Entrepreneurship Center forms LLC
February 28, 2012By Alison Lee Satake
UNCW’s Entrepreneurship Center announced Tuesday that it is reorganizing as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). The center, which was created within the Cameron School of Business in January 2010, will be an LLC with non-profit status, said Jonathan Rowe, who will remain center director and the LLC’s managing director. The changes will enable the Entrepreneurship Center to become more of a public-private partnership, leveraging both university and private sector resources.
“Entrepreneurship is going to be the cornerstone to our future in this region,” Rowe said. “The center will be a beacon for entrepreneurship, especially for students.”
UNCW is the parent organization and the LLC is under the auspices of the UNCW Research Foundation. UNCW chief of staff Max Allen will serve as the foundation’s executive director. The foundation board will include Larry Clark, dean of the Cameron School of Business, UNCW Provost Cathy Barlow and Allen.
“The reorganization will enable the center to become more nimble and innovative as it expands its programs and creates new initiatives,” said UNCW chancellor Gary Miller. “The center will also assist UNCW in its innovation and commercialization efforts, such as MARBIONC.”
MARBIONC is another UNCW LLC focusing on commercialization of marine biotechnology products and services.
Entrepreneurship student Deborah Conley attended the announcement. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and business development and she participated in the Student Rocket Pitch session in November and pitched the business plan she is working on to create biofuels from algae.
“I wanted to use the earth’s resources to lessen our dependency on oil,” she said. “[The Rocket Pitch] prepared me to approach investors in the future.”
The next goal for the Entrepreneurship Center is to grow its staff, Rowe said. For now, the office will remain on campus. The vision, however, is to have a bigger space to serve the need, he said.