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

CIE Launches a Proven Program to Propel Startup Success

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - 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 Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 22
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Headshots march websized 2

How to Tell if Your Flat Roof Needs Replacing

David Grandey - Highland Roofing Company
Ubs chadpearson headshotresized

The Three Dimensions Of Selling Your Business

Chad Pearson - UBS Decision Point Wealth Consulting
Drewsmith copiersplus headshot

A Little More Communication, A Lot More Cohesion

Drew Smith - Copiers Plus

Trending News

Investors Pay $5M For Former N2 Publishing Facility On New Centre Drive

Staff Reports - Feb 3, 2023

For Nearly $4M, Investment Firm Sells Brunswick County Home Sites

Staff Reports - Feb 3, 2023

Season’s Change At Julia’s Florist

Johanna F. Still - Feb 3, 2023

When The Government Becomes A Landlord

Johanna F. Still - Feb 3, 2023

Funding The Fight: Local Governments Put Opioid Settlement Dollars To Use

Neil Cotiaux - Feb 3, 2023

In The Current Issue

Funding The Fight: Local Governments Put Opioid Settlement Dollars To Use

In Southeastern North Carolina, officials in New Hanover County, the city of Wilmington and Brunswick and Pender counties are starting to ma...


Longtime Bowling Center Stays In Fast Lane

Winter is bowling’s peak season in Wilmington, where it's tough for indoor venues to compete with the beach during the summer....


Season’s Change At Julia’s Florist

Longtime Julia’s Florist owner Dana Cook has given her most loyal employees their well-deserved flowers. On Dec. 22, Cook handed the city’s...

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Spence Broadhurst & Hannah Gage
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - George Taylor
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Mike Ford
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Meaghan Dennison
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Rhonda Bellamy