Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Past Events


2017


Consumer Product Meetup

November 30th

4:30 - 6:30 PM

The American Underground, in partnership with the CIE and NC IDEA, hosted a meetup for consumer product companies. American Underground executive Adam Klein spoke about the Startup Stampede, a consumer product incubator program coming in 2018, that is free and open to Wimington area entrepreneurs.


Increase Revenue By 3% Just By Simplifying Your IT!

November 28th

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Running any business in 2017 is challenging and expensive. Too often business owners go to extreme measures to cut costs and grow the bottom line. Most companies aren’t aware that they can accomplish some of this easily by simplifying their IT. Participants learned about one technology known as virtual machines (VM) and how this solution can transform the way companies use computers without buying new equipment.

  • The speaker created a mock company (with participants as the employees) and developed an environment that participants could begin from with their laptops in 15 minutes.
  • Working from this environment, participants experienced a tremendous increase in the performance of their device. They could surf the net up to 10X faster, without any software or programs being installed on their computer.
  • Participants received advice from one the brightest minds in IT in the city on what their business needed to do to simplify their IT, even if VM was not the ideal choice.

UNCW IoT Hackathon

November 17th - November 19th

The second annual UNCW Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon's theme was to create IoT solutions for two of UNCW’s strategic areas of research: Marine Science and Biotechnology.

Overall, innovation in marine technology and biotechnology via IoT plays a critical role in advancing research and ocean societal needs. Outcomes from UNCW’s 2017 Hackathon provided benefit to the greater Wilmington community, North Carolina, and ultimately the globe. The technological advances resulted in protection of lives and property, securing energy independence, sustaining ocean productivity and fisheries, maintaining our national security, and growing the workforce and ocean economy.

UNCW IoT Hackathon 2017 Goals

  1. Students learned practical skills in computer science and the Internet of things (IoT). 
  2. Connected the marine science, biotechnology, business, and computer science communities together in order to foster IoT solutions with real potential. 
  3. Connected potential employers to student talent.

Tuesdays with Tobin: From Problem to Product

November 14th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Tobin Geatz, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joined 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.

We began at the end and went back to the beginning (Exit Thesis)! 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 could identify the single biggest threat to their startup succeeding.


NC Entrepreneurship Educators Conference

November 10th - 11th

UNCW, in partnership with UNC Chapel Hill’s Center for Entrepreneurship, held first annual North Carolina Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (NCEEC). This one-day conference was held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 with a reception the Friday night before. The conference was held at the CIE.  

The NCEEC focused on the pressing issues facing college and university level entrepreneurship educators in the Carolinas. The NCEEC was divided into three different segments: 1) New developments and best practices in entrepreneurship pedagogy, 2) current hot topics and strategies in entrepreneurship and innovation research, and 3) how to better integrate entrepreneurship faculty with university centers, technology transfer offices and other units on campuses.


Cucalorus Connect

November 9th and 10th

Downtown Wilmington

Cucalorus Connect 2017 was a technology & innovation conference held November 9th & 10th as one of the three main components of the newly re-branded Cucalorus Festival.  This year’s conference, led by Connect Executive Board President Tom Looney, focused on the connected digital economy. The conference explored the digital transformation through three primary tracks: digital industrial, digital enterprise, and digital consumer. Local companies, regional thought-leaders and presenters from across the US discussed emerging trends in tech, media, social entrepreneurship and industry.

The conference included dynamic speakers, interactive workshops, Rocket Pitches, networking opportunities and parties.

  • We serve as a hub to cultivate connections—powered by straight-up innovation
  • We attract a spectrum of cutting-edge thinkers, creators, educators, visionaries & pioneers
  • We intersect the creative sector with the business sector, the creative economy with the innovation economy
  • We connect people, places and businesses to spark new opportunities in the “Digital Connected Economy”
  • We catalyze digital transformation in the economy, touching every aspect of our lives

NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

November 8th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Pour Taproom

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. This meeting featured Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the NC Arts Council.


Entrepreneurship Week 2017 | Carpe Entrepreneurship: Sensing and Seizing Opportunities

October 30th - November 10th

Cameron School of Business

Sponsored by the Cameron School of Business and the Beck Foundation, E-Week was open and free to all UNCW students. It featured panels that range from "The Artist as Entrepreneur" to "How to Start Your Own Business," a keynote address from PlayerSpace CEO (and 2017 Coastal Entrepreneur Award winner) Todd John, and the UNCW Innovation Concept Pitch Competition sponsored by Tek Mountain and Elite Innovations.


Coffee is for Closers

October 31st

12:00  PM - 2:00 PM

Have you ever been confident you were going to get a sale only to have it fall apart at the very end? You're not alone. Closing is only 10% of the sales process, and yet the majority of the time it's where salespeople go wrong and lose the deal.

