Print
More News

Roberts Rolls Out 2 Entrepreneurship Entities

By Jenny Callison, posted Oct 21, 2015
Since leaving University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) last March, Jim Roberts has remained active in Wilmington’s startup scene. Through an informal arrangement with Ironclad Brewery, he has been hosting events for entrepreneurs and has remained in touch with many of the young companies he worked with at the CIE.

Now, Roberts has announced the official launch of two parallel initiatives, both designed to provide area startups with the support they need to grow and ultimately fuel the local economy.

One initiative is Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington, or NEW. Roberts says it’s the formal organization of his events series.

“It’s a nonprofit entrepreneur support organization much like the CED (Council for Entrepreneurship Development) in Raleigh-Durham,” he said Wednesday, adding that the organization is similar to ones he started in Charlotte and Asheville earlier in his career.

The organization’s activities will be sustained through sponsorships from area businesses that have an interest in supporting and providing services to the entrepreneurial community, Roberts said. He has two sponsors currently.

“There are a lot of people in this community that want a stronger local economy. Startups are a way to grow that, and a way to hold on to college graduates that desperately want to stay in Wilmington,” he said.

The second initiative is Wilmington Angels for Local Entrepreneurs (WALE), an investor network.

“WALE has been in process for months trying to find support from committed members but has now been formalized legally,” he said.

That organization is sustained through an annual membership fee. WALE is already functioning, Roberts said, and has had two sessions with a total of five early-stage companies looking for financial backing.

The first was an informal meeting, in late July, with a young venture that is – in Roberts’ words – in stealth mode. At the second, WALE members heard presentations from three of the five Wilmington startups that were chosen to participate in the CED’s TechVenture conference in September, plus one Elite Innovations makerspace client.

Roberts declined to name the presenters; he also did not say how many investors he has in his network, nor the amount of the annual membership fee.

He did indicate that his members have committed to investing in "at least two of the companies they have already seen."

WALE has also linked up with a syndicate of other investment groups in the Southeast, which offers further financing potential to startups the Wilmington group supports.

If the investors commit at least $50,000 to any one startup, WALE will be able to send that company to the syndicate for those groups’ consideration, Roberts said.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Dallas headshot 300x300

Why Make Your Business More Valuable Without You?

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Why Your Company Needs a Corporate Video

Jim Ellis - Signal
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence: What Does It Mean for Our Region?

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Trending News

VentureSouth Starting Wilmington Angel Investment Group

Johanna Cano - Apr 23, 2019

Local Boat Slip Marketplace Startup Wins NC IDEA MICRO Grant

Johanna Cano - Apr 24, 2019

Coastal Carolina Curling Club To Slide Into Own Facility

Johanna Cano - Apr 22, 2019

First New-Panamax Ship A Harbinger Of More Business For Port Of Wilmington

Jenny Callison - Apr 23, 2019

Analysts Expect Live Oak Bancshares To Report Lower Q1 Revenues

Jenny Callison - Apr 24, 2019

In The Current Issue

MADE: GE's 50 Years In Wilmington

A look at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a provider of advanced reactor technology and services, which has been a major part of Wilmington's bus...


Navigating New Traffic Solutions

As the area continues to attract new residents and businesses, as well as bumper crops of tourists, the challenge of improving traffic flow...


Building Up Health Care Innovation

When New Hanover Regional Medical Center launched its Innovation Center last year, it sought to foster and test creative ideas for improving...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018