Economic Transformation News

Entrepreneurship Center at UNCG Announces New Programs


New school year, new programs at the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- From an elevator business pitch competition to a monthly speaker series, the N.C. Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has a slate of new programming to offer area college students and local entrepreneurs.

“A big part of what we hope to accomplish at the N.C. Entrepreneurship Center is to better connect the entrepreneurial talent we have on our college campuses with the business and non-profit community,” said Bryan Toney, director of the NCEC. “One way we can do that is by offering programs that are open to both students and community members where they can network and learn together.”

Some of the new programs the NCEC is pleased to announce this fall include:

Entrepreneurial Journeys – This monthly speaker series will feature successful entrepreneurs who will share their stories in an informal setting. Each program will be held in Bryan 416 with registration and networking from 5-5:30 p.m. and the program from 5:30-6:15 p.m. followed by a networking reception. The series is free and open to the public; attendees are asked to RSVP to

  • Sept. 7 – Kayne Fisher and Chris Lester, Natty Greene's Brewing Company
  • Oct.12 – Angie Besecker, Eco Dwelling
  • Nov. 10 – David Caudle, Frogman Interactive

Export University 101 – The U.S. Commercial Service and North Carolina District Export Council are offering this one-day workshop on export basics on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, co- sponsored by the N.C. Entrepreneurship Center and FedEx. This program will provide companies with the basics needed to start exporting or to further develop their export markets. Topics covered include getting started in exporting, export documentation and logistics, getting paid, and legal considerations. The cost is $65, which includes lunch. Registration is available here.

“2 Minutes to Win It” Business Idea Contest – In this campus-wide business idea contest, UNCG students will have two minutes to deliver their best elevator pitch to a panel of entrepreneur judges. The top prize is a $1,000 prize. Ideas must be submitted online by Friday, Oct. 21 and 20 finalists will be chose to give their presentations to the judging panel on Friday, Nov. 18.

Distinguished Entrepreneur Leader Lecture – This inaugural lecture will be presented Nov. 2, 2011, featuring Sandy Miller, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Franchise Services of North America (FSNA), the parent company of U-SAVE Auto Rental and former CEO of  the Budget Group. His lecture and reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. in the Elliott University Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public; attendees are asked to RSVP to

Through programs like these, the NCEC seeks to increase its engagement with the regional business and education communities. Entrepreneurs come from everywhere, so the center’s staff spends a lot of time reaching out to non-business students and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. “In fact, around 70
percent of UNCG alumni who own businesses have degrees outside of business,” Toney said. “Business owners and others are invited to get involved by attending events, becoming mentors, serving as judges and helping to sponsor the important work of the NCEC.”

Partnerships with other regional colleges and universities are also a focus at the NCEC. “Through Opportunity Greensboro and other collaborations, the NCEC is working with the many fine higher educational institutions throughout the region to explore ways we can partner to move the ball forward,” Toney said.

“We recognize that all forms of entrepreneurship -- from smaller lifestyle businesses to fast growing businesses to social entrepreneurship ventures -- are critical to the future of our region, state, nation and the world,” he added. “In the end, it’s all about jobs. We are here to help people launch new ventures and to connect existing companies with people and resources to help them grow.”

About the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center
The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro provides co-curricular and outreach programs to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and to serve as a catalyst for the creation of sustainable and globally competitive enterprises in the Piedmont Triad, North Carolina, and beyond. For more information, visit the NCEC’s website at or call 336-256-8649.