At this seminar, participants learned how to close effectively by leveraging proven strategies including:

  • Assumptive vs. Permission closing
  • Rebuttals and and re-close techniques
  • The psychology of effective closing

Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits: What's the Difference? Pitch Competition

October 26th

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Do you have an idea for a project that would address a social problem or community need? Social Entrepreneurship is a way to transform a project that address a social problem into a sustainable business model through planning, testing, community engagement, and refining your business plan. Whether your plan is to start a nonprofit or for-profit enterprise, social entrepreneurship is a great way to help solve problems in your community and enable community members to contribute to the solution!

This Semester's Pitch Competition

Participants pitched ideas at the October 26th event, "Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofits: What's the difference?" This was an excellent opportunity to pitch a social entrepreneurship idea along with finding out more about options and opportunities for developing and implementing a project idea.


QENO Emerging Nonprofit Director Bootcamp

October 25th

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

This program was designed for new or aspiring executive directors to learn the role of the ED in various areas related to nonprofit success. The workshop consisted of five sessions: Board Relations, Fund Development, Financial Management, Volunteer/Staff Relations, and Program Development & Outcomes Measurement. Each session was led by an experienced ED with the knowledge of what it takes to be successful in the area.


Small Business Cyber Security

October 24th

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Participants joined the CIE, local FBI/Homeland Cyber Threat Agents, UNCW Cyber-Security Experts, nationally recognized security professionals and Fluid IT Services for a community discussion to educate our local business leaders on the importance of cyber-security, no matter the business size. Participants learned how to protect their business from cyber-threats. This event had speakers from both the business community and UNCW plus a panel discussion digging deeper into the cyber-security world and how to prepare a business for the future. The goal of the workshop was to educate business owners and provide the knowledge needed to be prepared for when a cyber-security attack happens.


3rd Annual Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development Week

Thursday, October 19th

8:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This year's theme was Managing the Challenge of Change. Participants joined keynote speaker Oscar Lewis, National MBA of the Year.

UNCW recognizes the contributions of minority businesses in the region. Activities included networking, education sessions, and a luncheon.


Tuesdays With Tobin: Creating a Successful Startup in the 21st Century

Tuesday, October 17th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Tobin Geatz, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joined 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. Participants discovered:

  •  What your startup needs to be successful in the 21st century
  •  Why money doesn't solve your problems as a startup
  •  What Seahawk Innovation looks for in its startup companies from an investor's point of view

3 Day Startup for UNCW Students

Friday - Sunday, October 13-15

3 Day Startup is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A 3DS PROGRAM?

  • Bootcamp (1-2 weeks before program date): Participating students met, were introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learned best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience.
  • Day 1: Participants arrived--with or without startup ideas--and a facilitator lead the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams worked late into the night and others preferred to rest up in preparation for day 2.
  • Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exited the building or hit the phones and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 placed heavy emphasis on business model generation.
  • Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors. 

fILMp3 Workshop #4: Films Take Shape in the Editing Lab

Tuesday, October 10th

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

fILMp3 is a 3-month collaborative filmmaking practicum that connects local filmmakers and mentors into teams that create a short film and have access to exclusive workshops held by industry professionals throughout the production process.

In this unique workshop, Morgan O'Neill took filmmakers through the precise choices that must be made in the editing room. Transitions, cuts, color correction, and composing all came together in a workshop made to give insight and tools to participants.


fILMp3 Workshop #3: Giving Your Film Legs to Run

Friday, September 29th

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

fILMp3 is a 3-month collaborative filmmaking practicum that connects local filmmakers and mentors into teams that create a short film and have access to exclusive workshops held by industry professionals throughout the production process.

Planning for a successful festival run and film distribution starts in pre-production. There are so many opportunities for distribution of independent short-form and series content: planning for these opportunities before production is essential for success. Who is your audience? Who is distributing similar content? This workshop discussed setting your film up early on to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible.


What’s the Difference? Nonprofits and Social Entrepreneurship

Thursday, September 28th

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

An interactive discussion about the connections between Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, and Nonprofits, followed by a networking event.

Panelists:
Natasha Davis (Quality Enhancement for Nonprofits)
Carmin Black (Half United)
Katrina Harrell (Business Development Strategist | co-Founder The LAUNCH Project)
David Morrison (Nonprofit Advisor-in-Residence, CIE)
Moderator: Jess Boersma (ETEAL)


Master the Art of Public Speaking

Thursday, September 21

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Lenny Laskowski, international professional speaker, tackled speaking fears in this exciting program and helped participants become more confident public speakers.

Topics included:

  • How to quickly gather information and organize your thoughts
  • Physical and mental techniques to crush speaking anxiety
  • How to expertly organize your presentation
  • How to develop a natural vocal style
  • How to make effective gestures
  • How to move with dynamic confidence
  • And much, much more

This program offered wisdom from Lenny’s 35-year professional speaking expertise. Lenny has delivered over 2700 programs worldwide to clients from over 178 countries and is one of the leading authorities on public speaking and presentation skills.


