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Past Events


Networking in the World of 202ONE 

Wednesday, February 3rd, 12 - 1 P.M.

It is so important to find your why in order to find your way. What is your passion? How do you find others with the same passions and similar goals as you? Step one is showing up. And that’s just want Franchon and Micki did. In the middle of the pandemic, these two female entrepreneurs didn’t know what was ahead, but they allowed the power of passion to drive them to opening a door and walking through it.


Join us at this engaging networking session to hear a little more about their story and learn some helpful tools as it relates to networking. Entrepreneurship can be lonely. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but after this program you will feel more empowered and prepared to take on networking in 2021.

Watch recording Here

Opportunities for Investing and Innovating in the World of E-sports
Thursday, January 21, 12-1 P.M.


Esports is a billion-dollar industry whose viewership rivals professional sports. Its platforms, Twitch and YouTube gaming, each boast more subscribers than Netflix and according to Goldman Sachs is expected to grow 35% per year over the next 5 years. The following presentation will describe what esports is, the business behind esports, and what UNCW and southeastern NC have been doing to engage in this new industry.

 Watch recording Here

CIE Art Mural Reveal

December 15th, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Thanks to Erica Nelson at Mural Modern, partnered with our very own UNCW School of Arts applied learning students, we are able to share the history and culture of Wilmington NC with you!

nc fILM forum: Holiday Hangout

Second Tuesday of Every Month

December 9, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

FREE Event! 

Motivate and Engage in a COVID World 

Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Presenter: Lisa Leath, SHRM-SCP is the Founder of WorkTok

Engaged staff don’t just enjoy their jobs and their workplace—they’re inspired to do their best work, and they’re willing to go above and beyond to help their organization succeed. In this workshop, you will walk away with useful tools to take back to your business or organization that will inspire you to be a better leader, during and after COVID.

Watch recorded session HERE!

YEPex Monthly Meet-Up

The Third Monday of each month, 4:30 P.M. - 5:30 P.M. via Zoom

We are in our third year of this new pilot program called the Youth Entrepreneurship Program experience. This program is for 9-12 graders who have any interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. We will have a brief program followed by an engaging hands on activity. FREE for EVERYONE!

September 21 : District C Questioning Tool Workshop, Watch recorded session HERE

October 19 : District C Dezbee McDaniel Workshop, Watch recorded session HERE 

November 16 : Social Entrepreneurship, Watch recorded session HERE 

December 14 : Blue Economy, Watch recorded session HERE 

nc fILM forum: Insurance Insights

Second Tuesday of Every Month

October 14, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Did you miss this? Recording will be posted ASAP. 

MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Week

Monday, October 5- Saturday, October 10

MED Week recognizes the achievements of local minority entrepreneurs, provides opportunities for networking, and presents workshops to help grow and strengthen businesses. There are a variety of events line up throughout the week catering to all businesses, please visit our program schedule for more information and find session recordings


1 Million Cups 2020 Coastal Entreprenurial Awards Series 

Wednesdays, 9:00 A.M via Zoom


Virtual Leadership in the New "Normal"

September 10, 5:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

We are excited to have Rob Campbell share his knowledge on redefining social distancing, building and maintain a leadership foundation, and effective communication. Free Event! 

Did you miss this? Watch the full recording HERE!

nc fILM forum: Drone Day with Dave Azor

Second Tuesday of Every Month

September 9, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Did you miss this? Watch the full recording HERE!

District C(IE) Squad Pitch Day

Friday, September 4, 10 A.M. via Zoom

Four students from the Recreation, Sport Leadership & Tourism Management program that are interning with the CIE this fall semester will be going through the District C experience gaining valuable experience with working on a diverse team to solve a REAL complex problem for the CIE and UNCW. After a two week experience, the team of interns will present to the business partner their proposed solution.

Please attend this event to learn more about a new initiative the CIE will be focused on for 2020/2021 and hear our students present their proposal and show off their work over the last two weeks. Learn more about the District C Model that can be made available to more UNCW students in the coming months! 

Did you miss the presentation? Watch here!

