Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Upcoming Events

AI Series Meetup

May 22nd

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Are you interested in Artificial Intelligence?  Do you want to understand how it may affect your business? Are you creating products that use AI? Could you benefit in talking with others in the Wilmington area that share your interest? 

The Spring 2018 AI Meetup Series meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month to discuss a hot topic in the world of AI. May's topic is TBD, but potential ideas include:

  • The Cheap and Dirty Tutorial on AI tools
  • Policy and Social Issues with AI
  • Can AI be Creative?
  • Ethics of AI
  • Jobs of the Future
  • The Fear Factor of AI
  • What Does Your AI Startup Look Like?

Email us at to register.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: Developing Personal And Commercial Credit for Your Business Success

Tuesday, May 22nd

4:00 - 6:00 PM

A good-to-excellent personal credit score is vital for every small business. Good credit is a cherished asset to protect and maintain.

The course will focus on how to build good personal credit and establish commercial credit for your company. Commercial credit is key for those companies needing short-term credit for their cash flow management. Good commercial credit becomes a tangible asset of your business.

Learn about the factors of credit scoring; how to overcome negative credit issues; the hidden costs of bad credit; how to minimize the risk of identity theft; how to rebuild negative credit reports; and how to engage creditors successfully.

Free. Register here.

10th Anniversary Coastal Entrepreneur Awards

May 23rd

5:00 - 8:30 PM

UNCW Burney Center

Greater Wilmington Business Journal and the CIE will celebrate CEAs 10th Anniversary and recognize our region's significant growth in entrepreneurial activity during a special dinner on May 23 at UNCW's Burney Center.

We'll recognize and hear from our region's most accomplished entrepreneur from the past 10 years, Chip Mahan, CEO of Live Oak Bank. Mahan's 2008 startup is now a public company worth more than $1 billion and has spawned two significant Wilmington-based spinoffs, nCino and Apiture.

The dinner will also feature the announcement of the "Top Ten for Ten" — the ten entrepreneurial organizations among the 90 previous winners that have stood out the most for their innovation and growth.

Tickets available here. 

Develop Your SuperPowers

June 2nd

1:00 - 4:00 PM

Have you been looking for a mentor but not sure how to find one?

Are you interested in being part of a community but can't seem to find like-minded people committed to self-improvement?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, register now to Develop Your Superpowers! 

For the last eight years, Kimberly Griffiths, Principal Program Manager for Adobe (, created and runs its global client loyalty program, Adobe Leaders&Learners. By collaborating with a global workforce, researching unique marketing use cases, interviewing clients to identify their needs, and engaging digital marketing professionals from world-renowned household names, Kimberly has created a very exclusive global community. She is excited to bring her expertise and passion to develop a local community in Wilmington. 

Take this opportunity to leverage her leadership skills with like-minded people also looking to improve their personal performance. With her 25-year career, Masters in Information Systems, coupled with 15 years of being a certified yoga/meditation teacher, Kimberly brings a wealth of innovative techniques, out-of-the-box solutions, and fun ideas to motivate you to be a top performer in your own life.

After attending this three-hour event, your mission is to walk away with a roadmap of how to improve your life in the following areas:


Let's unleash your super powers and create a supportive community together!

$25 to attend. Register here

Become Angular 5 Series

June 4th, 18th, 25th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

This workshop series with local developer William Mansfield will provide 7 hours of hands-on training and guided coding to kickstart the path to becoming an Angular 5 developer.  Upon completion, you will be able to author and contribute to angular projects.

Prerequisites: Must be able to read/write traditional Javascript (es5) and traditional HTML. Must have a Mac or Windows laptop.

1. Environment & the Big Picture, June 6th

**4:00 - 7:00 PM**

What is Angular? What is typescript? Why typescript? How does it work? What does it feel like? Answers to all these questions and more provided. This session's objectives are to understand how Angular fits in to the big picture of development, see a simple angular component in action, and get your laptop ready to develop an angular application. Discover the differences between Directives, Components, Pipes, Guards, Services and more. You'll be able to identify and understand the purpose of each ‘big’ idea in Angular. 

2. Hello Project, June 18th

Dissect the angular project structure. Understand routing. Understand dependency injection. Explore code generator. You'll be able to navigate a project and create components, understand the skeleton structure of angular, and author your own components, pipes, and guards.