Google Analytics Certification Workshop for Business

September 20 and 27 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

This workshop was led by instructor Marc Mereyde, a CIE tenant and owner of TiktoPlus. Sessions aimed to prepare business owners for the Google Analytics certification exam. All material needed for the exam was covered during the workshop.


Business Startup Basics with the SBTDC

Wednesday, September 20th

1:00 - 3:00 PM

Dream of being your own boss?  If so, the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at UNCW offered a free monthly workshop just for you!  The “How to Start a Business” workshop taught participants the basic business ownership steps.  Our counselors discussed ways to research your business market, how to write a business plan, and the steps to seeking initial funding.



NCDBA Women in Defense Forum

Monday, September 18th

3:00 PM - 7:00 PM (Networking @ 3, Meeting @ 3:30, Reception @ 5)

Randall Johnson presented: "Pharma, Fish Farming, Fuel Growing Biotechnology Innovation in North Carolina."

Networking reception was held in the new Clinical Research Collaborative Space at 803B near CIE, sponsored by Porter Scientific, Inc. and Bales Consulting Group, LLC.


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

Bombers Beverage Company

Wednesday, September 13th

5:30 - 8:00 PM

Ben Pellington, director of a new feature in the making - Miner's Mountain - spoke at September's nc fILM forum! Participants had a chance to connect with Ben as well as his crew after he talked about his ongoing project (with visuals to accompany his presentation).

We also checked in with the team members of the fILMp3 Challenge to see how their current project was coming along.


Understanding High-Growth Company Funding and Creating/Delivering Your Entrepreneurial Story

Tuesday, September 12th

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM with an optional networking lunch at 12:00-1:00 PM

This four-hour intensive workshop included:

It’s About the Story!tm – How to create and deliver a winning investor presentation using the foundational principles of the PerfectPitchtm process. This presentation on entrepreneurial storytelling was designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs understand the basics of creating and presenting a targeted, crisp and compelling story for high growth investment audiences.

How to fund your company - what are the options and respective pros and cons? This section addressed: Equity (primarily VC), Convertible debt, Bootstrapping, Grants, Crowdfunding, and traditional debt.

Business Plan - Writing it and how to align it with your company pitch.


Google Analytics Certification Workshop for Students

September 5, 6, and 12 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

September 13 at 11:00 AM (study session)

This was led by instructor Marc Mereyde, a CIE tenant and owner of TiktoPlus. Sessions aimed to prepare students for the Google Analytics certification exam. All material needed for the exam was covered during the workshop.


The Entrepreneurs' Roundtable

Thursday, September 7th

4:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Hosted by The Hive & Co. Participants met some of Wilmington & Jacksonville's top veteran & military spouse business owners!

We have a strong small business community here in Wilmington and a strong military community throughout eastern North Carolina. However, these two communities rarely come together.

The Entrepreneurs' Roundtable began with a round of speed networking, followed by a panel discussion with 5 local business owners, all of whom were veterans or military spouses, and ended with live Q&A from the audience.


Meet and Greet the VCs

**TEKMOUNTAIN EVENT**

Wednesday, September 6th

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

TekMountain and Flatiron Law Group teamed up to bring a venture capital themed event to the Wilmington entrepreneurial community. A panel of two venture capitalists from North Carolina and a venture lawyer from Flatiron Law Group came to TekMountain to share their knowledge on various topics:

  • The state of the venture capital markets
  • How venture capitalists pick and value companies
  • The dos and don’ts of raising venture capital financing
  • Their strategies for driving successful exits.

Are You Professionally Fit? Brand Building in the Age of Disruption (Student and Non-Student Versions)

Thursday, August 31st

General Public: 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Students-Only Version: 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Welcome to the Age of Disruption! When you look at your industry, at your career, at your job, what do you see? Are changes happening? Will new technologies impact you? The truth is that it is very difficult to tell how, when, or where change will come from. 

So, how do we prepare for the unexpected? 

The first step is to embrace a new mindset. A mindset that holds you responsible for your own professional brand. A mindset that says you must be focused on building a personal professional brand in order to position yourself for what's next; whatever it may be.

This workshop focused on the new reality and how participants should prepare themselves.


The CIE's 3rd Annual Welcome Week Event for UNCW Students

Thursday, August 24th

5:00 - 7:00 PM

CIE hosted an annual Welcome Week event to bring hundreds of students to our facility for a fun, engaging evening full of raffle prizes and great connections. Booths featured many different companies and CIE groups were be set up outside as well as games and activities. We also had catering from Islands Fresh Mex Grill!

Round-trip transportation for students was available from Wagoner Dining Hall and Hawk's Nest.


fILMp3 Workshop #2: Script & Storyboarding

Wednesday, August 23rd

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

fILMp3 is a 3-month collaborative filmmaking practicum that connects local filmmakers and mentors into teams that create a short film and have access to exclusive workshops held by industry professionals throughout the production process. This workshop focused on script writing and storyboarding with Buckley Hubbard.


