MADE Winners - Supporter Business Category

By Staff Reports, posted Feb 26, 2016

Editor’s Note: The Supporter Category award recognized a single entity that is helping area makers and entrepreneurs grow their products and business operations.

Elite Innovations LLC

Year established: 2014 | Number of employees: 4 full-time, 6 contractors, 2 interns

Top local official: Andrew Williams, CEO

Company description: “An affordable product development firm … Elite Innovations provides inventors with a low-cost means of converting their concepts into a marketable, manufacturable and functional product.” Elite Innovations offers product development services to inventors throughout the region — including sketching, CAD, prototyping, source for manufacturing and go-to market services. Products created by Elite include the Easy Denture, which is not yet on the market, TacLace and ORIGOSafe.

Target market: Inventors

Company growth: Since October 2014, Elite Innovations has grown from two employees in its makerspace to over 10 staff in two locations, while tripling revenue from 2014 to 2015.

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “Andrew Williams is a serial entrepreneur and Wilmington native. As an inventor himself, he faced several challenges when trying to get his first product, TacLace, off the ground. In addition, he designed and launched the ORIGOSafe anti-texting and driving product in 2013. The combined experiences of those product launches urged him to create a way for inventors to bring their products to life, so he founded Elite Innovations.”

How has your product helped impact the region's economic development? "Of our staff, contractors and interns: Our staff include UNC, UNCW, CFCC and App State graduates. Our interns include students from UNCW, UNC and Edinburgh University. We continue to seek out local talent for all of our hiring needs. Each product that goes through Elite's design thinking process is a new product and new business created in NC. Many of our customers are then able to spin off their own ventures, further hiring local talent and growing our local business economy."

What are your future goals for the product? "Future goals include hiring more local talent, expanding our services and locations, as well as launching or licensing two products per year."

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