From November 9 to 13, the present and future of North Carolina business mingled in downtown Wilmington during Cucalorus Connect.

Keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, pitch competitions, and social events were held at Ironclad Brewery, The Blind Elephant speakeasy, Bourgie Nights, and Expo 216 specialty museum.

The business conference originally began in Asheville in 2002 as Carolina Connect, then moved to Wilmington in 2014 as UNCW’s Coastal Connect conference. Last year, the conference was rechristened Cucalorus Connect as a partnership between UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), tekMountain, and the Cucalorus Film Festival, which celebrated its 22nd anniversary this past week.

Since Connect is often considered the time when film and entrepreneurship collide, it’s fitting that a common theme among the business events this year was how to address the problem of perception versus reality. Our five takeaways from the event further reinforce those themes.

For takeaways from the event plus videos, read the full story at: