Follow Diane Twitter Facebook
Email Diane Email
Education
Jul 15, 2019

CIE Launches a Proven Program to Propel Startup Success

Sponsored Content provided by Diane Durance - Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has unveiled a new mentor program designed to accelerate the success of local entrepreneurs. The program started nine months ago with a behind-the-scenes effort to recruit mentors, develop processes and operating guidelines, and test the service with four early stage ventures.

The CIE program was inspired by other proven team-based approaches to mentoring, including the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) and the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) model.

The team-based approach is a great fit for our community. We have an abundance of business experts with diverse backgrounds that have settled here and want to connect with entrepreneurs and share their expertise.

MIT VMS was founded in 2000 after two successful MIT-affiliated serial entrepreneurs – David Staelin and Alexander Dingee – approached the university with proposals to remedy a gap in how the university supported emerging entrepreneurial ventures. Since then, MIT VMS has been recognized as an innovative leader by the Kauffman Foundation and has trained many other universities to emulate its program’s success.

New Enterprise Forum, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an all-volunteer organization that has operated continuously for the past 32 years and has used a team-based method to coach more than 390 companies.

The new CIE mentor program assists both campus- and community-based ventures by surrounding them with a team of experienced professionals to guide them to their next business milestone. UNCW students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community startups are welcome to apply for a mentor team. The CIE mentor program assists entrepreneurs through the early stages of their ventures, starting from concept development and continuing through team formation, incorporation, and initial operations.

CIE mentor group entrepreneurs receive practical hands-on mentoring from teams tailored to meet their unique challenges. CIE mentoring services are educational only and all business decisions remain under the control of the entrepreneur. Participants are assured impartial and unbiased advice by a strict code of ethics and interactions are confidential.

Mentors are the backbone of the program and the CIE is eager to interview anyone interested in volunteering. There is a monthly mentor meeting where new mentors and entrepreneurs are introduced to the group and teams are formed. Early results are encouraging. The first mentor team began working with an entrepreneur in April to help him fine-tune his financial projections, business model, and approach to investors. Those efforts resulted in the entrepreneur reaching the final stages for a competitive grant, an opportunity to present his venture at an innovation conference, and three investor meetings.

Adding to the excitement of the announcement of this new CIE mentor program is the support the CIE has received for the program through an NC IDEA Foundation ECOSYSTEM Partner grant.

Find out more at www.uncw.edu/cie

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

Other Posts from Diane Durance

Uncw cie 2018 9251912058
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Alexandra

Creating And Using A Home Inventory List

Alexandra Lysik - Cavik Insurance
Hardy revised

UNCW School Of Social Work Hosts Child Welfare Simulations

Charles Hardy - UNCW College of Health and Human Services
Robindavisccu1 1011944433

Finding A Commercial Lender That Works For You And Your Business

Robin Davis - Corning Credit Union (CCU)

Trending News

Intracoastal Buys Bald Head Island Ltd.’s Housing Sales Business

Cece Nunn - Feb 18, 2020

Earth Fare Shares Layoff Numbers, Additional Closure Details

Cece Nunn - Feb 17, 2020

For Hospital, Another Pedestrian Bridge, Parking Deck Planned

Cece Nunn - Feb 19, 2020

Rounds Golf & Lounge Brings Ledo Pizza To Wilmington

Jessica Maurer - Feb 19, 2020

Quality Chemical To Grow Sister Company In Wilmington

Christina Haley O'Neal - Feb 19, 2020

In The Current Issue

NHRMC Issue Draws Outside Attention

While very much a local issue, what to do with New Hanover Regional Medical Center is gaining attention from the state level....


Apple Trip Highlights Education, Tech

While very much a local issue, what to do with New Hanover Regional Medical Center is gaining attention from the state level....


Baking Up A Sweeter Retirement

More than half of North Carolina’s workers –1.7 million people – have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers, an iss...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`