3. Real World, June 25th

Make a real data-driven website based on a purchased theme. A production data service will be available for all to use. This class will have a specific theme selected, but attendees can acquire their own and get assistance. Afterward, you'll be able to use an existing theme to bind to real-world application.

Registration coming soon.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: The 123s of Small Business Cash Flow Management

Tuesday, June 5th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

According to the SBA, 81% of small businesses do not manage their cash flow on even a monthly basis! And nearly 70% of small businesses suffer a cash flow "crisis" during their annual business cycle.

Cash is king. Cash flow is the pulse of your business. Managing cash flow effectively means the difference between success and failure. You can show a profit and still be running out of cash!

In this seminar, learn the trends and processes of cash flow management; when to use an accounting or bookkeeping service; the pros and cons of doing the books yourself; and how to position your company for strategic profit through good cash flow management.

Free. Register here.

Fast, Simple, and Open Automation to Change the Economics of the Data Center, Cloud Computing and The Enterprise

June 6th

1:00 PM

In this session, we will introduce attendees to a new technology enabling rapid provisioning of hardware and cloud VMs from a single open-source platform, Digital Rebar Provision. This technology enables data center operators to leverage a single platform to automate and manage infrastructure at scale; think 10,000+ nodes. Our critical insight was to deliver automation in a layered approach along with allowing operation teams to quickly adopt the platform into their existing processes via API integration.

The following demonstrations will be highlighted:

  • API, CLI, and Portal based UI
  • Machine Provisioning with Workflow
  • Kubernetes Deployment using KubeAdm and RackN

Shane Gibson is an Architect, Engineer, and Community Evangelist working at RackN--leaders in physical and hybrid DevOps software. His experience spans over two decades and includes Mainframe Hardware and Operations, Unix Systems, Network Engineering, Computer Security, Virtualization Technologies, Cloud Platforms, and Production Operations. He is passionate about automation, infrastructure architecture, and modern computing practices as applied to Production Operations environment.

Free for members. $15 for nonmembers. Register here

Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP)

Theme: Construction: Beyond Brick and Mortar

July 8 - 13, 2018

8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Applicants are invited for the exciting and educational Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Program (YEP). The theme for summer 2018 is "Construction: Beyond Brick and Mortar." YEP focuses on middle and high school students and provides them with the opportunity to:

  • Explore and leverage talents useful for team building and leadership development;
  • Understand basic concepts of entrepreneurship and the economy;
  • Meet and interact with entrepreneurs, and construction industry experts;
  • Opportunities to engage with college students and university faculty/staff;
  • Learn and practice the keys to success through effective study habits;
  • Receive information about college preparation, admissions, scholarships and other financial aid;
  • Work with a team to create a construction project to enrich the Wilmington community.

YEP is sponsored by the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and is designed to nurture students, predominantly from UNCW’s service region, that may possess the potential to be leaders in business and the community.  YEP is open to all students regardless of career interest. 

Eligible Ages: rising 9th graders and above (9th - 12th grade)

Important Dates

Sunday, 7/8/18: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Required orientation for students and parents. Parents will complete necessary forms (medical & insurance forms) at the Cameron School of Business, Cameron Hall Auditorium (room 105).

Monday to Thursday, 7/9 -7/12: 8:30 am - 3:30 PM
Student camp, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)

Friday, 7/13/18: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Parents invited to closing Presentation & Award Ceremony 11 am - 12:30 pm at Cameron Hall, Cameron School of Business Auditorium (room 105).

Apply here

ALL applications are due by June 8. 

SBA Summer Workshop Series: 337 Ways to Market for Greater Profits

Tuesday June 12th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

The key to any successful business is a successful marketing program that gets measurable results and keeps marketing costs low. Every business has a marketing expense--either by direct labor or purchasing of services and resources.

Learn how to maximize that marketing investment and improve your strategic visibility by generating leads; closing sales opportunities; increasing customer transactions and purchasing; utilizing strategic pricing techniques; and dramatically improving bottom-line profits.

This course is a must for those small businesses seeking to gain maximum exposure of their product or service and better measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts through a step by step formula--the 337 ways!

Free. Register here.

NC FILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

June 13th

5:00 - 7:00 PM

Location TBD

A monthly gathering of the Wilmington film community coming together for local artists' screenings, networking, and discussion about how to advance the film industry in the ILM.

More details coming soon. Join the Facebook group to keep connected.

