UNCW "Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship" Supports Economic Growth in Region with Establishment of Private Venture Capital Fund

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wilmington, NC: The University of North Carolina Wilmington today announced plans to open its Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for use this summer. In addition, the university has agreed upon preliminary terms governing the establishment of The Seahawk Fund, a venture capital fund to support business and economic development in the greater Wilmington region. The announcement was made Friday morning by Chancellor Gary L. Miller in his quarterly report to the UNCW Board of Trustees.

The intended fund, which would support funding for start-ups, would be privately operated and involve the participation of the UNCW Research Foundation and Entrepreneurship Center LLC.

"The momentum behind the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the latest sign of UNCW's commitment to supporting economic growth in the region," commented Chancellor Miller. "Our community has the potential to be a real catalyst for business development and start-up success. We want to help champion those entrepreneurs with the structure and resources that could lead to long-term, sustainable growth, new jobs for our area, and the establishment of Wilmington as a hotbed of innovative business development."

The CIE will house the university's Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), emerging businesses, future tech transfer operations, and the venture fund, as well as the center's director, who is expected to be appointed in the near future. In addition, UNCW faculty and students will use the CIE as an accelerator space for academic and entrepreneurial pursuits. Renovations are underway to support a late-summer move-in for the center's occupants, and a formal grand opening for the community is expected to take place in the fall.

The CIE is at 803 South College Road, located at the south perimeter of the UNCW campus. The university acquired 803 South College Road in early 2013.

Please note: The university supports the establishment of the Seahawk Fund. However, UNCW cannot and will not make a cash investment in the Fund - instead, a university-affiliated entity will provide office space and personnel, as well as administrative support and services, including the licensure of certain university intellectual property in exchange for its limited partnership interest in the Fund. The university is not and will not be an agent or representative of the Fund, and does not have, and will not have, a role in the Fund's management.

Media contacts: Office of University Relations

Janine Iamunno

Tara Romanella