This blog post was originally going to be a cut-and-fold printout of a pilgrim hat. Just the printout. Nothing else. But then we decided that, even for a light-hearted article, a little substance and perspective wouldn’t hurt.

An old Thanksgiving tradition is to go around the table one-by-one, each person saying what he or she is thankful for. So let’s all join hands and do just that, incubator-accelerator style.

Here are the top 5 things we’re thankful for in 2016:

1. CastleBranch

If it weren’t for our parent company, we wouldn’t exist. From our funding to all its built-in engines (sales, marketing, operations, human resources) that are easily accessible to our startups, to its landing of local talent, to the awesome spaces we work in everyday, enough can’t be said about what CastleBranch has done to help foster the tech economy in Wilmington.

2. Space

Speaking of space, we’d like to give you a peek of our on-site brewery, gym, and the variety of workspaces that help to make tekMountain and CasteBranch a community unto itself:

3. Mentors

We’ve now got 14 mentors from industries as diverse as finance, medical, consumer electronics, telecommunications, food and drinks, pharmaceuticals, nutritional, software development, biotech, and more:

2016 has been an eventful year for tekMountain in terms of partnerships and collaboration:

~HQ Community – in the summer, we signed a reciprocity agreement that grants startups from both HQ Community and tekMountain access to each other’s work spaces, as well as investor and mentor networks.

~ExitEvent Startup Social – we also hosted Wilmington’s very first Startup Social, a founder/investor mixer hosted by ExitEvent magazine in major cities across North Carolina.

~Cucalorus Connect – now in its second year, this major business conference arises from a partnership between tekMountain, UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Cucalorus Film Festival.

~Tech Talent South through this partnership, tekMountain has brought the first coding bootcamp to Wilmington, beginning the first week of December.

5. Community

And last but not least, we’d like to thank Wilmington as a city for its support, as well as the entire state of North Carolina, because of efforts like Innovate NC, a cross-city learning collaborative, and Innovate SENC, a localized push to foster marine and life science technology in the Wilmington area. Let’s not forget UNCW and the CIE either, as annual events like WITX and Entrepreneurship Week offer a foundation for Wilmington’s up-and-coming tech talent.

Here’s to making the best of the gifts we’ve been granted and the hard work we’ve already put in to help Wilmington realize its serious tech hub potential. If 2016 is even the slightest harbinger of things to come, then 2017 won’t know what hit it.

If you’d like to learn how your big idea fits into Wilmington’s innovation ecosystem, contact tekMountain today.


This blog was produced by the tekMountain Team of Sean AhlumMike PattonRod WhisnerAmanda SipesBill DiNome, and with lead writer Zach Cioffi.  


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