UNCW hires center director
May 22, 2013By Jenny Callison
The search is over for a director of the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. University officials said Wednesday that Jim Roberts has been hired for the position.
Roberts has a background in entrepreneurship, business development and biotechnology. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in North Carolina. His starting date has not been announced.
The position of director has been vacant for nearly a year. The center’s founding director, Jonathan Rowe, left in May 2012 to head up marketing for Live Oak Bank’s banking software spinoff nCino. Fran Scarlett, the executive director of the Small Business Technology Development Center based at UNCW, served as interim head through the remainder of 2012.
In the past year, the university has made several changes to the center, which it recreated as an LLC and placed directly under the chancellor’s office in early 2012. In February, the university purchased and began renovating office property just south of the campus on South College Road to serve as the center’s new headquarters. The offices are expected to open in late summer.
And, on April 26, UNCW officials announced that it was launching The Seahawk Fund, a venture capital fund developed from private sources that will support the work of the center. It also announced that the center’s name was being changed from the Entrepreneurship Center to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.