2023 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards


The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards recognizes up-and-coming ventures in our region as well as established companies that keep innovating.

The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards are a joint effort of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Greater Wilmington Business Journal to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs in the Cape Fear region.

Applications for the 2023 awards closed on March 6. 

Finalists will be notified the week of March 27, following the judging.

About the judging: A group of community representatives selects the winners using two criteria - Is this organization entrepreneurial? If I had $100,000 to invest, which company would I invest in? For nonprofits, the standard is which has the most community impact.

The award categories include:

  • Biotechnology
  • ​Emerging Company (a firm in any industry with three or fewer employees and less than two years old)
  • Film
  • Health Care
  • Internet-Related Business
  • Manufacturing & Distribution
  • Minority-Owned Business (a company that is an MBE, minority business enterprise. Click the link to see the requirements. https://nmsdc.org/mbes/what-is-an-mbe/)
  • Nonprofit
  • ​Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • ​Retail & Hospitality​
  • Technology

​Companies and nonprofits in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties are eligible for the awards.

The winners will be featured in a special issue of Greater Wilmington Business Journal and honored at an awards ceremony on May 31st at UNCW's Burney Center.

Click here to read more about each of our 2022 category winners in our special Coastal Entrepreneur Awards issue of the Business Journal.

Click here to read about the 2022 CEA Chamber Of Commerce Winners, also featured in the Business Journal.

The 2022 Coastal Entrepreneur Award winners are:

• Biotechnology: Renaissance Fiber
• Emerging Company: Portrett Pharmaceuticals

• Film: Honey Head Films
• Health Care: Clarity Counseling
• Health Care: MyPeriodPal
• Manufacturing & Distribution: NC Lumber & Supply
• Minority-Owned Business: Elaborate Outings - Luxury Picnics

• Nonprofit: Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center
• Retail & Hospitality: Clean Eatz
• Professional Services: Cape Fear Solar Systems
• Technology: Apiture

Companies and nonprofits in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties are eligible for the awards.

For sponsorship information, contact [email protected] or (910) 343-8600 x212.

Have questions? Contact Elizabeth Stelzenmuller at [email protected] or (910) 508-5723.

Tickets Price
2023 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards - Individual Seat
Individual Seat to Coastal Entrepreneur Awards - May 31
2023 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards - Table for 10
Table for 10 to Coastal Entrepreneur Awards - May 31
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Event Discussion


Wednesday May 31, 2023

7:30 AM to 10:00 AM


UNCW's Burney Center

Union Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403