FREE for Everyone!

nc fILM forum: Legals and Locations

Second Tuesday of Every Month

August 12, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Thomas Varnum of Brooks Pierce Law to chat with us about all things legals & locations! Thomas Varnum represents individuals and companies active in all types of entertainment projects, from film and television, to online videos and other media. 


Drink Local, Stay Social: It's time to SOCIALIZE!

Thursday, July 23, 5:00 - 6:30 P.M.


Join us for a launch of Socialize, a new app, hosted by the CIE in partnership with Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Wilmington Brewing Company, and Fermental. Are you tired of Zoom calls? Are you missing the face-to-face networking events? Are you looking to engage in the community? It's time to SOCIALIZE! With the help of Socialize's new app technology, networking events are back...virtually! Support our local bottle shop and brewery partners by grabbing your favorite beverage. Show that you are registered for the event and you can recieve free swag and discounted options! LET'S NETWORK!

nc fILM forum: Getting Your Gear

Second Tuesday of Every Month

July 8, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Michelle Roca from Lighthouse Films give us the scoop on 'Getting Your Gear'. From mega studio films, television, commercials, to small indie films and passion projects, Michelle has a rich knowledge about this step in the process of filmmaking!

How Food Trucs Do Business With UNCW: A Zoom Seminar

Tuesday, July 7, 9 A.M. - 10 A.M. via Zoom

Interested in getting inolved with UNCW's campus? Join us for our informational webinar on how to do business as a food truck at UNCW. Complete this Google Form that asks the question's Aramark will need to know. There are also questions if you're interested in serving at the Minority Enterprise Development Week October 5-10, 2020. 

Harnessing Innovation: Fresh Approaches to Growth, Creativity, and Transformation

Tuesday, June 23, 11 A.M. - 12 P.M. via 

During this 60-minute keynote, Sara Frasca will share the 5 more mindsets of innvation, a proven approach to cultivating organization-wide innovation. In this inspiring speech, Sara will share stories of real-world innovation and tools required to dramatically improve your innovation capacity.

With the curiosity of Galileo and the tenacity of a street fighter, Sara Frasca is an innovation expert. Honing her skills at senior leadership roles in both corporate America and the world of startups, Sara now serves as Vice President of Innovation for Platypus Labs, a global innovation enablement, invention, and consulting firm. She helps leading organizations cultivate human imagination, build a culture of innovation, and solve complex problems in creative ways. Sara is the go-to resource for leaders seeking competitive advantage and sustainable success by harnessing innovation.

Prior to Platypus Labs, Sara spent 13 years at General Mills in multiple leadership roles. She was also an account director at the interactive agency ePrize, leading the forefront of digital transformation for Fortune 500 brands. Sara is the founder and proud owner of Trasca & Co. Eatery, and was named the 2017 Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Jacksonville, Florida.

Monthly nc fILM forum Meetups are BACK!

Second Tuesday of Every Month

June 10, 5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Our special guest on June 10 is Mark Fincannon speaking on this month's topic: Cast and Crew

2020 Velocity Creative Accelerator Info Session for Wilmington Creatives

Tuesday, May 5, 10:45 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.

Turn your creative passion into a growing business with Velocity, created and powered by the Center for Creative Economy

Join this webinar to learn how to apply for this 9-week startup accelerator designed just for creatives!

What to Expect

  • Learn if Velocity is the right accelerator for you
  • Find out how creatives are important to the economy
  • An overview of Velocity and the 9-week curriculum
  • How to apply to the accelerator

YEPex Youth Summit

Friday, May 1, 10 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. via Zoom

At 10am on May 1st, 2020, the CIE will be hosting the YEPex Youth Summit online via Zoom. We are lucky to have Brian Hamilton as the keynote speaker for the Youth Summit. He is the founder of the Brian Hamilton Foundation which is an organization that promotes entrepreneurship for all. This year's youth keynote speaker is Nicole Renee, founder of Kickflip and the 2019 Techstars Startup Weekend Winner. Our emcee for the second year in a row will be radio personality, Brandon Bigg B Hickman who will drive us through the program presentations of the top three teams for the social enterprise track and top three teams for the for-profit track. The winners will be announced live during the summit.

