Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Upcoming Events


GenFKD Info Session

February 15th

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Interested in gaining financial literacy, career prep, and entrepreneurial skills? Come learn about the UNCW chapter of GenFKD and what it has to offer you. 

  • Interactive workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • Hands-on skills training
GenFKD is equipping millennials with the skills and education necessary to create and lead the “new economy.” Founded in 2013 as a financial literacy organization, GenFKD is growing into an organization that’s revolutionizing American higher education. Constituting the most educated, indebted generation to date, millennials have been misled by a higher education system unwilling to take responsibility for post-graduate outcomes.

If you have questions, email uncw@genfkd.org. Email cie@uncw.edu to register.


EBD 380 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Pat Fontana, Words Working

February 19th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Experts come to speak to students--and you. CIE Director Diane Durance teaches an entrepreneurship class at UNCW. As part of the class, she's bringing speakers to the CIE, and you're invited to attend for free by emailing cie@uncw.edu ahead of time.

Feb. 19th's speaker is Pat Fontana, CEO of Words Working, will present, "Talk to me like I’m a human!" In business, we are inundated with electronic communications. Between the texting, tweeting, posting, and messaging, though, we need to focus on the real humans that are on the receiving end of our communications. In this session, we’ll work on real-life exercises that remind us how to communicate with the humans we are connected to in our businesses!

Email cie@uncw.edu to register.


Welcome Wednesdays

February 21st; March 7th and 21st; April 11th and 25th; May 9th and 23rd

9:00 - 10:30 AM

These informal bi-weekly meetings provide an open forum for interested students, faculty and community members to exchange information pertinent to the growth and success of their businesses. Individuals meet CIE director Diane Durance and members of Seahawk Innovation, a venture funding and mentoring firm operating within the CIE.


Nonprofit or Social-Impact Venture? Grow the Right Organization to Maximize Your Impact

February 22nd

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Are you ready to start the next social impact venture? Join David Morrison, MPA, CMRc of DF Morrison Consulting as he prepares you for working in the social sector. You will have the opportunity to learn:

• The differences between nonprofit and for-profit social- impact ventures and why your decision matters
• How to test your idea with your community
• What it takes (structurally speaking) let your positive spark shine brighter in today’s social economy.

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


NC fILM Forum presents: An ILM Music Video Party

February 24th

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Waterline Brewery

We want to screen your music videos. Email video links to ncfilmforum@gmail.com by February 7th.

More info coming soon.


EBD 380 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Alex Dale, Ward and Smith on Business Law and Intellectual Property

February 26th

5:30 - 6:30 PM (Part 1)

6:30 - 7:45 PM (Part 2)

Experts come to speak to students--and you. CIE Director Diane Durance teaches an entrepreneurship class at UNCW. As part of the class, she's bringing speakers to the CIE, and you're invited to attend for free by emailing cie@uncw.edu ahead of time.

Feb. 26th's speakers are:

Alex Dale, attorney at Ward and Smith, will give two consecutive presentations:

"Business Law for Startups." Alex will address some of the most common questions and situations that arise in the early days of forming and starting a business. Join us to learn the pros and cons of different business structures. Other topics will include employment agreements, contracts with customers and suppliers, leases and purchase agreements.  

"Building and Protecting Intellectual Property." Alex will shift gears to cover the basics of Intellectual Property. Take steps to protect your inventions, products, research, and brand with the right tools. Learn when and how patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets create value for your business.   

Email cie@uncw.edu to register.


Tuesdays with Tobin: From Problem to Product

February 27th

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 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, participants will be able to identify the single biggest threat to their startup succeeding.

Please bring a bag lunch.

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


AI Series Meetup

February 27th

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? 

If so, join us for the kickoff event of the Spring 2018 AI Meetup Series.  We will meet each month on the 4thTuesday to discuss a hot topic in the world of AI.  For this first event, we invite any and all who are interested in the topic to hear an overview of AI and future directions, assist in defining future topics and activities, and network with peers.  Potential future topic 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?

Our first event is hosted by Dr. Curry Guinn and Dr. Karl Ricanek of UNCW Computer Science, Dr. Julian Keith of UNCW Psychology, and Michael Orr of Watson Group/Watson Health Group/IBM. 

Email cie@uncw.edu to register.


