Get Involved

Are you interested in volunteering at CEI? We welcome all individuals with sophisticated expertise relevant to innovation and entrepreneurship. Here are just a few ways that you can get involved:


Experienced business people in Charlotte have provided valuable guidance for young companies through the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation mentor program. Many of the same mentors work with Charlotte Venture Challenge and Charlotte Launch companies. Mentors have included veteran business people, investors and advisors such as attorneys and technology executives. Mentors offer valuable insight through their general business experience, their industry expertise and connections, and their functional (marketing, finance, manufacturing, etc.) knowledge. Effective mentors can adapt insights from their personal experience to the particular needs of the entrepreneur receiving the mentoring. Mentors are direct and honest while recognizing that they are coaching, not directing, the entrepreneur.


Charlotte offers seminars and workshops that include volunteer speakers and panelists. These volunteers understand high-growth entrepreneurial companies and have deep expertise in a topic relevant to entrepreneurship and innovation. Experienced entrepreneurs are of special interest.

Special Events

The university organizes special events, such as the Charlotte Venture Challenge, that can benefit from the assistance of volunteers from all types of backgrounds. If you are interested in helping build the region’s entrepreneurial community, let us know and we will match your interest and capabilities with our needs.

Interested? Contact Laura Smailes, Assistant Director of CEI, at 704.687.5675 or via email at