Welcome Wednesday

Wednesday, August 23rd

9:00 - 10:30 AM

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


Understanding SBIR/STTR Programs

Tuesday, August 22nd

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Hosted by the Small Business and Technology Development Center. Key topics included:

  • Networked with fellow attendees with similar funding interests
  • Learned from SBIR/STTR experts with decades of experience
  • Understood the solicitation search process
  • Met current SBIR/STTR awardees
  • Determined the best strategy to incorporate the small business component – start a business or partner
  • Identified Federal Agencies that are right for you

Investing in Solar: Affordable, Accessible, Easy, and Good for the Planet

Thursday, August 17th

6:00 - 7:00 PM

An informational workshop about the feasibility and financial benefits of investing in solar.  Most know something about solar but few know all they need to know. Most people have an impression that they either need to put panels on their roof or have multimillions to participate in solar renewable energy, but that's not true. In this workshop, participants learned how they, an average citizen, could help be part of the solution and reap financial benefits for themselves.

Participants learned:

  • Why financial giants like Google, Apple, Bank of America, Microsoft and many other Fortune 500 companies are pouring billions into investing in solar.
  • What tax incentives that can pay up to 65% of the cost for you (tax credits, tax deductions, renewable energy credits).
  • How solar can produce an dependable income that is not market-sensitive, with a rate of return as much as 20%!
  • Whether there are risks to investing in solar.
  • How to select land to use and a contractor, purchase the correct panels, and maintain the equipment.
  • How your involvement will be part of the solution of cleaning up the planet and reduce the carbon footprint of your family and the planet.

Grant Writing for Nonprofits with David Morrison and Althea Lewis

Wednesday, August 16th

5:30 - 6:00 PM reception; 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM seminar

Want to learn how to find the right grants, what funders are looking for when reviewing grants and much more? In this hour and a half seminar, in partnership with QENO, Althea Lewis (UNCW CHHS) and David Morrison (UNCW CIE) guided participants through the process of grant writing for nonprofits.


fILMp3 Workshop #1: Pitching and Crowdfunding with Seed & Spark

Monday, August 14th

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

fILMp3 is a 3-month collaborative filmmaking practicum that connects local filmmakers and mentors into teams that create a short film and have access to exclusive workshops held by industry professionals throughout the production process. This workshop was on Pitching and Crowdfunding and brought to you by Seed & Spark.


StrengthsFinder 2.0 Workshop - CANCELLED DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT

Workshop: Thursday, August 10th, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Many business leaders, owners, and entrepreneurs have heard the buzz around strengths, but they don’t understand how to apply it.
The workshop would have been conducted by David Sawyer, who is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. David is a professional trainer, speaker, and business coach who helps businesses leverage their talent. This webinar would have reviewed:
  • Your Top 5 individual strengths and how they shape the way you work
  • The benefits of strengths-based organizations
  • How to immediately prioritize your workday to be more productive

Crowdfunding Your Next Fundraiser: The New NC Options

Thursday, July 20th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Because of legislation passed by the NC General Assembly in July 2016, startups in North Carolina can now raise up to $2 million from average investors using their own website or a registered funding portal. A further simplified option, called the Local Public Offering (LPO), permits raising up to $250,000 without use of a website. A representative of the NC Department of the Secretary of State’s Office covered recent developments in investment crowdfunding, including:

  • Data on what has worked and what has not in crowdfunding
  • Why breweries, distilleries and customer-driven companies are leading the pack
  • How more than 300 startups have filed for federal crowdfunding
  • Why NC’s LPO option is unique among states

Grant Writing for Nonprofits with David Morrison and Althea Lewis

Wednesday, July 19th

5:30 - 6:00 PM reception; 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM seminar

Participants learned how to find the right grants, what funders are looking for when reviewing grants, and much more. In this hour and a half seminar and partnership with QENO, Althea Lewis (UNCW CHHS) and David Morrison (UNCW CIE) guided participants through the process of grant writing for nonprofits.


Seminar and Reception with Trademarks Commissioner Mary Boney Denison

Tuesday, July 11th

5:00 - 7:00 PM

Mary Boney Denison is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Commissioner for Trademarks. Ms. Denison oversees all aspects of the USPTO’s Trademarks organization including policy, operations, and budget relating to trademark examination, registration, and maintenance. Ms. Denison has led outreach to the trademark legal community, small businesses, and applicants without legal counsel, and has been an active participant in meetings with the world’s largest trademark offices, promoting projects aimed at harmonization of trademark practices and procedures. While at the USPTO she has initiated several projects to enhance and expand internal and external communications as well as employee career development.


Website Basics Series

Mondays, June 5th to 26th

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

A 4-week seminar discussing websites, applications, marketing and social media for small business.

