UNCW's CIE to Host Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference Featuring Keynote Hugh Forrest of South by Southwest Interactive Festival

Thursday, July 17, 2014

UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host the inaugural Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference (CCECC) on September 4, with entrepreneurial leaders and investors from the Southeastern region, the University announced today. Innovators, creators and budding entrepreneurs who register for the all-day event are invited to attend the networking breakfast, the keynote “riverside chat” with Hugh Forrest (SXSW), and hear from over fifty speakers during the conference’s breakout sessions and panels. Guests are also invited to attend a networking deck party at 4 p.m.  

“Over the past year we’ve been able to help create and foster strong relationships for the Wilmington business community,” said CIE Executive Director Jim Roberts. “We’re thrilled to offer another exciting event on a larger scale with the Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference. Attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Southeast and meet with investors who are looking for the next big thing,”

The CIE is partnering with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and the North Carolina Tech Association for the CCECC. The event will take place at the Coastline Conference and Event Center. Seating is limited and registration is open now. Tickets can be purchased for a limited time for just $50. Beginning August 11, tickets will be $75 and the week of the event they will be available for $100.

The day kicks off with breakfast, followed by a “riverside chat” with Hugh Forrest. Named TIME magazine’s 2011 Game Changer of the Year, Forrest currently serves as the Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival, which has emerged as one of the world's most influential events for the new media industry.

Next, three companies will begin a RocketPitch with a series of investors. Attendees are welcome to watch or attend a mix of breakout panel sessions focused on information technology, life sciences and innovation.

During the afternoon, two additional industry panels will feature a variety of guest innovators, financiers and successful entrepreneurs who have turned their ideas into successful business. Guests will also have an opportunity to learn about the future of CIE programming.

Since opening its doors in September of last year, the CIE has hosted many forums and events, including Rocket Pitch, which has played a role in helping CIE startups secure equity financing. During this time, the CIE has also become home to 21 startups and 3 organizations, which have created dozens of jobs and internships.

The CIE works to identify and nurture high-growth, high-impact companies and to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeastern North Carolina. The facility is located at 803 South College Road, at the south perimeter of the UNCW campus. The CIE houses UNCW’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), the future technology transfer operations and the Seahawk Innovation Fund. In addition, UNCW faculty and students are also able to use the CIE as an accelerator space for academic and entrepreneurial pursuits.

For more information, please visit http://uncw.edu/cie/ or follow the CIE on Twitter.