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Centers, Institutes, & Affiliates


Dr. Edward Wright, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,          Associate Professor
315C Forsyth Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.278.8CEI tel

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Housed in WCU's College of Business, working across campus disciplines and throughout the region, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) serves as a catalyst for the creation of successful entrepreneurial ventures. The center's faculty and staff provide support for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, expertise to organizations working for economic development, and collaborate with other institutions and campus departments to include entrepreneurship theory and practice in their programming. The CEI is pleased to share offices with our partner, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC).

Vision & Mission

Western Carolina University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) facilitates the development of our region's best ideas into commercial businesses. Using a holistic approach, we help entrepreneurs create and sustain vibrant businesses that generate jobs, grow our region's economy and create opportunities that retain high potential entrepreneurs, talent and intellect in our region.

We educate and engage WCU's students, faculty, and staff to encourage business development and innovation in their chosen discipline area. We coordinate resources for new venture creation, product development, business expansion, commercialization, technology transfer, and access to capital funding so that regional schools, colleges and programs can benefit from business creation.

Core Values & Aims

• Holistic approach to advancing entrepreneurship
• Incorporate entrepreneurship and commercialization concepts into curriculum
• Raise awareness of opportunities to create businesses
• Actively solicit, foster, support and integrate opportunities for student internships
• Conduct fundraising and development for the CEI
• Serve as a resource for entrepreneurial businesses
• Assist in the development and protection of intellectual property
• Work with regional high schools, technical schools and community colleges to build and foster "feeder programs"
• Provide opportunities for business internships (paid and unpaid)
• Provide training and encouragement for the development of ethical business attitudes and practices


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