This year’s top six teams represent Wilmington Early College, Topsail High School, Southwest Onslow High School, Cape Fear Academy, Isaac Bear Early College and Hoggard High School.

Winners Were:

Social Enterprise: 3rd place, Spark (Zealia from Hoggard High School); 2nd place Litter Detection Tech (David from Cape Fear Academy); 1st place NCVSDE (Ella from Isaac Bear Early College)

For Profit Enterprise: 3rd place, Urge Basketball Fitness (Elizabeth from Southwest Onslow High School); 2nd place, SafeTKam (Robert and Olivia from Wilmington Early College High School); 1st place, Cactus Security (Cate from Topsail High School)

New Ventures Webinar

March 18, 12:00 - 1:00 P.M.

Who should apply? What is the program like? Can I participate if I don't live in Winston-Salem? Join us for a presentation on New Ventures!

New Ventures Accelerator Director Adrian Smith will lead a discussion on the New Ventures 2020 Accelerator.

We look for great teams building technology-enabled businesses in growing markets. We're industry agnostic and accept teams where we feel we can really add value. We invest $50K on average, but it's much more than the investment. New Ventures offers structured accountability - it's a place to validate your ideas, perform exhaustive customer discovery, build your MVP, make sales, onboard users, develop internal processes -- all within a framework of milestones, mentorship, and accountability.

Join for the Webinar - after a short presentation we'll have Q&A. We're excited to learn about your companies. You can read more at New Ventures 2020 and start your application on


Thursday, February 27, 5:30 - 7:00 P.M.

Imagine a place where minorities actually lived a fulfilled, prosperous and meaningful life. A place where the majority of the population consisted of African American entrepreneurs and politicians. A progressive utopia that provided equal opportunities for all!

Well….what if I told that utopia…...was once Wilmington, NC. (You thought I was going to say Wakanda, didn't you?)

Come and learn about the history of Wilmington's African American entrepreneurial history as we explore the historical events of the 1898 massacre coup.

This program will also discuss how you can assist Cedric Harrison, founder of Support the Port Foundation - with his business mission to bridge the gap of race and social economics…….

Target Audiences: Students, professionals, tech community, historians, educations - all are welcome to attend!

Tap Gig Economy to Boost Your Entrepreneurial Habits

Wednesday, February 26, 10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Gig Economy is the latest workplace trend: 60 million Americans are independent contractors for a fee. 

At this workshop, you will acquire skills to be a proactive Doer who generates clients and income.Plus, you'll gain proven techniques to manage contractors (as owner/employer). 

Presenter: During his early career, Tim Conway was in sales for Xerox Corporation in Ohio. After moving to Chicago, he contributed to McDonald’s (project manager) and Sears (public relations). 

Using his natural talents, Tim researched/wrote two business plans. Then he participated in Gig Economy for a decade: marketing/communications for small business owners; academic/career counseling for young adults (parents paid fee). 

Plus, Conway was Adjunct Faculty at three campuses. With expertise in all-things-Entrepreneurship, he advised twenty-somethings evaluating a startup. 

Now as a volunteer Career Coach for collegians and under-employed professionals, Tim encourages others that “America is the home of second (and third) opportunities.”

Inaugural Candidates' Forum on the Arts set for February 24

Monday, February 24, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th Street

The Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County, in association with UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is hosting our inaugural Candidates’ Forum on February 24, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th Street.  

All candidates running for local office are invited to participate in the forum as we celebrate and promote the bipartisan issue of economic development through the arts.  The public is invited to meet the candidates, ask questions, and voice support of the arts and the creative economy. The forum is free and open to all.

The creative economy is a major economic driver in our local economy, and organizations such as the Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County play an important role in economic development. 