  1. Website, Web App, or Mobile Application? (June 5th): Understanding your business needs and how to build it. Speakers: Sarah Ritter and William Fleming.
  2. Building an Email Campaign (June 12th): How to write content that grabs. Speaker: Marlon Weems.
  3. Marketing & Social Media Toolkit (June 19th): Get to know your customer through data. Speaker: Suzanne Altobello.
  4. Digital Marketing  + Websites On the Go (June 26th): Putting the pieces together and making them work for you. Speakers: Sarah Ritter and Suzanne Altobello.

This workshop was brought to you by

2 point data logo


Tips for Paid Advertising on Social Media

Thursday, June 15th

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Participants learned to dramatically increase chances of success with Facebook advertising campaigns!

While anybody can create a Facebook advertising campaign, there are many potential pitfalls to avoid. It is way too easy to spend money on Facebook advertising without any clear methodology. This usually leads to few or no results. There are tons of ways to increase your Facebook campaign's chances of success by leveraging some common techniques that the pros use everyday. Set yourself apart from the competition and learn some basic techniques to increase your chances of success with Facebook advertising.


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

5:00 - 8:00 PM

June 14th: Ironclad Brewery

The topic was EXHIBITION as the creative community discussed the importance of screening your work, receiving feedback on your works-in-progress, and the value of exhibition in the Indie Film scene.

  • Featured Speaker: Christopher Everett (director of "Wilmington On Fire") + Q&A
  • Local Filmmakers' Showcase + Feedback and Q/A Session
  • Open Floor: NETWORKING!

July 12th: CIE

Featuring a film screening and a big announcement.

August 9th: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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.


The Best Sales Training in the Galaxy

Tuesday, May 30th

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

To become a great salesperson you must learn to excel at influencing others. It is not enough to have the "gift of gab;" you must have a focused sales strategy built on a sincere desire to satisfy your prospect's "pain."

  • David Reeser, healthcare professional and "sales ninja," did not spend any time trying to impress you with his sales achievements. (The information will speak for itself.)
  • This sales seminar was all about you and helping you be the best influencer you can be.

Participants learned a basic sales strategy that works for any industry, period. Lots of class participation with live roleplay based on your questions. Food, fun, laughter, energy, and enthusiasm.


Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur

Thursday, May 25th

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Are you an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur?

Raising equity capital is challenging at best. Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur (IRE) was designed to educate and prepare growth-oriented entrepreneurs to successfully engage private equity investors. With this workshop, entrepreneurs learnd to reduce barriers to funding, navigate the process more easily, and icnrease the chances of successfully obtaining funding. They:

  • Learned what investors look for and expect from the companies they fund
  • Understood the private equity investment process and terminology
  • Found out how investors approach valuation and deal structure
  • Learned how to make your company investor-ready
  • Heard from those who've done it. Panelists included serial entrepreneurs and angel investors
  • Received a comprehensive workbook, ongoing counseling support, and access to additional online resources

2017 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards

Wednesday, May 24th

7:30 AM - 10:00 AM

UNCW Burney Center

The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards are a joint effort of UNCW's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Greater Wilmington Business Journal to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs in the Cape Fear Region.


SBA innovateHER Regional Competition

Thursday, May 18th

4:00 PM - 6:30 PM

SBA launched the third year of the InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Challenge, a prize competition to showcase the most innovative products and services that impact and empower women’s lives. Through this Challenge, SBA searched for entrepreneurs creating a product or service that:

  • Has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families
  • Has the potential for commercialization
  • Fills a need in the marketplace

Global Trade Finance Workshop

Wednesday, May 17th

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Participants learned how to:

  • Analyze and understand their financial capacity for trade finance.
  • Determine the best method of payment for international transactions.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of cash-in-advance and open accounts.
  • Consider letters of credit and documentary collection options.
  • Manage export working capital to meet growing customer demand.
  • Utilize export credit insurance to gain and retain foreign customers.
  • Leverage overseas private investment in foreign direct investment.

The SBTDC Global Trade Finance Workshop was designed to help them gain the know-how to improve their firm’s cash flow cycle, profitability, and competitive advantage globally. Participants exchanged their thoughts and ideas with savvy business owners, trade finance experts, and Certified Global Business Professionals experienced with managing the business side of exporting.

SBTDC’s team of CGBP professionals was available by appointment for confidential, one-on-one meetings with registrants to discuss their unique market development and trade finance needs.


SBTDC Biz Basics

May 16th

1:00 PM

If so, the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at UNCW offered a free monthly workshop! The “How to Start a Business” workshop taught participants the basic business ownership steps. Our counselors discussed ways to research your business market, how to write a business plan, and the steps to seeking initial funding.

Speaker(s): Robin Bennett


Tuesdays With Tobin

Tuesday, May 16th

12:00 PM

Tobin Geats, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joined 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.