GenFKD Workshop: Money Management

March 1st

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Info coming soon.


Going Beyond the Pink: What's Normal, What's Not

March 6th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Info coming soon.

Email cie@uncw.edu to register.


Avoiding HR Nightmares – Intro to Employee Relations

March 8th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

From bad hires to underperformers to substance use affecting the workplace to office romance gone bad, the list can go on and on. This session will bring truth, humor and advice to business leaders about getting through sticky situations with employees. Session hosted by Lisa Leath of Leath HR Group.

Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Register here


Cold Calling & Overcoming a Sales Slump

March 13th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

Cold call like a champ & keep your head UP! Seminar with David Reeser.

  • Learn powerful cold-calling techniques for in-person and phone sales
  • Achieve a victory mindset to overcome a sales slump, create longevity in your sales career, and earn more money in less time
  • Make more money with positive, powerful, easy-to-learn sales strategies
  • Learn to set yourself up for success and overcome the slings and arrows of the sales world
  • Learn more about sales, marketing, and other fields where influence is important

What to expect:

  • Lots of class participation and instruction
  • Laughs, snacks, positivity, and a high-energy environment

Come with an open mind, lots of questions, and a desire give your very best!

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


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

March 14th

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.


Grant Writing Basics for Social-Impact Ventures

March 15th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Back by popular demand, David Morrison, MPA, CMRc and Althea Lewis, MBA, MCE will team up to present this action-packed seminar focusing on the basics of grant writing for social good. Nonprofits and socially-responsible organizations welcome.

In the session, you will learn how to:
• Identify and understand the value components of a grant application, including the request for proposal (RFP) and letter of inquiry (LOI)
• Develop key strategies for success from the introduction to the last line item of the budget
• Discover online tools and resources that you can use to impact the way your organization finds, outlines, and delivers effective grant proposals today

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

Building a $100 Million Business with Vision & Integrity - Business Week 

March 22nd

5:30 - 7:00 PM 

Vess Pearson is the Chief Executive Officer of Aptive Environmental, a nationwide pest control company. For the past two years, Vess has guided Aptive to be the fastest-growing pest control in the United States. In this Business Week event, Vess will discuss how vision and integrity have been integral parts to selling over 700k accounts in 72 branches nationwide over the last decade.

Prior to his work at Aptive Environmental, Vess served as President of Alterra, Inc. and EcoFirst Pest Control. The customer bases of these companies were successfully acquired by Terminix for over $100 million. Vess's expertise lies in sales training and in leveraging technology and company culture to facilitate dramatic company growth.

Email us at cie@uncw.edu to register.


Tuesdays with Tobin: Exit Thesis

March 27th

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 will 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 a bag lunch.

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


AI Series Meetup

March 27th

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. March'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 cie@uncw.edu to register.


Selling Made Simple with Michael Barbera

April 10th

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

More information coming soon.

Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Registration coming soon.


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

April 11th

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.


Building Your Most Effective Team: People as Funding Supports for Social-Impact Ventures

April 19th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Learn the value of:

• Cultivating the right team (Board, Volunteers and Staff and Donors)
• Nurturing and empowering the best possible board from the get-go
• Understanding timing of hiring, or firing, decisions (volunteer or paid employees) and just how much they can change your organization. 

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


Annual High School Business Plan Competition

April 21st

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

More information coming soon.

Free for all. Registration coming soon.


Creative Startups Workshop

April 23rd

1:00 - 5:00 PM

Meredith Jones and Mary Margaret Folds, co-founders of Firelux Films, share their comedic story about the lessons they learned as entrepreneurs in the Creative Startups cohort to highlight the value associated with engaging in an accelerator program and to help other entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls.

Registration coming soon. Free for members; $15 for nonmembers. 


AI Series Meetup

April 24th

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. April'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 cie@uncw.edu to register.


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

May 9th

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.


Brand Over Noise

May 15th 

12:00 - 2:00 PM

There's a cacophony of modern marketing gimmicks, ploys, and trends hovering in today's business atmosphere. With so much chaos, it's tough to drown out the hype and create a meaningful, outcome-focused brand development plan. This presentation will help businesses build a system to amplify their differentiation in ways that forces audiences to listen. Presented by Stephen Bon of Bon's Eye Marketing.

Free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Registration link coming soon.


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 cie@uncw.edu to register.


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.