According to the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report, New Hanover County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry…

*  Generates $55,805,425 in annual economic activity

*  Supports 2,076 full-time equivalent jobs

*  Produces $44,122,000 in household income for local residents

*  Generates $5,642,000 in local and state government revenues 

The Arts Council’s mission is to support artists and arts organizations through innovative public/private partnerships that support jobs, stimulate commerce, and showcase the region as an arts destination.  UNCW CIE supports innovative new ventures that spur growth and generate jobs in creative economy sectors.  Both are nonpartisan entities. 

Please contact Rhonda Bellamy, executive director of the Arts Council, for more information. 

How can I create an effective (and RIGHT) MVP?

Wednesday, February 19, 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Description: The number ONE reason the majority of startups fail is that the founders can't find the right product-market fit. It is indeed not an easy feat, but deeply understanding why and applying the right process can drastically reduce this risk. If you would like to learn how to properly build MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), create quick and inexpensive market tests, and better understand your customers' needs, you should join us in this workshop.


1) Should I spend 100+k/6+ months developing the app for my product?

2) What is lean startup and how is it related to app development?

3) What really is an MVP and why is it essential for app development?

4) How can I build the right MVP?

5) How do I know I'm doing it right?

6) What is market testing, and how does it relate to an MVP?

7) Hands-on: hypothesis testing and MVP creation  

Presenters: Rod Greco, CEO and Co-Founder of Owera and John Petitte, COO and Co-Founder of Owera

YEPex Monthly Meetup

Monday, February 17, 4:30 - 6 P.M.

We are in our second year of this new pilot program called the Youth Entrepreneurship Program experience. This program is for 9-12 graders who have any interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. We will have a brief program followed by an engaging hands on activity.

The speakers this month are Girard Newkirk and Patrick Brien.

FREE for everyone!


NCIDEA Spring 2020 Grants Information Session

Monday, February 3, 5:30 - 7 P.M.

We will be hosting NC IDEA FOUNDATION to provide an overview of NC IDEA FOUNDATION programming, specifically focusing on its two Spring 2020 grant opportunities that support ambitious, growth-oriented companies: NC IDEA MICRO ($10,000) and NC IDEA SEED ($50,000).

The session kicks off with a brief walk through of the various grants and programs offered by the Foundation and how they may benefit you and your company. The session continues with sharing of tips and best practices for writing a competitive grant application, covering the anatomy of the application with specifics on what the reviewers are looking for in each section. Eligibility requirements for NC IDEA MICRO and NC IDEA SEED will also be covered to provide you with a greater understanding of each opportunity and which one may be most appropriate and beneficial for you and your company.

Pizza will be served at the event.

**NC IDEA MICRO and NC IDEA SEED grant applications open February 3, 2020 and close March 2, 2020 at 5pm ET. For more information, click here.

Free for everyone!

YEPex Monthly Meetup

Monday, January 27, 4:30 - 6 P.M.

We are in our second year of this new pilot program called the Youth Entrepreneurship Program experience. This program is for 9-12 graders who have any interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. We will have a brief program followed by an engaging hands on activity.

The speaker this month is entrepreneur, Derek Schmidt.

FREE for everyone!

AWS Training

Friday, January 24, 8:30 A.M. - 4 P.M.

Hands on AWS - Continue to learn AWS - Buildout, IAM, Subnetting, S3 Storage

Breakfast and lunch will be provided

Bring your own laptop for the workshop

Event organized by UNCW CCDE and ISSA Student Chapter

Exclusively for UNCW students, faculty, and staff 

Thrills and Spills of Pathological Optimism

Wednesday, January 15, 4 - 6 P.M.

Seahawk, Inc. invites you to meet Nic Cooper, international attorney turned serial entrepreneur from England. He is part of the husband/wife team that created Limbs & Things, an unusual medical device company. Even if you don’t come, you MUST hit this link and see what it is all about ( Seriously!

He has taken companies from concept to cash out, including public offerings.  As a globalist and serial entrepreneur, Nic has a unique perspective on the nuances and tips that are far more insightful and colourful than most startup stories.  Nic also has a deep North Carolina connection…as a young man he came to Davidson College to play competitive tennis.  Don’t miss this opportunity to be entertained and engage with a very unique individual that is the epitome of innovation and entrepreneurship in the 21st Century.