Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Financial
Aug 26, 2021

The CIE Is All In On All Blue

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

COVID has reshaped not just how we live, work, and play but also where we live. While there is a mass exodus from major U.S. cities due to the pandemic, Wilmington has become a destination of choice. In fact, according to United Van Lines, Wilmington was the top location for inbound moves in 2020. Human capital has become a substantial resource and it is being cultivated at UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).

The CIE engages seasoned volunteers with extensive experience in the corporate world and with startups. With 140 mentors, this group dedicates time to growing the startup community.

However, the CIE mentors are doing more than guiding new business owners. A core group of mentors is participating in another CIE initiative – the Alliance for the Blue Economy or All Blue. Having a coastal city with homegrown and inbound talent is creating new awareness of the power of the ocean and coastal living. Opportunities elevated have ranged from a climate and tourism perspective, and also as a driver of regional economic development. The Blue Economy is globally recognized and is defined by the World Bank as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystems.”

All Blue’s mission is to increase awareness of the opportunities for economic development with innovative businesses and entrepreneurs in such fields as marine robotics, sustainable fisheries, and marine biopharma. These new ventures will establish Southeast North Carolina as a national and global leader in the Blue Economy and lead to new technologies, processes, companies, and jobs being created right here in Wilmington.

The new talents and ideas that are will be attracted to Wilmington will augment a culture that is already steeped in innovation and giving. Of course, one example of this is the CIE’s mentor program that nurtures Wilmington’s entrepreneurial projects. These new perspectives and experiences can lead to transformational changes in our collective community.

The Alliance for the Blue Economy’s members come from a cross-section of the country including North Carolina. They are scientists, biologists, software engineers, marketing experts, and thought leaders in innovations and technology. They recognize that Wilmington’s access to the oceans is one the best on the East Coast and the unique eco-system of our waterways and barrier islands is a treasure trove for marine biologists, fishermen, tour operators, and many more who make their living from the ocean.

But let’s stop for a moment and note that Wilmington’s foundation for innovation and entrepreneurship was formed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and was solidly built. Two Wilmington-based multi-billion-dollar companies went public on Nasdaq. PPD and nCino paved the way in Wilmington and there are more just like them. The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and growing.

All Blue is tapping into this energy and creating awareness around the importance of the oceans and their health. The economic growth in Wilmington starts with the care and preservation of our waterways. Locals and transplants have come together to help grow Wilmington in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. All Blue spans the community and invites stakeholders to join us in establishing our region as a leader in the future of the Blue Economy.

Article contributed by Richard Keary, a CIE Mentor. Richard is the Principal/Founder of Global ETF Advisors LLC- an independent management consulting firm.
 

Other Posts from Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 21
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Kellyerola headshot lcflc

Hospice Care in Nursing Homes Provides Needed Specialized Care

Kelly Erola - Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
Web awstaffpic2020 1 132245438

The Luncheon for Literacy: More than a Meal

Alesha Edison Westbrook - Cape Fear Literacy Council
Natalieenglish headshot

Becoming a Breakout City: Bring on the Remote Workers

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Trending News

Wilmington Announces New Planning Director

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

WECT Names General Sales Manager

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

What’s Next For Wilmington East’s $315M Windfall?

Johanna F. Still - May 20, 2022

Owners Taking Fermental To New Level

Lynda Van Kuren - May 20, 2022

Info Junkie: Aariene Hansley

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

In The Current Issue

Owners Taking Fermental To New Level

Fermental is one of Wilmington’s more unique watering holes – a bit quirky, but home to many loyal patrons who appreciate its laid-back atmo...


Local Startups Aim To Innovate

Innovation helps set a startup apart from the competition, said Heather McWhorter, regional director of the UNCW Small Business & Technology...


MADE: Making A Cut In Custom Woodworking

A staple in the community for about three decades, the Wilmington custom woodworking shop also features a retail component – a unique featur...

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