Partnership With UNCW
The Seahawk Innovation story began in 2013 when our co-founders, Tom Looney and Tobin Geatz, approached the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) in an effort to forge a public-private partnership that would enrich the University and the local community. The resulting partnership has been a tremendous opportunity to provide value to Seahawk Innovation’s partners, clients, and companies while building Wilmington’s local innovation economy.
Through basing our offices in UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) in 2013, our founders have successfully integrated their individual efforts into a collective organization that has become much greater than the sum of its parts. As a result, the CIE is now rapidly evolving into a whirlwind of startups and deals that are revolutionizing the Wilmington innovation economy.
At Seahawk Innovation, we realize the lines are often blurred between M & A, funding, and consulting. As a result, we’ve created a unified approach to delivering this suite of services. Whether we’re working alongside one of our own companies or executing an acquisition deal, we never lose sight of our overarching vision to facilitate progress at every stage of the company life cycle.
Our operations are run by Co-Founder and General Partner Tobin Geatz, along with Partner Brendan Collins. Together, they possess a vast wealth of startup, recap, and exit experience. Over the past thirty years, Tobin has funded, operated, and exited 10 traded sector startups, distributing millions of dollars to entrepreneurs and investors. He previously served in roles including special general partner at Aurora Funds II (a $75 million technology venture fund), founder of Stellagen Capital, limited partner in two venture funds, and an angel investor across several sectors.
Tobin is the architect of a unique system for selecting potential innovative, high-growth, traded-sector portfolio companies from amongst a sea of applicants. Most importantly, Tobin and Seahawk Innovation’s leadership team are committed to devoting significant time and resources to building our companies, effectively setting us apart as company builders – not portfolio managers.
M & A operations are managed by Brendan Collins, who together with Tobin, brings over 40 years of experience in M & A deals ranging from small deals up to $3 billion. They have developed and currently maintain a business development and investment network in a range of industries spanning Asia and Europe, including strong investment banking relationships.