Print
Entrepreneurs

McWhorter Named Director Of Center For Innovation And Entrepreneurship

By Staff Reports, posted Jun 22, 2022
Heather McWhorter

Heather McWhorter has been named director of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), beginning July 1, according to a news release Wednesday.

McWhorter, who has been the CIE's interim director since August last year, said the role will allow her to focus full-time on the CIE "and really look forward to how we can improve our services to those high-growth entrepreneurs, how we can build a better ecosystem in the region, just continuing the good foundation past directors have made and looking to make it even better."

As CIE interim director, McWhorter was also serving as the regional center director for the UNCW Small Business and Technology Development Center, a job she'd held since 2017. UNCW will be seeking a new SBTDC director, with the job expected to be posted soon, McWhorter said Wednesday.

As director, McWhorter's salary is $130,000, and she reports to Stuart Borrett, UNCW's associate provost for research and innovation. 

“Heather brings a wealth of experience to CIE and its programs,” Borrett said in the release. “She has been an entrepreneur, she is an experienced engineer and she regularly teaches entrepreneurial leadership. She also has significant experience supporting the success of innovators, entrepreneurs and small business owners. I look forward to supporting her leadership and the resulting growth of CIE’s positive impact on the strong Wilmington entrepreneurial ecosystem.” 

Addressing her specific plans, McWhorter said the CIE will have a strategic plan kickoff "and get community input, get entrepreneur input to help figure out what would be most impactful for entrepreneurs and what they need to do to succeed as well as what the community needs."

A question McWhorter said she is really passionate about is what programs CIE should be offering to help more women interested in venture capital-backed companies.

McWhorter said the CIE, at 803 S. College Road in Wilmington, has about 30 tenants now, many of them startups. The CIE serves as "a place where entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds can engage with expertise at the university, retired experts can give back to the next generation, new startups can collaborate and entrepreneurs can network with peers," according to the release. 

McWhorter said she has already rolled out a resilience program for high-potential entrepreneurs, Startup EQ. It's a six-month program where the entrepreneurs meet with executive coaches every other week "to learn how to lead themselves, lead others and lead their businesses."

She said with traditional entrepreneur training, resilience isn't typically a focus, but with tech entrepreneurs, it can take seven years (an industry standard stat) to make it big. "That's a long time to stick to a vision without knowing for sure that it's going to happen and so how can we shore up these ideas so they can make it big and go the distance."

Through CIE’s network, McWhorter will also lead efforts to strengthen the center’s impact by growing programs such as CIE MentorsAll Blue and Chancellor’s Challenge, as well as partnerships with local and regional groups, the release stated.   

McWhorter said in the release, "I aim to position Wilmington as a global destination for entrepreneurs solving big problems.”

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Junegunter teachinghorse headshot 5721115557

What Is Next?

June Gunter - TeachingHorse
Tommytaylor ceo unitedway

I Got 99 Problems But a 501(c)(3) Ain’t One

Tommy Taylor - United Way
Chris coudriet

Lower Taxes, Expanded Service – A Budget Committed to Helping New Hanover County Move Forward

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

Overton Tapped As Museum's Director Of Development

Staff Reports - Jul 5, 2022

Humphries Leads Leland Police Department

Staff Reports - Jul 5, 2022

Macaione Named Sales Manager At TowneBank Mortgage

Staff Reports - Jul 5, 2022

Unger Joins DocuGraphics Wilmington

Staff Reports - Jul 5, 2022

Adcock Achieves Membership In Million Dollar Round Table

Staff Reports - Jul 5, 2022

In The Current Issue

Rural Medicine In Demand

Like rural communities across North Carolina, Pender County residents face a number of health care concerns: fewer providers, fewer medical...


Film Focus: Driving The Film Industry

Camera Car Service supplies a mobile platform for lighting and camera equipment to create plate and driving shoots for film productions....


Bank Embraces ESG Principles

A growing number of institutional investors have steered their money toward companies that are environmentally and societally responsible an...

Book On Business

The 2022 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