Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Past Events


2018


Brand Over Noise

May 15th

12:00 - 2:00 PM

The modern marketing world is a loud place, one that blares with industry buzz words, newfangled PR trends and ever-changing positioning gimmicks. It's difficult for today's businesses to drown out the racket and hear the rhythm of lasting brand development. Stephen Bon--president of Bon's Eye Marketing--on May 15, explored ways to construct a fortified, charismatic identity. Over the last decade, Bon has helped many businesses--from Fortune 500s to startups--build brands that get target audiences to stop, listen and take action. During this lunch and learn, he outlined 3 steps to immediately establish brand likeability and trustworthiness.


SBA Summer Workshop Series: The ABCs of Managing Your Small Business

May 15th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

This course was geared toward the startups 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.


Artificial Intelligence Hub Meeting

May 10th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Can Wilmington be a hub for AI?  Wilmington has UNCW and CFCC for education, tekMountain to encourage and promote innovation, the CIE to support start-ups and innovative solutions, established companies such as PPD, GE/Hitachi, Corning, and NHRMC, and an increasing population with a wide variety of talent, skills, and experiences.  So...Can these resources be brought together to make Wilmington a hub for AI? We explored developing Wilmington into a hub for AI research, education, and business application activities for NC.  The goals for this meeting were to:

Develop the hub concept further,

Define specific activities to begin the hub creation process,

Organize to move those activities forward.


SBA Summer Workshop Series: 50 Home-Based Businesses for Startup Entrepreneurs

May 8th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

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.


NC FILM Forum: ConGRADuations

May 4th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

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.

Congratulations, grads! The CIE, in partnership with the NC fILM Forum, hosted a graduation reception and event for UNCW and CFCC film studies grads. There was food, drinks, fun, and a showing of photos from students' time in Wilmington and short video projects displayed.


AI Series Meetup

April 24th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

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: "Climbing the AI Ladder"

This month Cam Weis, Director of Business Development at DAS, and Mike Orr, Director of Technical Services & Operations at Modoc Research Services, presented on the sequence of IT activities that need to occur as a company climbs the ladder to AI enablement. AI can provide an opportunity for companies to use internal and external data to gain new business insights, react quickly to environmental changes, increase customer satisfaction, identify new products, and increase productivity and efficiency. But, is it right for your company, and if so, how and where do you start? Cam and Mike provided you an outline of the AI journey from a business and technical perspective and key decision points you’ll encounter along the way.


The Creative Startups Experience: Lessons Learned by Firelux Films

April 23rd

1:00 - 7:00 PM

Meredith Jones and Mary Margaret Folds, co-founders of Firelux Films, shared 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.

Program ran 1-5 p.m.

Networking reception ran 5-6 p.m.

Info session at 6 p.m. for those interested in applying for this year's Creative Startups Accelerator cohort.

Participants learned about these topics in the context of Creative Startups:

  • The importance of legal on the front end
  • TEAMS
  • Defining the customer's pain
  • Business Plans
  • How to pitch
  • Things they wish they would have known before participating in the accelerator


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

April 19th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Participants learned 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. 


Building a Career Despite Adversity

April 17th

12:00 - 1:30 PM

Participants joined Kimberly Griffiths, Principal Program Manager from Adobe, for lunch at CIE to push past career hurdles. She shared her own adversities she faced during her career as a digital marketing professional. 

For the last eight years, Kimberly Griffiths, Principal Program Manager for Adobe, created and runs its global client loyalty program, Adobe Leaders&Learners. Click here to see an overview. 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. 

Participants had an opportunity to leverage her leadership skills with like-minded women looking to improve themselves. With her 25-year career, Masters in Information Systems/Bachelors in ArtS, coupled with 15 years of being a certified teacher in yoga/meditation, Kimberly brought a wealth of innovative techniques, out-of-the-box solutions, and fun ideas to motivate participants to be top performers in their own lives.


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

April 11th

5:30 - 8:30 PM

Wilmington Brewing Company

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.

DOGMA Cape Fear hosted this one-year-anniversary forum, and the special guest speaker was Brooke Barnhill.

Brooke Barnhill is a Wilmington-based Locations Manager. She is known for her work on Safe Haven (2013), Black Knight (2001), Good Behavior (2017) and Under the Dome (2013) and was in prep for the film Words on Bathroom Walls. She has a brilliant mind that can translate what is written on the page and match it to a location that best tells the story.

