Developing Entrepreneurship andInnovation in Rural Southeastern North Carolina: An Update Dr. Michael Menefee, Dr. Len Holmes & Floyd L. Inman III University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, NC 28372 USA
UNC PembrokeEntrepreneurship andEconomic Development Dr. Michael Menefee University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Robeson County• Founded in 1787 with Lumberton as its seat• Named after Col. Thomas Robeson, a Revolutionary War hero• Area (951 sq. mi): – Land (949 sq. mi) – Water (2 sq. mi)• Population density approximately 129 per mi2 Website: www.co.robeson.nc.us
Ethnic Populations of Robeson County 1.0% 5.0% 25.0% 38.0% Native Americans Caucasians African-Americans 32.0% Hispanics Asians Total population in Robeson County = 123,339* *Based on 2000 U.S. Census
Economic Issues• Between 1997 and 2009, Robeson County lost 9,000 manufacturing jobs (41% of workforce)• Significant increases are still seen in: – Unemployment – Crime – Poverty – Bankruptcies• Teen pregnancy and school dropout rates are continually high
Economic Issues• Neighboring Scotland County lost 3 major manufacturers and 3 smaller firms• Scotland County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 17%• According to the state economic rating system, 7 out of 10 counties within the UNCP area were ranked as tier 1* *(in most need of economic development)
University of North Carolina-Pembroke• UNC Pembroke has three Centers that aim to stimulate economic development and growth: – Small Business Technology and Development Center – Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship – Biotechnology Research and Training Center
Small Business Technology and Development Center• Provide management and educational services• Assist businesses meet challenges and plan for the future.• Offers specialize market development assistance for: – Procurements – International business – Technology development – Technology commercialization
Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship• Created to improve economic development by: 1. Encouraging entrepreneurship among citizens 2. Training students to open and run small businesses 3. Providing assistance to existing businesses 4. Address social problems 5. Attracting new businesses to the area “Economic development and personal success are attained through entrepreneurs and innovators who thrive on imagination, creativity, and passion.”
Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship• Goals are to: 1. Stimulate entrepreneurial thinking through education 2. Support entrepreneurs and new ventures in Southeastern North Carolina• The Center focuses on: 1. Education 2. Research 3. Planning 4. Community engagement
Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship• Strives to stimulate small business development to create jobs and build community wealth• Uses the history of entrepreneurial success to build a base for future prosperity• Supports the business community by: 1. Providing one-on-one consulting and evaluation services 2. Help students to develop entrepreneurial competencies and knowledge
Entrepreneurship and Biotechnology• Entrepreneurship of UNCP Biotechnology is supported by the NCIIA• NCIIA granted UNCP a Course and a Program Grant for two years (2011-2013)• Grant and matching funds provided for: 1. Enhancing entrepreneurship programs 2. Purchasing equipment for nematode project 3. Project consulting and prototyping support 4. Supplies for biotechnology research 5. Development of e-teams 6. Faculty research and travel
UNC Pembroke BiotechnologyDr. Len Holmes & Floyd L. Inman III University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Biotechnology Research and Training Center• With an area of 5,000 ft2, the facility provides laboratories for: Fermentation Microbiology Chemistry Other life science Molecular biology technologies• The Center has the capacity to address most research problems in most sectors of biotechnology: Agricultural Environmental Biomanufacturing Biomedical
Biotechnology Research and Training Center• The goal of the Center is to stimulate the transformation of knowledge to increase the economic well-being of Southeastern North Carolina• Core activity of the Center is to establish and develop innovative training and research opportunities.
Biotechnology Research and Training Center• The Center’s specific aims are to: 1. Increase the number of higher-paying biotechnology positions 2. Increase the availability of a trained work force 3. Offer entrepreneurs technology, business support and connection to capital sources
Biotechnology Research and Training Center• The Center’s main sustainable research project are: 1. Honey Bees and Honey Bee Products 2. Mass production of beneficial nematodes
UNC Pembroke Honey Bee Research• New Director: Dr. Reggie Oxendine Jr.• Research promotes the art and business of beekeeping.• Honey bee industry injects $6 million into N.C. agriculture• From 2006-2011, bees accounted for 68% fruit and vegetable production in N.C. (~25% of total crop productivity)
UNC Pembroke Honey Bee Research• UNCP gifted, sold, and established hives for: Farmers Gardeners University faculty High schools Community colleges• Consults with regional master beekeepers and the Robeson County Beekeepers Association
UNC Pembroke Honey Bee Research• Future honey bee initiatives include: Use of beneficial nematodes to protect hives from hive beetles and wax moths Rearing queen honey bees for commercialization Production and harvesting honey, honeycomb and other honey bee related products for commercialization
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• Beneficial nematodes are a safe and organic alternative to chemical insecticides• These nematodes parasitize crop insect pests• Species that are currently researched are Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapsae.
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• Nematodes are mass produced in fermentation systems with their microbial counterparts• Counterparts are Photorhabdus luminescens and Xenorhabdus nematophila• Mass production has significant economic potential due to minimum global producers
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• Mass production technology is mainly proprietary and complex• Mass production approach heavily focuses on: Fermentation technology Entomology Bacteriology Symbiosis Nematology
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• Partnerships with local farmers and gardeners will enable the Center to field- test nematode products such as efficacy, safety and application rates.
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• During one month, two maximum capacities (40 liters) of medium can be processed.• Current technologies allow for batch production yields* of: – 4 billion (H. bacteriophora) • 8 billion nematodes per month – 8 billion (S. carpocapsae) • 16 billion nematodes per month *Yields results from nematode recovery, life cycle, & egg production
Potential Profit Margin of Nematodes Theoretically based upon current distributor pricing: H. bacteriophora S. carpocapsaePackage UNCP Retail Production cost Profit per UNCP Retail Production cost Profit perquantity price per package* package price per package* package 10 $29.95 -$5.69 $24.26 $29.95 -$2.84 $27.11million 50 $67.75 -$28.44 $39.31 $67.75 -$14.22 $53.53million 250 $198.00 -$142.19 $55.81 $198.00 -$71.10 $126.90million *Indirect and packaging costs not included
Monthly Analysis of Nematode Production Theoretically based upon current retail pricing: H. bacteriophora Package Packages Retail Production Total sales Profit quantity produced price cost * 10 800 $29.95 $23,960.00 $4,555.00 $19,405.00 million 50 160 $67.75 $10,840.00 $4,555.00 $6,285.00 million 250 32 $198.00 $6,336.00 $4,555.00 $1,781.00 million S. carpocapsae Package Packages Retail Production Total sales Profit quantity produced price cost **Indirect 10 and packaging million 1,600 $29.95 $47,920.00 $4,555.00 $43,365.00 costs not included 50 320 $67.75 $21,680.00 $4,555.00 $17,125.00 million 250 64 $198.00 $12,672.00 $4,555.00 $8,117.00 million
Mass Production of Beneficial Nematodes• Current product produced by UNCP Biotechnology is Brave-Guard.• Product consisting of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes• Patent application for media formulation and process technology has been initiated through University channels
Current Situation• UNCP has the ability to commercialize beneficial nematodes.• Production scale-up is the next challenge• The employment of three full-time scientists by the University• The development of Brave-Guard
Current Situation• A course involving invention and new product development has been proposed for UNCP curricula.• Elevator competitions have been created from outside support• The development of four business startups• $350,000 has been raised for a new business incubator in downtown Pembroke.