Jim Roberts has been appointed Executive Director of UNCW’s Center for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the University announced today
during the 2013 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, an event co-hosted by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal to honor local businesses and the people behind them.
With a grand opening slated for the fall, the CIE will house UNCW’s
Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), future tech
transfer operations and the Seahawk Fund.
Emerging startup businesses will also be housed in the CIE and are
expected to begin working at the center this summer. The CIE will also
serve as an accelerator space for academic and entrepreneurial pursuits.
“I am thrilled that we have hired Jim Roberts to lead our Center for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship," commented Chancellor Gary L. Miller.
"His vast knowledge and experience will help create the right synergy
for entrepreneurs. His leadership will allow UNCW to be the place where
start-ups, small businesses, and new ideas and ventures from faculty,
staff and students will grow.”
Roberts assumed his new position earlier this week and will report to UNCW’s Chief of Staff, Max Allen.
new role at the CIE is a terrific fit for both my professional
experience and my personal passion for innovation and entrepreneurship,”
commented Roberts. “I am eager to meet with entrepreneurs, UNCW faculty
and the community to gather input on the strengths and opportunities
that exist in the realm of entrepreneurial development. Aligning
available statewide resources with our regional goals will be critical
in raising the profile of Wilmington as a fertile ground for emerging
Named one of the “40 Most Influential People Under 40” by the Charlotte Business Journal,
Roberts’s experience with business development, life sciences,
information technology and governmental agencies align with the
university’s vision for the CIE. He started an entrepreneur council in
Charlotte called FirstRound during the technology boom of 2000. He was
then recruited to the Asheville region to start the Blue Ridge
Entrepreneurial Council (BREC) and Blue Ridge Angel Investor Network
(BRAIN) where he hosted the annual Carolina Connect Entrepreneur and
Venture Capital Conference. He also served as the Director of Business
Development at the Center of Innovation for NanoBiotechnology (COIN), a
program of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center; and as a Business
Development Manager for the International Trade Division of the North
Carolina Department of Commerce.
Roberts graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising.
The CIE is located at 803 South College Road, at the south perimeter of the UNCW campus. Follow Jim Roberts on Twitter at https://twitter.com/UNCW_startups.
Follow Jim Roberts on Twitter