May 16th: Problem to Product


Creative Startups

Wednesday, May 10th

2:00 PM - 3:30PM

Margaret Collins, Executive Director for the Center for Creative Economy in Winston-Salem, came to the CIE to inform about an opportunity to participate in the nation’s leading startup accelerator for creative entrepreneurs: Creative Startups!

10 teams chosen to experience an 8-week intensive with 60 mentors and investors for a chance to win CASH. Industries include animation, culinary, ed-tech, film, toys & games, and many more.


SBA Summer Workshop Series

Mondays, May 8th - July 24th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

All programs were free and open to the public.

1. 50 Home-Based Businesses for Start Up Entrepreneurs, May 8th

In 2013, over 25% of all startup small businesses were home based businesses. This course provided startup entrepreneurs with flexibility in career options by exploring the availability of a home-based small business career. 

Topics included developing the key processes for a home-based business such as: the startup requirements; the business plan; the marketing plan; the financial plan; and how to obtain alternative lending for your home-based small business.

2. The ABC's of Managing Your Small Business, May 15th

This course was geared for the startup or those small businesses still seeking the basics of how to start, market, manage, and grow their small business.

Discussion included: Elements of the business plan; putting the business plan to work and assessing its results; developing the marketing plan; conducting a needs assessment; types of legal structure; strategic small business investment strategies; and developing customer outreach initiatives with win-win customer metrics that synergize sales and marketing success.

3. Developing Personal And Commercial Credit for Your Business Success, May 22nd

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 focused on how to build good personal credit AND establishing commercial credit for your company.

4. The 123’s of Small Business Cash Flow Management, June 5th

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, participants learned 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.

5. 337 Ways to Market for Greater Profits, June 12th

Participants learned how to maximize marketing investment and improve strategic visibility by generating leads, closing sales opportunities, increasing customer transactions and purchasing, utilizing strategic pricing techniques, and dramatically improve bottom line profits.

This course was 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!

6. Creating Sizzle In Your Business, June 19th

This course had 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.

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

7. Intro to SBA & Its Small Business Resource Programs, June 26th

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a variety of resources to assist small businesses. This course will helped participants you gain knowledge that helped them grow their own small business opportunities through SBA programs and partnerships.

In this overview of the SBA, participants learned about SBA alternative capital lending programs, how to qualify for lending assistance, and natural disaster preparation and lending. They learned how to take advantage of SBA-managed procurement programs (HUBZONE and 8a) to help market their businesses to the federal government as woman-owned, minority-owned, disabled veteran-owned, and and with a net worth of under $250k.

8. SBA Alternative Capital Programs For Every Small Business, July 10th

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

Discussion points included 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.

9. Veteran Entrepreneurship Programs by the SBA, July 17th

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 are automatically eligible for 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.

Participants learned how to take advantage of much-deserved veteran opportunities available through the SBA.

10. SBA Socio-Economic Contracting Programs for Small Business, July 24th

This seminar provided information and steps necessary to enroll in an SBA 8a and HUBZone programs for minorities, women, disabled veterans, and the economically disadvantaged (net worth LESS than $250k), or in low-income geographic areas (HUBZone).

Also, participants learned about contracting opportunities with the General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and a number of North Carolina based small business success stories in contracting.


Ask the Experts Series: Entrepreneurial Success Stories Featuring UNCW Alumni

Thursday, May 4th

4:00 PM

In this series, experts within various industries came together to give a brief presentation, followed by an opportunity for participants to engage with speakers in one-on-one and/or small group discussions to have specific questions answered. This month’s session focused on success stories from UNCW Alumni!

Featuring:

Corey Heim, Dry Corp
Stephanie Lanier, The Lanier Property Group, Inc.
Andrew Gray and Nathan Tayloe, Tayloe Gray
Albert Hedgepeth, Rendered Communications


Chancellor's High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition

Saturday, April 29th

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The second annual Chancellor’s High School Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition of 2017 was presented by the University of North Carolina Wilmington in partnership with Chancellor Sartarelli and UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This competition was an amazing opportunity for high school thinkers, dreamers, and innovators to explore their inner entrepreneurial spirit. This was a high school “lean” business competition for southeast North Carolina, covering 11 counties (Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Duplin, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Sampson, Pender, Carteret, Pamlico, Wayne, Craven, and New Hanover), and 50 high schools.


CIE Workshop Series: Startup Financing

Thursday, April 20th

12:00 - 4:00 PM

This workshop, sponsored by the CIE and Hutchison, PLLC, explored the basics of startup financing and tools for navigating the investment process. In addition to getting a general overview on equity and convertible debt funding, participants received term sheets that could be used as starting points for a SAFE or convertible debt financing and a series seed financing. The presentation focused on SAFE financings, convertible debt financings and early stage equity financings.


Design-Based Innovation Workshop

April 18th

12:00 to 3:00 PM

Based on the content of Harvard University’s Clayton Christensen and collaboration with his company, Innosight, this workshop was for teams with a vested interest in understanding innovation coupled with the application of design thinking principles for shaping solutions to significant problems.

