UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Honored at White House

Friday, November 14, 2014

UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) was recognized at the White House on Nov. 12 for being among the winners of the nation’s first Growth Accelerator Competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

"This award will be used to expand our business support for entrepreneurs in the CIE,” said Ron Vetter, associate provost for research and dean of the UNCW Graduate School. "Being chosen as one of 50 winners from a pool of 832 applicants is quite an accomplishment and recognizes the contributions the CIE is making in building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southeastern North Carolina."

Vetter and Jim Roberts, executive director of the CIE, represented UNCW at the White House Business Council Forum on Accelerating Entrepreneurship. Presentations were given by Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator. The panel discussion topics included "Empowering a New Generation of Startup Accelerators to Achieve National Priorities" and "Policies to Promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“We're very proud of winning this grant, which is validation that we are on the right track,” Roberts said. “One of the ways we hope to use the money is to continue expanding our services to entrepreneurs, helping them take an idea to a polished product that can be presented to a potential investor more quickly.”

The CIE works to identify and nurture high-growth, high-impact companies and to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeastern North Carolina. It is located at 803 South College Road, at the south perimeter of the UNCW campus. The CIE houses UNCW’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), technology transfer operations and the Seahawk Innovation Fund. In addition, UNCW faculty and students are able to use the CIE as an accelerator space for academic and entrepreneurial pursuits. For more information, please visit or follow the CIE on Twitter.