Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Education
Feb 15, 2021

One Year And 1 Million Cups Later

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

46 meetings.
53 entrepreneurs presented.
1,800+ community members attended.
 
Little did we know when we launched 1 Million Cups in Wilmington last February, that packing the CIE with seventy people on a Wednesday morning would come to an abrupt end. We also didn’t know how resilient and innovative our entrepreneurial community would prove to be. 
 
Reflecting on the numbers we achieved over the past year, they’re pretty darn impressive.
 
Developed by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2012, 1 Million Cups is a free program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the country. It’s founded on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee. 1 Million Cups events are now organized by more than 800 volunteers in 40 states, one U.S. territory and six time zones – all on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m.
 
The Wilmington community organizers worked through the approval process with the Kauffman Foundation in 2019. Kauffman is driven to provide uncommon ways to create opportunities and connect people to the tools they need to achieve success, change their futures and give back to their communities. The approval process is arduous, and we made the cut!
 
We launched 1 Million Cups Wilmington on February 12, 2020 – and moved quickly and seamlessly to fully virtual on April 1.
 
Here are just a few highlights from the entrepreneurs that presented in our first year:
 
Active Defender: One of the last in-person presentations before the pandemic shutdown. Jim Boyte saw a successful year in 2020 and participated in the CED-GRO program.

OpiAID: In addition to being selected for Venture Connect 2021, this team won a federal grant and was a finalist for an NC Tech award last fall. They also recently received funding from the state to aid in job creation and help innovative businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Electronic Lab Logs: Finalist in the inaugural NC Bioneer Venture Challenge in spring 2020, NC IDEA SEED Grant recipient, representing Wilmington at Venture Connect 2021 in March, and a nod to Daniel Summers, CEO, as a Wilmington Biz 100 in the Innovator category.

NALA Systems: Also selected for Venture Connect 2021.

Mesur.io: AI and Machine Learning finalist at NC Tech Awards fall 2020; raised $775,000, and selected for Venture Connect 2021.

GWBJ Coastal Entrepreneur Awards Series: The 11 award-winning businesses were highlighted over a 10-week stretch.

Did you know nominations are now open for 2021?
 
What’s on deck for 2021? We’ve got presentations booked for the next month and will be running another series of businesses – those selected for the first cohort of the Genesis Block’s Back on the Block Minority Accelerator. Join us to meet the entrepreneurs that will be among the top businesses in the state receiving grants, awards, and other recognitions.
 
It takes a community to help businesses start, launch, and grow. Wilmington certainly has a strong, deep rooted commitment to supporting the businesses in our startup ecosystem.
 
Want to get involved in 2021? Sign up to present at https://www.1millioncups.com/present. Join us on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Zoom links can be found at www.uncw.edu/cie. Or send a message to [email protected] to learn more about becoming a Wilmington 1 Million Cups organizer.
 
Contributed by Laura Brogdon-Primavera, Manager of Programs and Operations at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


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
Untitleddesign5

The Transformation and Evolution of Leadership

John Monahan - Vistage
Mcwhorter 0005

You’re Invited to the Second Annual Ocean Innovation Conference

Heather McWhorter - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Unknown 7112393341

Why Feasibility is Paramount to Success

Holly Segur - Lead Intuitively – Corporate Coaching

Trending News

Equipment Financing Company Moves Into New Downtown Office

Emma Dill - Jul 22, 2024

Young Financial Technology Firm Secures New Seed Capital

Jenny Callison - Jul 22, 2024

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Isabelle Shepherd

The interim executive director of Historic Wilmington Foundation, Isabelle Shepherd, shares her top info and tech picks....


Area's Film Industry Inspires Set-jetting

Traveling to visit film and TV locations is a trend the CVB has observed in Wilmington since the early days of Dawson’s Creek....


Duo Builds Surfboard Business

Savage Surfboards sells its products wholesale up and down the East Coast and locally at its factory showroom....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season