What the 2013 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards Represent
May 13, 2013By Jenni Harris
We’ve got the beach, we’ve got a close-knit community, we’ve got arts and culture galore. But what do we have more of than anything else here in Wilmington? If you’re someone who believes in entrepreneurship, innovation, partnerships and reimagining boundaries, your answer is likely one word: Potential.
We at the University of North Carolina Wilmington feel fortunate to be engaged in active discussions with the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, Cape Fear Future and several private entities to help develop that potential.
A strong partnership between public and private entities will be key to offering startup businesses the support and direction they crave as they look toward turning ideas into reality and plans into prosperity.
Partnering with the Greater Wilmington Business Journal with the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, via our Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is one way that UNCW is proud to help support local entrepreneurs.
We are eager to bolster those relationships to capitalize on existing resources for startups and explore new ones, to create events and programs that further the dialogue around business opportunities and challenges in this region and to expand outreach to those who haven’t yet had a seat at the table when it comes to economic opportunity.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will soon be offering space and time and funding opportunities to new ventures. This collaborative approach with a number of partners will offer an often unheralded form of wealth that exists in this region, and will combine the passion and drive of emerging businesses that it will undoubtedly lead to very fruitful partnerships.
The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards honorees deserve our applause, of course, but also our deep respect for their determination in developing thriving business models and opportunities for our entire region. They saw potential, seized upon opportunity and transformed it into success. Let’s follow that formula, as we all work together to unlock the possibilities that this amazing community deserves.
(Jenni Harris is UNCW’s assistant to the chancellor for community partnerships.)