Welcome Wednesday

June 13th

9:00 - 10:30 AM

Join us for a tour of the CIE facilities! Learn what goes on at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Free for everyone

Blockchain Conference with NC Tech: Public Luncheon

June 15th

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM morning session (invite-only)

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM luncheon (open to the public)

The Blockchain Summit will feature an invite-only breakfast and morning sessions, followed by a luncheon open to the public. The Summit's goal is to form a team to promote and build a community of blockchain exploration and discovery for southeastern North Carolina's economic development. It will also focus on finding ways to improve job skills in blockchain for government, private entities, and nonprofits in ways that align with local and state strategic plans for economic development.

Speakers will include representatives from Governor Cooper's Office, QBRICS, NC TECH, D.C.-based Chamber of Digital Commerce, Global Blockchain Alliance, UNCW, and more.

For information on the invite-only portion of this event, please email To register for the luncheon portion of this event, please visit this link.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: Creating Sizzle In Your Business

Tuesday, June 19th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

If your business is stagnating, or not growing the way you think it should be, it doesn't have to be that way.

This course has two themes: (a) develop a business plan to capitalize on the marketing opportunities in your area and your industry; and (b) focus on developing other revenue streams from existing product and service lines.

Learn how to enhance marketing and outreach effectiveness; lower operational costs; to incentivize your customers; grow your business dramatically by word-of-mouth marketing opportunities; make use of low-cost or no-cost technologies to market to customers and prospects; and successfully build your brand equity.

Learn about SBA case studies of real-world area small businesses that reinvented their business model.

Free. Register here.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: Intro to SBA & Its Small Business Resource Programs

Tuesday, June 26th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a variety of resources to assist small businesses. This course will help you grow your small business through SBA programs and partnerships in your area.

In this overview of the SBA, learn about SBA alternative capital lending programs; qualifying for lending assistance; natural disaster preparation and lending; SBA-managed procurement programs (HUBZONE and 8a); marketing your business to the federal government for women, minority-owned, disabled veterans, and those lacking net worth of under $250,000.

Free. Register here.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: SBA Alternative Capital Programs For Every Small Business

Tuesday, July 10th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Meet with an SBA Area Manager to discuss how to successfully obtain a commercial credit loan and how to approach your lender regarding applying for an SBA loan guaranty.

Discussion points include personal and professional credit; the business plan; managing cash flow; business accounting; collateral requirements; the commercial loan process; and a discussion of small business lending programs available with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Much of small business lending is not through a bank. This key topic on alternative lenders and brokers provides you access to capital when your bank does not.

Free. Register here.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: Veteran Entrepreneurship Programs by the SBA

Tuesday, July 17th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

Did you know that veteran businesses succeed 250% more than non-veterans' businesses? The SBA provides veteran entrepreneurs with an honorable discharge with special benefits they when starting or growing their small business.

Veterans can gain startup or expansion capital or purchase and occupy commercial real estate property. SBA provides opportunities for veterans contracting with the federal government.

Take advantage of much-deserved veteran opportunities available through the SBA for you and your current spouse.

Free. Register here.

SBA Summer Workshop Series: SBA Socio-Economic Contracting Programs for Small Business

Tuesday, July 24th

4:00 – 6:00 PM

In 2016, SBA 8a and HUBZone programs developed over $435 million in federal government contracting revenues in North Carolina! SBA is one of the largest prime contractors for the federal government.

This seminar will provide information and steps necessary to enroll in SBA 8a and HUBZone programs for minorities, women, disabled veterans, and the economically disadvantaged (net worth under $250,000), or in low-income geographic areas (HUBZone). You should be in business 2+ years and financially able to provide contracting services to the U.S. government.

You will learn about contracting opportunities with the General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). You'll also hear a number of North Carolina-based small businesses' success stories in contracting.

Free. Register here.

The Blockchain Summit will feature an invite-only breakfast and morning sessions, followed by a luncheon open to the public. The Summit's goal is to form a team to promote and build a community of blockchain exploration and discovery for southeastern North Carolina's economic development. It will also focus on finding ways to improve job skills in blockchain for government, private entities, and nonprofits in ways that align with local and state strategic plans for economic development.
Speakers will include representatives from Governor Cooper's Office, QBRICS, NC TECH, D.C.-based Chamber of Digital Commerce, Global Blockchain Alliance, UNCW, and more.