Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

CIE News

Student Opportunities at the CIE

by Nikki Kroushl on February 21, 2017

CIE Welcome week

Jeff Janowski/UNCW

While the CIE often functions independently of UNCW, we love students and we love to see them taking advantage of the accommodations here for them. Most students don’t realize just how many resume-boosting and career-launching opportunities are available on our premises.

“It’s so crazy, because so many students have no clue that the CIE houses forty startup companies,” says Sydney Sides, former Events Coordinator and a UNCW undergrad. “Students walk in here and you start to tell them [what we do here] and this light bulb goes off in their head. They’re like ‘wait, are you kidding? I had no idea this was here!’”

“Going to class every day and learning content in the classroom isn’t going to get you a job when you graduate,” Sydney points out. “You have to participate in activities and networking and workshops to get prepared for the real world.”

What are these activities, networking opportunities, and workshops? Well…


The CIE hosts dozens of programs every semester. All of them are great opportunities for students; some are even exclusively for students! And many of them are free! Earlier this semester we hosted the Professional Writing Skills Workshop, our Zero to Native App workshop, and our Google Adwords Workshop for Students. Brush up your skills in creating web page content, blogs, social media, advertisement copy; learn about SEO, interviews, branding, editing for the web, and more. These are all amazing skills to put on a resume!

Social Media Marketing BootcampAdd "social media expert" to your resume. You know how to post to Instagram, but with this workshop, learn how to schedule your posts and maximize post visibility so that liking photos becomes a marketable skill!

Graduate Student Mixer—Exactly what it sounds like. Free food and drinks and a great way to meet new people and make connections!

Ask the Experts Series: Entrepreneurial Success Stories Featuring UNCW Alumni—More info coming soon. Pick the brains of the people who went before you!

Plus we have many more events, and all of them would be great learning opportunities for students. 

“If you’re not taking advantage of these opportunities, you’re missing out,” Sydney says. “You can literally come here and start getting free experience, free certifications, free training—and it’s part of the university.”


This spring, the CIE will once again host the CIE Internship Summit, which is exactly what it sounds like, also. It’s a FREE opportunity for you to come meet startups and local businesses looking for interns and kickstart a great internship experience! (Just make sure to email us for the coupon code at!) As Sydney says, when you intern with a startup: “You’re participating in a real company and translating your classes into an actual business setting. The interns here, the work they’re doing is contributing to that company’s development. There’s nothing better to put on a resume than that—being able to say, ‘my work as an intern at this startup contributed to this much growth.’”

You don’t have to wait until the Internship Summit, though. Drop by the CIE and ask us if any of our startups are in need of an intern. Or just hang around and say hello to the people passing through. Sydney will be starting a new marketing internship in January because of a contact she made in passing while working an event at the CIE, who, when she reached out to him regarding internship advice, created a position specifically for her because he knew her to be a hard-working individual. It’s really that easy.

Start a Business

Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you can’t also be a startup owner. Just look at Leah Sherrill with Special Pedals, Hillary Scott with Greenflare, and Sarah Ritter with Turnip Learning. The Office of Innovation and Commercialization sponsors the Ignite Program annually, which gives $2,000-$3,000, free CIE office space, and mentorship to a student entrepreneur. But even if you don’t have that, it’s easy enough to become a member and get access to the programming, coworking space, and other resources that the CIE offers.

In October, we hosted 3 Day Startup, a program that brought together 26 students for one weekend and sent them on their way with fully developed ideas for startups. We also have a ton of great programs that won’t suck up an entire weekend but will equip you to build your own business from the ground up.

There are so many opportunities here for students, and we would love to have you. Check back on the website often or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up with more of the CIE's events and news.