At less than a year old, a Wilmington startup that helps other inventors and entrepreneurs develop new products is already in need of more room to grow.
Elite Innovations, a maker space
at 707 S. 18th St., has opened a second location at 225 S. Water St. inside Chandler’s Wharf.
“We are putting the finishing touches on everything and it should be ready by the ribbon-cutting,” said Elizabeth Marion, the company’s director of operations, referring to a ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday. “It should be nice and shiny for everybody to see.”
She said the Chandler’s Wharf location that the company is leasing, which is about 1,500 square feet, includes a storefront, offices, design space, storage and a conference room. The 6,000-square-foot flagship facility on South 18th Street will keep a focus on product fabrication and assembly, Marion said.
Founded last year by CEO Andrew Williams, Elite Innovations charges a monthly membership fee of $25 for individual inventors and $50 for teams and small businesses who get access to 3-D printing, metal fabrication, vinyl cutting, soldering and other equipment to help them turn their ideas into reality.
“We have many new clients with various needs. We hope the new office space will allow us to take on more projects that do not necessarily need to utilize our maker space prototyping services,” Williams said in a news release.
The new space also includes room to sell products developed with the help of Elite Innovations and other items designed and created in Wilmington, Marion said.
The staff of Elite Innovations includes four full-time employees who graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, two UNCW graduates who are contract programmers and one Cape Fear Community College graduate. Williams hopes to hire more in the future as Elite Innovations grows, the release said.
Wilmington Downtown Inc. is hosting the company’s Thursday ribbon-cutting, which is expected to feature Wilmington mayor Bill Saffo and other local officials, according to a WDI announcement. Elite Innovations will reach its one-year anniversary at the end of October, Marion said.