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Economic Development
May 18, 2015

Putting Buzzwords To Work

Sponsored Content provided by Ron Vetter - Associate Provost of Research, Dean of the Graduate School, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Disruptive technology, knowledge leaders, entrepreneurship, startups, external partnering, licensing, angel investors, venture funding, research commercialization, accelerators, open innovation and so on.
 
UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) does not just use these trendy buzzwords in communication but brings them to life and makes them work to add maximum value for southeastern North Carolina's coastal entrepreneurs. The CIE has over the past two years laid a solid foundation for university research and technology development offices that are keenly focused on growing university-industry activities and initiating public-private partnerships that promote technology transfer by bringing research breakthroughs from the lab to the marketplace.
 
The CIE is one of the organizational units UNCW uses to utilize its intellectual assets, including its personnel resources. Businesses affiliated with the CIE have benefited from interactions with faculty and dozens of jobs and internships have been created for students at the center, benefitting both the student and the business. The CIE also supports the creation of student- and faculty-based companies helping to commercialize research strengths on campus. The center also serves local startups interested in becoming part of the business community. The CIE is currently home to five faculty startups, three student startups, and 29 local businesses.
 
UNCW also engages the business community through CIE programs, which are aimed at integrating the university with entrepreneurial efforts in southeastern North Carolina to improve regional socioeconomic conditions. By encouraging local entrepreneurship and fostering regional economic development, the university enables new research and service opportunities for faculty as well as networking and employment opportunities for students.
 
Over the past few months, I’ve had frequent discussions with stakeholders of the coastal entrepreneurial community, and the benefit of developing a sort of “entrepreneurial council” has come up a number of times.
 
Building on this idea, CIE will host the event, “The Coastal Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: It's Not a Jungle Out There” on May 28, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The purpose of this event is to bring together representatives from the CIE, Seahawk Innovation, Elite Innovations, tekMountain, Ignition and the Small Business and Technology Development Center to explore and discuss the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and resources required for continued growth. Everyone involved in the southeastern North Carolina coastal entrepreneurial ecosystem is invited to attend.
 
Please register at http://csbapp.uncw.edu/events/reg/regCIE.aspx.
 
Ron Vetter is a professor of computer science, the associate provost for research, and dean of the graduate school at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In his current role, Dr. Vetter administers graduate programs  and research activities at UNCW, including oversight of the CREST Research Park and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Vetter is also cofounder of two technology startups, Mobile Education  and PowerPlay Mobile, companies that specialize in developing interactive short message service applications. Contact him at [email protected].
 
 

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