Incubator Anticipates Greater Community, Student Involvement


Members of the Entrepreneurship Incubator (EI), located in the Thomas Center at 202 Main St., view the coming of N.C. Promise as an opening to equip more students and members of the community with tools to further their businesses and careers.

“We anticipate more student participation as awareness of our program grows, and the student body grows,” said Thomas Hall, executive director of Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship Incubator. Specifically, Hall said that he hopes to see more student engagement, attendance and growth in the entrepreneurship program when N.C. Promise comes to town.

“We will continue to take interns (averaging about 12 a semester), host the entrepreneurship club, and run our Jump Start program which helps students take a new business idea all the way through to a business plan,” he said.

Jump Start Program

According to Hall, this program integrates sessions and workshops like “business simulation,” “management controls,” “marketing,” and “funding” that help participants prepare for success in future startups. Jump Start is a six-week program and participants receive a certificate upon completion of the program, he said.

Collegiate Entrepreneurship Club

As stated in the organization’s constitution, “The mission of CEC is to provide the opportunity for self development and personal development through entrepreneurial exploration.”

Students are eligible to join the organization regardless of their major. The organization holds meetings every Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Thomas Center.


“We want 12 outstanding student interns each semester,” Hall said. These interns are given projects to complete that include activities like blogging, managing social media accounts and more, he said.

Such projects allow students to both gain real world experience and exercise the skills needed to connect with various individuals across businesses, professions and communities. Additionally, Hall welcomes students across majors to participate in EI activities.

“You are welcome to come help us as an intern, an attendee at our workshops and events…or just stopping in to chat to learn about these activities and make a positive and significant contribution to the economic well-being of this area,” he said.

“The Thomas Center supports local entrepreneurs through education, networking events, its unique resources, and professional assistance,” as stated on, “We help start-ups and small businesses succeed and create jobs.”

To learn more about EI or CEC, visit or call (910) 775-4065 for more information.

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