On the night before its Coastal Connect venture event, UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched a mobile app development lab. Called Coral, it’s available free of charge.

“The UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is committed to supporting Web and app developers,” UNCW announced..”We are pleased to announce that the Coastal Open Resource App Lab (CORAL) is now open. Members of the CIE will have access to a wide range of mobile devices free of charge.”

The lab will offer web application developers to test their ideas and solutions on “actual equipment.”

“Due to the fragmented nature of operating systems and the cost of acquiring a comprehensive pool of test devices, most developers aren’t able to thoroughly test their Web and app creations. We offer a plethora of devices, including the latest mobile gadgets,” the university says. “Over time, the devices will evolve to keep pace with industry standards.”

Recent WRAL TechWire Insider exclusives on Wilmington startups:

  • A toast to the growth of Next Glass
  • How old do you really look? Check out this app.

UNCW will make more news Thursday with its Coastal Connect Conference at the Coastline Conference and Event Center in Wilmington.

It’s also something of a birthday party with a reception the evening prior to the event to celebrate the opening of the Center’s facility a year ago.

The event itself opens with a “Riverside Chat,” with Hugh Forrest of SXSW Interactve and Laura Baverman of Exit Event and USA Today. Forrest, named by Time Magazine as one of the game changers in the Tech industry, is from Austin, which, like Raleigh, is famous for acquiring national “Best of” awards.

The event includes the RocketPitch, a long-time feature of the CIE that has launched most entrepreneurs who evolved in the Wilmington and Coastal region, Roberts said.

This year, four startups will pitch. They are:

  • Karl Ricanek – Face My Age (Read WRAL TechWire report)
  • Charles Davis – Easy Vote (Recently competed in Washington, DC pitch competition and Coastal Entrepreneur Award Winner)
  • Brendan Collins – MimiJumi
  • Next Glass – NCTA Best Emerging Company of the Year in NC.

In the morning three breakout sessions run concurrently at 10:15, on topics including “Successful Talent Under the Radar in and from Our Own Backyard, and three more at 11:15, including “Crazy Enough It Just May Work.”

Following a lunch panel, at 1:30 Deal Makers Interested in Coastal North Carolina includes:

  • Moderator – Ted Zoller – UNC Chapel Hill, Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, leader behind DealMaker, big data on finding risk tolerant investors in regions
  • Eric Dobson, Angel Capital Group, Tennessee
  • Dallas Romanowski, Cape Fear IMAF
  • Ed Miles, Carolina Seed Investor
  • Craig Stone, Triangle Angel Partners