The start of 2016 is upon us and the entrepreneurial leaders in Wilmington hope to continue to build upon prior year progress and success. Things have already started out with a bang. 

Next Glass has moved in to its new downtown headquarters in a building owned by James Goodnight and announced a merger with the popular beer app Untappd. I expect to see continued progress by established local leaders, such as Next Glass (CEO Kurt Taylor pictured above) and venture-backed banking software company nCino. However, I’d like to highlight some other Wilmington companies to keep an eye on in 2016. 


Elite Innovations 

Andrew Williams and his team continue to make strides since the launch of Wilmington’s first makerspace in the fall of 2014. In 2015, they added an additional showroom and meeting space in the historical part of downtown Wilmington. They continue to be heavily involved in working with entrepreneurs on bringing concepts and ideas to prototypes and even helping move along prototypes to production. We expect that a couple of things they work on this year will hit it big in a variety of ways. Some of their clients may very evolve into stories of their own in 2016. 
2016 is poised to be another exciting year within the Wilmington entrepreneur community. Many of the entrepreneurs told me how it is a team effort to build successes in Wilmington and to prove that it is more than a beach community. Many are hoping for a big 2016 exit to match Live Oak Bank’s IPO in 2015. Such an event will increase resources within the community and lay the seeds for additional ventures by both new and existing entrepreneurs.