Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship receives gift, signs lease
August 5, 2013By Jenny Callison
August is shaping up to be a busy month for UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Six months after the University of North Carolina Wilmington purchased a building to house the CIE and two months after it hired the center’s new director, the university announced that the center is scheduled to receive $50,000 from Cape Fear Future for “entrepreneurship development.”
The center has also inked its first lease with an unidentified early-stage company wishing to locate in the CIE facility, said the center’s director Jim Roberts. He expects the new tenant to move in about Aug. 19, and said he wouldn’t be surprised if more tenants signed leases this month.
“We have verbal agreements with several companies,” he said.
The $50,000 represents part of the money raised during Cape Fear Future’s recent Passion Works campaign, according to a news release. Wilmington Chamber of Commerce board chairman Hal Kitchin and BB&T market president Charlie Mattox will present the check at a 2 p.m. event Tuesday at the CIE, 803 S. College Ave.
“All of the funds raised will be used to make our facility more inviting to local and relocating entrepreneurs, to house the infrastructure and resources they need and to improve the facility’s programming for entrepreneurs to raise more investor capital, sell to bigger markets and to pursue SBIR [Small Business Innovation Research] grants, among other things,” Roberts said in an email.
Cape Fear Future’s mission is to increase the region’s stock of well paying jobs – especially in the economy’s knowledge sector – to foster economic growth and prosperity, according to a news release.
To accomplish its mission, CFF’s strategic plan focuses on three areas: entrepreneurship, education and community improvements. The $50,000 gift will address CFF’s stated goal of “supporting, promoting and educating young and emerging entrepreneurs,” the release stated.
“We look forward to continuing our work with entrepreneurs from across the region and attracting new companies into our facility with this generous funding,” Roberts said.