The UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has scheduled a slate of workshops and networking events to support entrepreneurs in the region, beginning with an NC IDEA event on Aug. 21. NC IDEA, the state's premier not-for-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs with potential pathways to success, will hold their grant cycle kickoff event on Aug. 21, featuring President and CEO David Rizzo and grants program manager Andrea Cook.
“Introducing NC IDEA to entrepreneurs who are growing in the Wilmington community offers them a chance to learn more about what resources may be available to them in our region and beyond,” said CIE Executive Director Jim Roberts. “I am eager to help more Wilmington-area businesses and support their growth, and this will be a great opportunity to connect our entrepreneurs to a statewide resource that has invested in other parts of the state. This grant process can serve as a qualifier for IDEA Fund Partners and other regional investment funds."
On Aug. 21, Rizzo and Cook will host an informal session kicking off their Fall 2013 Grant Cycle. NC IDEA helps innovative companies identify their business needs and position themselves for growth, and provides early financing in the form of grants. Rizzo is also a Venture Partner with IDEA Fund Partners, an active seed and early stage investor that makes small initial investments with additional set aside to invest over the life of a company. Registration is now open for potential grant applicants who would like to be given an overview of how the grants process works and eligibility criteria.
“We’re looking forward to our visit and are excited to meet and learn more about Wilmington’s entrepreneurial community," said David Rizzo. "We hope our information session will result in an increase of grant applications from the Wilmington area this cycle."
In addition, the North Carolina Technology Association will hold a workshop on Sept. 25 with a reception following in downtown Wilmington. On Oct. 17, the CIE will host a workshop with the Small Business and Technology Development Center featuring the SBTDC’s John Ujvari. Ujvari’s presentation will focus on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, which were developed by the Small Business Administration as an incentive for small businesses to explore their technological potential and support scientific excellence.
The SBIR Program has three phases, with only Phase I and II allocating money to small businesses. Phase I funding is provided to help small businesses become established and typically does not exceed $150,000 over a six-month period. Phase II funding is only awarded to those who received Phase I monies and is based on the success of a company while in their preliminary stage. Funds granted in this phase do not exceed one million over the span of two years.
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. As announced earlier this year, the CIE will house UNCW’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), future technology transfer operations and the Seahawk Innovation Fund. In addition, UNCW faculty and students will also be able to use the CIE as an accelerator space for academic and entrepreneurial pursuits. The CIE will officially open their doors on September 5.
For more information, please visit http://uncw.edu/cie/.