Two Wilmington startups just got invited to a big dance.
nCino Inc. and Next Glass made the list of 18 “showcase” companies that Durham-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) has invited to present at this year’s CED Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh.
The companies chosen are, in the opinion of CED officials, North Carolina’s “hottest emerging tech companies,” according to CED’s director of entrepreneurship Jay Bigelow. At the conference, which takes place Sept. 16-17 in Raleigh, the companies will meet principals of other important early-stage tech companies and will also have access to venture capital firms, corporate and strategic investors and entrepreneurial support groups from across North Carolina, he said.
Jim Roberts, executive director of University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), called the invitations big news for Wilmington’s entrepreneurship community as well as for the companies themselves.
“This is, for the business community, like having the UNCW basketball team making the NCAA tournament, except that two companies were chosen,” he said in an email. “More companies from Wilmington were chosen than from Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem or Asheville.”
CED calls itself “the largest and oldest entrepreneurial support organization in the country” and touts the conference spotlight’s importance to a company.
“Showcase companies are given six minutes to tell their story in front of 600 attendees at a conference that has become a ‘Who’s Who’ of the nation’s technology industry – from the most exciting emerging tech companies to the most influential investors and tech leaders,” Bigelow said in a news release.
“We're very excited to be selected to present at the CED Venture Conference. It will be a lot of fun representing Wilmington alongside nCino, and we look forward to sharing our software and networking with everyone at the event,” Next Glass CEO Kurt Taylor said in a statement.
nCino officials also said they were thrilled to be included in the conference, calling it an opportunity to gain exposure to a diverse audience and showcase the company’s Bank Operating System product.
Featured conference speakers and panelists include SAS CEO Jim Goodnight; Alec Sokolow, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Toy Story, Garfield and Evan Almighty; Jesse Lipson, founder of ShareFile (acquired by Citrix); Maciej Kranz of Cisco Systems; and Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst, according to the news release.