Units & Initiatives

Entrepreneurial Initiative

ECU’s Entrepreneurial Initiative (EI) encourages and supports entrepreneurship within the University community and across eastern NC with a focus on helping to commercialize innovation and create jobs. The EI offers a wide range of training and business support services to assist existing entrepreneurs and provide programs that stimulate the region’s entrepreneurial culture and encourage potential and aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses.

The EI is focused on creating regional partnerships with public and private organizations to help the university develop companies and take products and services to market; stimulating innovation throughout the business community in eastern North Carolina; and fostering practical experience for ECU students in an entrepreneurial environment.

The EI also facilitates the Eastern NC–Investor Network, a group that invests capital in start-up companies in the region, and is a co-sponsor of the annual Eastern NC Entrepreneurial Summit.

Recent successes include two of EI’s earliest clients. One has received promises of $43 MM from the Department of Defense to develop important blood products for saving lives during times of war and trauma.

This boost of cash helps the biotechnology company, which is funded in part by the Eastern NC-Investor Network and advised by many board members from the East, through Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials. Another startup, a software company for safety and monitoring in corrections facilities, is completing a web-based product that will make visibility and accessibility to customers easier. Other spin-outs and spin-ins continue to work with the Entrepreneurial Initiative and they include enterprises commercializing medical devices, products for health and wellness, energy and education technologies.

Entrepreneurial Initiative Impacts

Eastern NC–Investor Network:

  • Entegrion received $20+ MM in DoD funding to be followed by another $20MM upon milestone completion.
  • Guardtracker, an EI assisted spin-in, appeared in Eastern Region Economic Development magazine as the new innovative company in the east.
  • Guardtracker is an IT system that tracks inmates in corrections facilities, creating a safer and better organized environment for employees, guards and inmates.
  • Fosaaen Technologies, LLC, an engine emissions company, hired a new CEO and they are in negotiation with strategic corporate partners in eastern NC and China. This company is expected to begin a fundraising round for $500—$1MM over the next year.
  • CTMG, Inc., a clinical trials management company, has grown this year and added 10 new employees, bringing its total to 45 employees.

The Entrepreneurial Initiative is a sponsor of the Eastern North Carolina Entrepreneurial Summit, an all-day conference that features leaders in entrepreneurship and a variety of related workshops.

For further information about ECU"s Entreprenuerial Initiative, please visit: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/rds/ei/



Marty Hackney

Director of ECU's Entrepreneurial Initiative