2014 has been a great year for the Wilmington startup and entrepreneurial community. There’s more momentum, activity and sense of community than at any point in my 10+ years in the area. And so I took the challenge the recap our community’s biggest year yet. Check it out below, and let us know what you’re excited about for Wilmington’s new year.

• Next Glass
Next Glass built buzz all year for its scientific wine and beer recommendation app. The startup finally delivered on that buzz when it launched the app on November 20th. In a little over a month, 240,000 users had downloaded the app. This shattered the expectations of both Next Glass’s team and investors. For 2015, it will be interesting to see how the product evolves and the team approaches monetization and/or exit strategies. Also, how that continued progress will draw attention to Wilmington.

UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) 
Next Glass was an early tenant of the CIE’s co-working space, which celebrated its year anniversary in September. The UNCW CIE has grown in influence under Jim Robert’s leadership. The previous iteration of the CIE, the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center, was a great local secret but was not as visible across the state. The CIE surpassed 33 startups in its space this year, and it will be interesting to see how they all play out in 2015.