The Western Carolina University College of Business is establishing a new, for-profit limited liability company designed to provide entrepreneurial business, scientific and technical services to help spur economic development activity in Western North Carolina.
Formation of the new entity, authorized earlier this year by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, was announced Wednesday, April 22, as part of WCU’s inaugural LEAD:Innovation summit. More than 100 entrepreneurs, investors, small business owners and others interested in regional economic development gathered on campus for a conference focused on topics related to entrepreneurship and small businesses.
The new for-profit LLC will replace WCU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which was created in 2007 within the College of Business to serve as a catalyst for the creation of successful entrepreneurial ventures in WNC while providing hands-on learning experiences for WCU students.
The new entity will be wholly owned by the Western Carolina University Research and Development Corporation, which was formed in 2001 for the purpose of aiding and promoting the educational and charitable purposes of WCU.
Once the for-profit entity is fully established, university officials will identify a manager to run its day-to-day operations. Ed Wright, director of the CEI, will be entity’s faculty contact.