After Brooke spoke, DOGMA announced the winner(s) of the One Minute Short Film contest, just before the floor opened for other announcements and then networking.  


Selling Made Simple with Michael Barbera

April 10th

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Participants learned how to identify and sell to customers by developing the whole product and whole customer. The whole customer consists of several consumer avatars and each should be approached differently. The whole product is how the consumer perceives the use and value of your products and services. Attendees learned how to use the consumer's perceptions to sell their products and services.

Michael Barbera is an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies. His areas of practice are consumer behavior, consumer emotions, social psychology, decision-making, brand management, marketing, and long-term business strategies. Michael is the CEO of Barbera Solutions. His clients can be found on the Fortune 50 list and several television programs show as ABC’s Shark Tank and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. In 2015, the White House recognized Michael for his contributions to entrepreneurship.


Greater Wilmington Business Journal Expo

April 5th

11:30 AM - 7:00 PM

Wilmington Convention Center

The WilmingtonBiz Expo was your business’s opportunity to personally connect with more than 2,500 potential clients – all in one day. The 2018 event included a Keynote Lunch, Expo Hall with more than 100 exhibitors, Strategy Seminars and an After Hours party for more casual networking.

Launched in 2011, this annual event provides unique networking opportunities for businesses and influential professionals including entrepreneurs, executives, community leaders and others.

The WilmingtonBiz Conference and Expo was a one-day event featuring:

  • A Keynote Speaker
  • Exhibit Hall with more than 100 exhibitors
  • Free business seminars
  • Wilmington's largest annual WilmingtonBiz after hours

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 met on the 4th Tuesday of each month to discuss a hot topic in the world of AI.

March 27: How Does Your Company Fit into the Future?: Artificial Intelligence vs. Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning

The article shared by tekMountain with the same title was the foundation of this month's meetup.  Julian Keith, UNCW Psychology; Mike Orr, Watson Group/Watson Health Group/IBM; Curry Guinn, UNCW Computer Science; and Sean Ahlum, tekMountain were the panelists for this discussion.


Tuesdays with Tobin: Exit Thesis

March 27th

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.

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.


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 discussed 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.


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 teamed 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, participants learned 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


NC fILM Forum: Connecting Our Community's Creatives

March 14th

5:30 - 7:00 PM

Wilmington Brewing Company

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.

Meredith Jones and Mary Margaret Folds, co-founders of Firelux Films, shared their comedic story about the lessons they learned as entrepreneurs in the Creative Startups cohort. 


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. Participants:

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

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 brought truth, humor and advice to business leaders about getting through sticky situations with employees. Session hosted by Lisa Leath of Leath HR Group.


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

March 6th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Helping women and men to become active participants in their own breast health. Participants:

  • Learned skills needed to perform a self-exam using life-like models.
  • Learned what is normal for your breasts and what signs/symptoms are not normal.
  • Learned how to be a good advocate for their own breast health.

AI Series Meetup

February 27th

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Folks interested in artificial intelligence, how it might affect business, and creating products that use AI gathered to talk with others in the Wilmington area that shared the interest.

The AI Series meets each month on the 4th Tuesday to discuss a hot topic in the world of AI. 

Our first event was 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. 


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, 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.

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.


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 came to speak to students--and you. CIE Director Diane Durance taught an entrepreneurship class at UNCW. As part of the class, she brought speakers to the CIE.

Feb. 26th's speakers were:

Alex Dale, attorney at Ward and Smith, gave consecutive presentations:

"Business Law for Startups." Alex addressed some of the most common questions and situations that arise in the early days of forming and starting a business. Attendees learned the pros and cons of different business structures. Other topics included employment agreements, contracts with customers and suppliers, leases and purchase agreements.  

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


NC fILM Forum presents: An ILM Music Video Party

February 24th

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Waterline Brewery

We had over 50 submissions from filmmakers and bands statewide and showcased this selection with filmmakers representing Asheville, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Winston, Greensboro, and Wilmington. It was a kickoff to 2018 and all the art/fILM/dance/music collaborations that are about to take over our state

Hosted by Honey Head Films, the NC fILM Forum Admins, UNCW CIE, & Cucalorus.


