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Heather McWhorter Named Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Next a countrywide research, Heather McWhorter has been named director of UNCW’s Middle for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), commencing July 1, 2022. McWhorter will lead the centre in its promotion and aid of entrepreneurship and modern new ventures across southeastern North Carolina. 

“Our college strives to engage with neighborhood associates to broaden regional innovation and economic alternatives,” stated Dr. James J. Winebrake, provost and vice chancellor for tutorial affairs. “The CIE is a crucial aspect in our tactic to explore and ignite these options.” 

The heart – which serves as a hub for the region – is a area in which entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds can engage with knowledge at the college, retired authorities can give back to the subsequent era, new startups can collaborate and business people can community with friends.   

As a result of CIE’s expansive network, McWhorter will direct attempts to bolster the center’s influence by expanding its signature systems these kinds of as CIE Mentors, All Blue and Chancellor’s Challenge, as perfectly as partnerships with neighborhood and regional teams.   

“Heather delivers a wealth of encounter to CIE and its packages,” mentioned Dr. Stuart Borrett, affiliate provost for study and innovation. “She has been an entrepreneur, she is an expert engineer and she regularly teaches entrepreneurial leadership. She also has important working experience supporting the achievements of innovators, entrepreneurs and compact company proprietors. I seem forward to supporting her management and the resulting development of CIE’s optimistic influence on the powerful Wilmington entrepreneurial ecosystem.” 

The Wilmington location proceeds to be recognized as one particular of the top world startup ecosystems in the world, and in May possibly was detailed in the yearly StartupBlink examination as range a single when in comparison to other towns of its size (populations among 100,000 – 300,000) in North America. McWhorter believes that Wilmington and the university are in a distinctive placement to definitely make a change in southeastern North Carolina by way of the assist and assets presented by the heart. 

“I am honored – ecstatic – to serve UNCW and the Wilmington region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as the following CIE director,” claimed McWhorter. “My directorship will concentration on supporting entrepreneur achievements, forming an entrepreneurial talent pipeline, and boosting inclusivity and sustainability in higher-expansion potential startups. Setting up on existing momentum, I purpose to situation Wilmington as a world place for entrepreneurs resolving huge troubles.”  

McWhorter provides a lot more than 12 a long time of encounter in a range of entrepreneurship and innovation leadership roles to this posture, which include serving as the CIE interim director considering the fact that August 2021 and regional center director for the UNCW Small Enterprise and Know-how Improvement Center since 2017. She has directed the North Carolina SBTDC Enterprise Start Initiative due to the fact 2019, doing the job with business enterprise launch specialists throughout many University of North Carolina campuses.  

Previously, McWhorter labored at Penn Condition for 17 a long time at the Penn Condition Tiny Small business Advancement Heart as the director and as an environmental marketing consultant as the director of the Pennsylvania Complex Help System and as the director of Penn Point out Entrepreneurship and Financial Enhancement Outreach Initiatives. She was included in the generation of applications these as Penn Point out World wide Entrepreneurship 7 days, The Investment and TechCelerator.   

Prior to functioning with Penn Condition, McWhorter was a military contractor wherever she facilitated collaborative air pollution prevention innovation operate involving the armed service branches and NASA. 

McWhorter holds an M.S. in electrical power and mineral engineering and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Penn Point out. She also retains a Specialist Engineer license in environmental engineering. 

— Megan Kauzlaric

#CIE