Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Education
Jul 15, 2019

CIE Launches a Proven Program to Propel Startup Success

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has unveiled a new mentor program designed to accelerate the success of local entrepreneurs. The program started nine months ago with a behind-the-scenes effort to recruit mentors, develop processes and operating guidelines, and test the service with four early stage ventures.

The CIE program was inspired by other proven team-based approaches to mentoring, including the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) and the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) model.

The team-based approach is a great fit for our community. We have an abundance of business experts with diverse backgrounds that have settled here and want to connect with entrepreneurs and share their expertise.

MIT VMS was founded in 2000 after two successful MIT-affiliated serial entrepreneurs – David Staelin and Alexander Dingee – approached the university with proposals to remedy a gap in how the university supported emerging entrepreneurial ventures. Since then, MIT VMS has been recognized as an innovative leader by the Kauffman Foundation and has trained many other universities to emulate its program’s success.

New Enterprise Forum, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an all-volunteer organization that has operated continuously for the past 32 years and has used a team-based method to coach more than 390 companies.

The new CIE mentor program assists both campus- and community-based ventures by surrounding them with a team of experienced professionals to guide them to their next business milestone. UNCW students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community startups are welcome to apply for a mentor team. The CIE mentor program assists entrepreneurs through the early stages of their ventures, starting from concept development and continuing through team formation, incorporation, and initial operations.

CIE mentor group entrepreneurs receive practical hands-on mentoring from teams tailored to meet their unique challenges. CIE mentoring services are educational only and all business decisions remain under the control of the entrepreneur. Participants are assured impartial and unbiased advice by a strict code of ethics and interactions are confidential.

Mentors are the backbone of the program and the CIE is eager to interview anyone interested in volunteering. There is a monthly mentor meeting where new mentors and entrepreneurs are introduced to the group and teams are formed. Early results are encouraging. The first mentor team began working with an entrepreneur in April to help him fine-tune his financial projections, business model, and approach to investors. Those efforts resulted in the entrepreneur reaching the final stages for a competitive grant, an opportunity to present his venture at an innovation conference, and three investor meetings.

Adding to the excitement of the announcement of this new CIE mentor program is the support the CIE has received for the program through an NC IDEA Foundation ECOSYSTEM Partner grant.

Find out more at www.uncw.edu/cie

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

Other Posts from Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 2018 9251912058
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Atromitos micheallegady headshot

Recognizing The Critical Role Of Literacy

Michealle Gady - Atromitos
Natalieenglish headshot

MODERNIZE OUR DOWNTOWN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Mikestonestreetcropped 862150530

Heading Back To Class: The Importance Of Board Member Education

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)

Trending News

Restaurants, Retailers Among 192 Businesses Receiving Pandemic Relief Grants

Staff Reports - Sep 22, 2021

Mayfaire Announces Opening Dates For New Stores

Cece Nunn - Sep 21, 2021

More Than 51 Acres Sell In Leland

Cece Nunn - Sep 21, 2021

New Restaurant Opening Saturday In Ogden

Justin Pope Williams - Sep 22, 2021

Custom Builder Moves Into New Office After Repurposing Former Church Building

Cece Nunn - Sep 23, 2021

In The Current Issue

MADE Winners: Functional Product Category

Cape Fear Solar Systems, ComfyChemo LLC and Craftspace Inc. are winners in the MADE Awards Functional Product Category....


Spotlighting This Year's MADE Awards

Each year, a spotlight shines on manufacturers and makers in the Cape Fear region, revealing that the area is home to more made-in-Wilmingto...


Trailblazing Builder Hangs Up Her Hard Hat

Beth Pancoe, 81, became one of the first licensed female contractors in Eastern North Carolina in 1987 and built a company focused on histor...

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100