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

February 22nd

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Participants joined David Morrison, MPA, CMRc of DF Morrison Consulting as he prepared them for working in the social sector. They learned:

• 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.


EBD 380 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Pat Fontana, Words Working

February 19th

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Experts came to speak to students--and you. CIE Director Diane Durance taught an entrepreneurship class at UNCW. As part of the class, she brought speakers to the CIE.

Feb. 19th's speaker was Pat Fontana, CEO of Words Working, presenting, "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 worked on real-life exercises that reminded us how to communicate with the humans we are connected to in our businesses!


GenFKD Info Session

February 15th

6:00 - 7:30 PM

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

  • 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.

Intro to Marketing with Michael Barbera

February 8th

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Michael Barbera is an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies. His areas of practice are consumer behavior, consumer emotions, social psychology, decision-making, brand management, marketing, and long-term business strategies. Michael is currently employed as the CEO of Barbera Solutions. His clients can be found on the Fortune 50 list and several television programs show as ABC's Shark Tank and Bravo's Million Dollar Listing. In 2015, the White House recognized Michael for his contributions to entrepreneurship. 

In this session, Michael shared his research and experiences as a marketing expert for your small business. Coffee and snacks provided.


EBD 380 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: David Reeser, IT Works and Heather McWhorter, SBTDC

February 5th

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

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

Experts came to speak to students--and you. CIE Director Diane Durance taught an entrepreneurship class at UNCW. As part of the class, she brought speakers to the CIE, and you were invited to attend for free.

Feb. 5th's speakers were:

David Reeser, CEO of IT Works, gave the presentation: "The Best Sales Training in the Galaxy." 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." This sales seminar was all about you and helping you be the best influencer you can be.

Heather McWhorter, Regional Director of the SBTDC, gave the presentation: "Financial Literacy for Startups." Participants joined Heather and MSA graduate student, Natalia Salgado, to explore the financial concepts that support startup success. Participants learned how to create a meaningful cash-flow projection and develop a greater understanding of the numbers on your balance sheet and income statement. Having relevant and timely financial information is critical to effective decision-making.  


Big Tax Changes for Small Business

January 31st

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Heard about the 1,097 page tax law that just passed on December 22, 2017?  Wondering what the new tax law means for you as an entrepreneur or small business owner?  The short answer is: it means a lot!  These were the biggest tax changes in decades and affect business owners at every level.  In this presentation, Pronto Tax School Founder Andy Frye and CPA Adam Shay teamed up to tell you what you needed to know about the new tax law, to keep your taxes as low as possible while staying out of hot water with the IRS.


Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield for Today's Business Leaders

January 30th

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

A speech and discussion about the effects of poor leadership in businesses and ways to remedy this, given by Colonel (Retired) Rob Campbell, Author and Leadership Consultant.


NC IDEA: Writing a Winning Grant Application

January 25th

4:00 - 6:00 PM

In this event, NC IDEA Foundation provided an overview of all NC IDEA programming, specifically focusing on its upcoming NC IDEA SEED Program, which provides $50,000 grants to early-stage, high-growth companies.

In the first hour, NC IDEA walked through the various programs of the foundation and discussed those that might benefit your company, including NC IDEA LABS and NC IDEA SOAR.

In the second hour, NC IDEA walked companies through the various components of the NC IDEA SEED application, providing tips and best practices for writing a successful application. (Applications for the NC IDEA SEED program will open 2/12 and close 2/26. See this link for more details.)


Tuesdays (Wednesday) with Tobin: Creating a Successful Startup in the 21st Century

January 24th **CHANGED FROM JAN. 23**

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


LinkedIn & Personal Brand Workshop with Pivot Launch Coaching & Whittington Consulting Group

January 17th

3:00 - 5:00 PM

Mike Hunter and Neal Whittington co-presented on the power of branding combined with the reach of LinkedIn. Once they shifted mindsetS on how these two things go together, they facilitated a profile work session. Attendees walked away with a fresh understanding of why branding is so important today and how to get the most out of their LinkedIn profile. 


Welcome Wednesdays

Periodically

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 meet CIE director Diane Durance and members of Seahawk Innovation, a venture funding and mentoring firm operating within the CIE.