UNCW, Greater Wilmington Business Journal Name the CIE’s Mimijumi 2015 Coastal Entrepreneur of the Year

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wilmington, N.C. – Mimijumi, a locally owned and operated company based out of the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), is the 2015 recipient of the Coastal Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the CIE and the Greater Wilmington Business Journal (GWBJ).

“We were thrilled to receive the award in our category, and it is truly an honor to win the overall award as the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year. Last year, I attended this event and was inspired to grow our business, and I hope there are people who attended today that will find that same inspiration,” said Brendan Collins, CEO of mimijumi. “Our product is sold in 30 countries, and it is so rewarding to work for a company that is helping families around the world.”

Mimijumi was created with mothers in mind. The company’s product, an ergonomic bottle designed to replicate the breastfeeding experience, creates a natural experience to ease infants’ transition from breast to bottle. Mimijumi is one of the Seahawk Innovation companies.

“All of today’s category winners are vital to the success of Wilmington’s economic development initiatives and further illustrate that our community is flourishing as a hotbed of innovation,” said Ron Vetter, who, as UNCW's associate provost of research and dean of the graduate school, oversees the day-to-day operations of the CIE. “Watching mimijumi’s concept grow from an idea to an operation that works with roughly 300 retailers is the latest evidence that Wilmington companies, and CIE tenants specifically, have the potential to become great forces in the business world. Since the inception of the CIE only a few years ago, we’ve been fortunate to support great success stories like mimijumi's. The CIE continues to expand and grow. We are eager to remain a source of new entrepreneurial opportunities for our faculty, students and community.” 

The university plans to announce an interim director for the CIE in the next week or two, with an external search for a permanent director to begin early this fall. 

Mimijumi was one of 10 Coastal Entrepreneur Award category winners selected from an entry pool of more than 100 applicants. Category winners were recognized May 21 at a breakfast event in UNCW’s Burney Center. The winners and their categories are as follows:

Brand Assurance, Technology

Carolina Green Building, Professional Services

Elite Innovations, Emerging Company

Filmwerks International, Film

Gig Salad, Internet-Related Business

Harrelson Center, Non-Profit

Koolbridge Solar, Manufacturing &Distribution

mimijumi, Health Care

Performance Culture, Internet-Related Business

Surgilum, Biotechnology

The Entrepreneur of the Year was selected after each category winner met with the final panel of judges. To evaluate the applicants, judges determine whether the organization is entrepreneurial and with which category winner they would invest $100,000.

The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards are a joint venture of UNCW’s CIE and the GWBJ. Created to foster entrepreneurial activity, the awards shine a spotlight on emerging entrepreneurs in the region and help them connect with potential mentors, investors and clients as they grow their companies and create higher paying jobs in the region. The category winners were profiled in a special Coastal Entrepreneur Awards section of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.