The Wilmington region is bursting with entrepreneurial potential. We can and should grow our entrepreneurial community, focusing on the local pool of talent that is seeking to be shown the path.
Every semester, the University of North Carolina Wilmington matriculates bright young minds full of commitment to solve the world’s problems. Our alumni are passionate about our region, and they have an unwavering dedication to innovation. We must foster these brilliant minds.
It is critical for our own success to help them bridge the gap from startup to successful venture. The youth are our future, and they will change our world. The UNCW alumni will mold our community for the better if we can give them the helping hand up and let them answer their own calls to entrepreneurship.
Students want inspiration and guidance; they do not want empty platitudes. Students want actionable goals; they do not want an unsurmountable litany of tasks. It is our responsibility as entrepreneurs, who were once in their shoes, to ensure they build a creative toolkit that will allow them to capitalize on their dreams.
Our curriculum needs to demonstrate a pathway to entrepreneurship, particularly in the sciences. Entrepreneurship is not a natural concept for a scientist, but marine science and biotechnology are exploding industries in our area, and we train hundreds of brilliant new scientists each year. Each of these scientists has the potential to create new solutions inspired from the sea. We need to develop teams of mentors to foster new entrepreneurs on the pathway to success, as each mentor has expertise in different areas, and all are pieces to the puzzle that a new entrepreneur needs to create a successful venture.