers behind a thriving technology-based and entrepreneurial community. The program will be of interest to anybody involved with regional economic development, such as planning commissioners, city and county representatives, planning staff, and consultants. The program is also targeted toward local entrepreneurs and the financial community that are interested in understanding how regions develop in certain ways and what can be done to encourage positive growth within Southeastern North Carolina.

Dr. Galbraith, the facilitator, is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at UNCW, and Director of the UNCW Office of Innovation and Commercialization.

Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Register here.