Jim Roberts, a veteran in entrepreneurship and venture capital, is the new director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The announcement was made Wednesday.

Roberts has been a regular contributor to WRALTechWire.

Since 2000, Roberts has been involved in technology startups. He launched entrepreneur bootcamps in Charlotte in 2000, started the entrepreneurial council and angel investor network in Asheville and has worked for NC Department of Commerce and Center of Innovation for NanoBiotechnology (COIN) since moving to the Triangle in 2008. Roberts also is founder of RedSpire Connections, a consulting firm for business development, lead generation, marketing and a leader of industry related events.

“I am thrilled that we have hired Jim Roberts to lead our Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said  Chancellor Gary Miller. “His vast knowledge and experience will help create the right synergy for entrepreneurs. His leadership will allow UNCW to be the place where start-ups, small businesses, and new ideas and ventures from faculty, staff and students will grow.”

Roberts assumed the job earlier this week.

“My new role at the CIE is a terrific fit for both my professional experience and my personal passion for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Roberts said in a statement. “I am eager to meet with entrepreneurs, UNCW faculty and the community to gather input on the strengths and opportunities that exist in the realm of entrepreneurial development. Aligning available statewide resources with our regional goals will be critical in raising the profile of Wilmington as a fertile ground for emerging entrepreneurs.”

Roberts graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in advertising.

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal first reported Roberts’ hiring.

Last month, UNCW announced the launch of a venture capital fund called The Seahawk Fund. It is being developed from private sources, the newspaper reported.