Participants learned about:

  • processes, tools and techniques that support innovation initiatives
  • customer-focused solution processes
  • an approach to solving the right problems
  • the connection of successful design-based innovation to divergent/convergent thinking, management versus leadership, and business strategy

Ask the Experts Series: Food and Beverage

Thursday, April 6th

4:00 PM

Short presentations were followed by one-on-one Q&A and consultation. Experts included:

Scott Armstrong, The Restaurant Wizard and Restaurant365 co-designer
Arthur Kareff, SCORE mentor and former National Vending Manager for Snapple Beverage Company
Kristen Beckmeyer-Spetrino, Coastal Cupcakes and Topsee Tulip Frosting
Jim Poppe, SCORE Chapter Chairman, former Trader Joe’s Markets executive, and wine shop owner


Tuesdays With Tobin: Exit Thesis: Begin at the End

April 4th

12:00 PM

Tobin Geats, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joined the CIE for the first of many 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 learned Tobin's "truths" about exit points, exit valuations, and the path to get there. They learned the difference between a strategic exit and financial exit.


Free Tax E-filing from the Cameron School of Business

Saturdays, February 18th, 25th; March 18th, 25th; April 8th, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Wednesdays, February 22nd; March 15th, 29th; April 5th, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The Cameron School of Business offered free tax assistance as part of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sponsored program known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA provides low and moderate-income individuals and families with free income tax preparation assistance through IRS certified volunteers. The program, created over 40 years ago by Gary Iskowitz at Cal State University at Northridge, was intended to provide local taxpayers with free tax assistance by accounting students; providing both a valuable service to the local community and powerful hands-on learning experience for accounting students. Today, VITA is a nationwide program serving millions of taxpayers each year. 


Greater Wilmington Business Journal Biz Expo

Thursday, March 30th

11:30 AM - 7 PM at the Wilmington Convention Center

The CIE's seminars:

1:45 p.m. - Adwords Tips from Marc Mereyde of TiktoPlus

2:45 p.m. - Revitalization of Wilmywood from Dan Brawley of the Cucalorus Film Festival 

3:45 p.m. - Building the Coastal Economy from Diane Durance, Director of the CIE 


Improve Your Business Search Engine Optimization Through Video

Thursday, March 9th

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

This short and sweet presentation showed how your business can improve its online presence through search engine optimization (SEO) tips that include video content. Attendees also learned the essential components of a successful business video.

Presenters included Marc Mereyde, TedxTalk speaker and CIE tenant founder of TiktoPlus, Google Analytics and Adwords instructor, and web design and digital marketing consultant; and Buckley Hubbard, 20-year major motion picture and TV industry veteran and award-winning professional screenwriter, filmmaker, and artist.


CIE Internship Summit

Wednesday, March 1st

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

5:00 p.m. -- UNCW Career Center discussed the Certified Internship Program and how businesses can best utilize student interns.
5:30 p.m. -- Speed Interviews: Students and local businesses connected during eight 8-minute interview sessions.
6:30 p.m. -- Networking and refreshments.

CIE Workshop Series: Social Media Marketing Bootcamp

Thursday, February 23rd

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Social Media Marketing Bootcamp was a four-hour workshop designed for business owners, entrepreneurs and social community managers to learn how to effectively use social media and Internet search. We covered the following and more:
  • How to identify which social networks are right for your business. All social networks were not created equal.
  • Why building your social media spider web to catch new customers can now be done in a weekend.
  • How to design a Facebook advertising campaign to launch a new product, promote an event, or just announce a sale.
  • Why you should pay attention to LinkedIn and what it can teach you about social selling.
  • Find out the easiest way to get on the first page of Google. You may have never heard of how to get this done quickly and without hiring someone to do it.
  • How to instantly know when someone has mentioned your name or the name of your business online anywhere in the world.

Graduate Student Mixer

Thursday, February 23rd

5:00 - 8:00 PM


Ask the Experts Series: Financing

Thursday, February 9th

4:00 PM

Participants heard from these experts in a brief presentation followed by an opportunity for one on one and/or small group discussions to get questions answered!

Dan Brawley, CEO, Cucalorus
David Cheek, Chairman Emeritus of SCORE Cape Fear Region
Joe Newcomb, SCORE Mentor
Don Spry, Senior Area Manager, Small Business Administration
Lentz Brewer, VP, Park Sterling Bank
Brendan Collins, Partner, Seahawk Innovation and CEO, mimijumi


Google Adwords Workshop Series for Students

February 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd; March 1st, 2nd

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Students learned about the Adwords platform with this 8-part series and discovered the power of pay-per-click ads. Pay-per-click advertising on the Google platform can significantly boost exposure and revenue for companies and organizations looking to build an online presence, but there’s a caveat attached to that success. Without a proper understanding of how AdWords works, it’s also possible to lose money and achieve little to no results. Marc Mereyde of TiktoPlus helped people avoid critical mistakes and gain the knowledge they needed to execute effective AdWords campaigns.


Understanding High-Growth Company Funding and Creating/Delivering Your Entrepreneurial Story

Tuesday, February 7th

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Leveragent's presentation on entrepreneurial storytelling was designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs understand the basics of creating and presenting a targeted, crisp and compelling story for high growth investment audiences.


SBTDC Biz Basics

January 17th, February 7th, March 7th, April 25th

1:00 PM

The Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at UNCW offered a free monthly workshop! The “How to Start a Business” workshop taught participants the basic business ownership steps. Our counselors discussed ways to research your business market, how to write a business plan, and the steps to seeking initial funding.


CIE Workshop Series: Sales

Thursday, January 26th

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Bring your questions, issues and challenges, and let’s drill down into some fundamentals of ensuring sustainable organizational success! Go over some or all of the following topics with sales coach David Starbuck:

  • Most challenging barriers to sales success and how to overcome them
  • Organizational structure
  • Perceptions of "sales people"
  • The cultural vision for your organization/company
  • Finding and maximizing your leadership style
  • Analyzing and shaping your market plan, sales process, and sales cycle
  • Targeting your ideal customer--and meeting them
  • Compensation for "sales people"
  • How to differentiate your solution from other solutions in your space
  • What problems your product/service solves
  • Ways to view your cost of sales
  • Commissions vs. incentives
  • Basics for ensuring scalable sales success
  • ...and more--depending on what YOU want to learn!

Join us and learn how to create strategic thinking when it comes approaching the market, customers and sales solutions.

Free for members; $15 for nonmembers. Email us at cie@uncw.edu to register.


CIE Workshop Series: Courses with Craig

Tuesdays, January 24th...

12:00 - 3:00 PM

January 24th: Grant Workshop

This workshop presented an overview of grant funding from the perspective of early stage firms. Grants are particularly attractive to early stage firms since they are non-dilutive in nature. Yet only a fraction of firms actually apply for grants! In this workshop, NC IDEA, a grant organization, discussed the various sources of grants, including SBIR/STTR and other grants targeted toward early stage firms, alongside CIE adviser Dr. Craig Galbraith.

Topics included:

  • SBIR/STTR grants
  • Other federal and state agency grants
  • How to search for grant opportunities
  • What grant funders are looking for
  • Mistakes often made in grant applications
  • If funded, what do you need to do
  • Building a grant portfolio as part of a funding model

Zero to Native App in 8 Hours

Tuesdays, January 17th, 31st; February 14th, 28th

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Social Haven open-sourced their Stencil framework and walked serious developers through the steps it takes to make a data-driven cross platform native app. At the end of the four part series, participants had their own iOS and Android apps ready for the app store and ready to scale.

William livestreamed and recorded all sessions for those who couldn't attend all four.


Google Adwords Workshop for Business Owners

January 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, and 26th; February 1st, 2nd

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Participants learned about the Adwords platform and discovered the power of pay-per-click ads!

Pay-per-click advertising on the Google platform can significantly boost exposure and revenue for companies and organizations looking to build an online presence, but there’s a caveat attached to that success. Without a proper understanding of how AdWords works, it’s also possible to lose money and achieve little to no results. Marc Mereyde of TiktoPlus helped people avoid critical mistakes and gain the knowledge they need to execute effective AdWords campaigns.


Tuesdays With Tobin: Creating a Successful Startup in the 21st Century

January 10th

12:00 PM

Tobin Geats, Co-Founder and General Partner of Seahawk Innovation, joined the CIE for the first of many seminars on entrepreneurship. His vision and leadership have helped Seahawk Innovation and their unique model to launch, fund, expand, and manage innovative businesses. This session covered:

  •  What your startup needs to be successful in the 21st century
  •  Why money doesn't solve your problems as a startup
  •  What Seahawk Innovation looks for in its startup companies from an investor's point of view

Professional Writing Skills Workshop

Mondays, January 9th, 16th, 23rd, 28th

6:00 - 8:00 PM

This set of workshops was taught by a variety of knowledgeable UNCW faculty, staff, and students in the departments of English, Communication Studies, Film Studies, and the Cameron School of Business as well as by CIE startups with experience in content creation. The four-week workshop course covered a wide variety of topics related to writing for business, be it web page content, blogs, social media, or advertisement copy. Participants learned about SEO, interviews, branding, editing for the web, and more.
 
January 9th
Strategic Thinking About Communication: Clarifying Goals, Audience, & Brand
Content Ideation
Structuring Content for Different Platforms

January 16th
Search Engine Optimization
Editing for the Web
Developing Social Media Profiles & Using Open-Source Software

January 23rd
Preliminary Interview Preparation
Interviewing Skills
Media Ethics and the Law

January 30th
CIE Media Team Services – Client and Creative Communication
One-on-One with Experts & Workshop Attendees' Content