The Advisory Board reflects the unique integration of practice and research that is at the core of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
- Rajat Bahri, CFO of Wish
- Glenn Boghosian, President of MPD Holdings, Inc. / Managing Partner of Atlas Commercial Products
- Kirsten Castillo, Board Director
- Aaron Chatterji, Ph.D., Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
- James Chou, Start-up Tech Executive
- T.J. Chung, Founding Senior Partner, CORE Industrial Partners, LLC
- Wesley M. Cohen, Snow Family Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Economics, Strategy and Law, and Faculty Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
- Michael Curry, Partner, The Curry Rockefeller Group
- Ann Elliott, Founder and CEO, AWE & Company
- Jon Fjeld, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Professor of the Practice of Strategy, The Fuqua School of Business, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
- Stephen W. Fusi, Managing Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and Founder/CEO, Posh Provisions Limited
- Andy Horwitz, Investor, Board Member and CEO Advisor at GameChanger
- Jamie N. Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice and Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
- Richard S. Kolodny, Executive Partner, AEA Investors LP
- Demetrios Kydonieus, President and Chief Business Officer, R-PHARM US
- Karen LeVert, President of Southeast TechInventures and COO of Ag TechInventures
- T. Reid Lewis, Chief Product Officer, FrontStream, LLC
- Katherine Gilbert Manuel, R64 Capital, General Partner
- Jillian Manus, Managing Partner, Structure Capital
- Mitch Mumma, Managing General Partner, Intersouth Partners
- Shankar Musunuri, PhD., Chariman, CEO & Co-Founder, Ocugen, Inc.
- Marnie Oursler, Founder of Marnie Homes
- Hetal Pandya, Co-founder & VP of Marketing, Edison Software, Inc.
- Manju Puri, J.B. Fuqua Professor of Finance
- Howie Rhee, Managing Director, Student and Alumni Affairs, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke University
- David Robinson, Professor of Finance, J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Professor of International Management, and Research Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Rachel Braun Scherl, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, SPARK Solutions for Growth/Chief Development Officer, Pulse/Speaker/Author/Business Advisory
- Richard J.Star, Principal, NEXgistics, LLC
CFO of Wish
Rajat Bahri has served as Chief Financial Officer of Jasper technologies an Internet Of things start up, since June 2013. The company was sold to Cisco in March 2016. Prior to this, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Trimble Navigation Limited, a provider of advanced positioning technology and mobile solutions, from January 2005 to June 2013. Previously, he spent 15 years within the financial organization of Kraft Foods, Inc., including as Chief Financial Officer of Kraft Canada, Inc., Chief Financial Officer of Kraft Pizza Company and Operations Controller of Kraft International. Mr. Bahri previously served as a member of the board of directors of STEC, Inc., a computer data storage technology company, from November 2005 until it was acquired in September 2013. Mr. Bahri holds a Bachelor of Commerce in business from the University of Delhi and an M.B.A. from Duke University.
President of MPD Holdings, Inc. / Managing Partner of Atlas Commercial Products
After graduating with his Economics degree from Claremont McKenna College, Glenn started his career as a CPA in the Corporate Audit and Tax departments of Ernst and Young and later as an analyst in the Advisory and Valuation departments of the Geneva Companies. Upon graduating with his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1991 with an emphasis on Finance and Marketing, he founded a company that produced computer mouse pads for OEM manufactures, brands, and superstores in the U.S.
Almost 30 years later, MPD Holdings now produces yoga and gaming mats for companies throughout the world. A holder of numerous patents for yoga mat technology and a designer to leading brands, Glenn has helped transform the industry towards performance-based “eco,” sustainable, and repurposed material solutions.
In 2001, Glenn also co-founded Atlas Commercial Products, a leading online retailer and distributor of event and venue furniture. At Atlas, Glenn oversees the sourcing and supply chain for several hundred different products, while managing warehouses throughout the country.
Industry expertise: Entrepreneurship, manufacturing, logistics
Functional expertise: Product design, polymers
Come to me if you need… product ideation, sourcing solutions, or distribution strategies
My superpowers are… innovating and pivoting to meet market needs, starting something from nothing
Kirsten has over 20 years of supply chain and logistics experience, having held multiple supply chain leadership roles at a spin-off company of 3M. During her tenure at Logistics Planning Services, a privately held transportation and logistics services company, where she served as CEO, the company achieved aggressive growth plans which ultimately resulted in the sale of the business to GlobalTranz, a strategic buyer in the 3PL sector. Kirsten stayed on through the transition as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all company operations including regional branches in North America and Mexico, delivering $1.6B in revenue before stepping down to pursue new opportunities.
Kirsten serves on the Board of The Marvin Companies, a large privately owned window and door manufacturer, OCUGEN a public biopharmaceutical company focused on gene therapies to treat blindness diseases and a vaccine to save lives from Covid19, and ACV Auctions, a full-service automotive marketplace focused on the wholesale segment. She also serves on non-profit boards including the United Way Board and the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University. Ms. Castillo received her BS from the University of Minnesota and her Global Executive MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Industry expertise: Supply Chain & Logistics, Board Governance
Functional expertise: Supply Chain & Logistics, Board Governance
Come to me if you need… dose of optimism…connections in the logistics & transportation space… an experienced board director!
My superpower is… helping others find their superpower
Aaron Chatterji, Ph.D.
Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
Aaron Chatterji, Ph.D. is a Professor (with tenure) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He previously served as a Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) where he worked on a wide range of policies relating to entrepreneurship, innovation, infrastructure and economic growth. For the 2014-2015 academic year, Aaron was on leave as a visiting Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.
Chatterji’s research and teaching investigate some of the most important forces shaping our global economy and society: entrepreneurship, innovation, and the expanding social mission of business. He has received several awards, including an inaugural Junior Faculty Fellowship from the Kauffman Foundation to recognize his work as a leading scholar in entrepreneurship, the Rising Star award from the Aspen Institute for his contributions to understanding the intersection of business and public policy, and the Strategic Management Society Emerging Scholar award for his research in strategy.
His research has been published in leading academic journals and been cited by The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. He has authored several op-ed pieces in top newspapers, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, appeared on national TV and radio, and was recently profiled in The Financial Times and Fortune. Chatterji has also testified as an expert witness at the House Committee on Small Business and the U.S. Department of State and served as a Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Chatterji serves as a board member for Durham Communities in Schools, an education-focused non-profit, and advises private, public and social sector organizations on innovation and strategy.
Chatterji is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and previously worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. He received his Ph.D. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and his B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.
Start-up Tech Executive
With more than 20+ years of experience in technology innovations, James advises entrepreneurs and start-up ventures on their digital product development strategies.
He held several Chief Technology Officer (CTO) positions in the past. At Splice Music, Inc, which is a platform for music creators that streamlines music creation and sharing.
CTO at Kabbage, an American Express company, which offers the only fully automated, online lending platform that provides billions in funding to small businesses and consumers.
CTO at WorkMarket, an ADP company. An award-winning marketplace of freelancers & B2B platform.
CTO at Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK), a global provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music, and editing tools. As Shutterstock’s CTO, his role was to both scale and drive the architecture of Shutterstock’s cloud library of 150 million royalty-free assets for usage – with 30 million monthly visitors across 150 countries. James was part of the executive team that scale Shutterstock business in its early days that led to IPO in ’12, a success story of an NYC startup.
Industry expertise: Technology – Fintech, Musictech, Ecommerce & Stock photo
Functional expertise: product development, B2B, B2C business model, SaaS, AI/ML
Come to me if you need… Advice on Product development strategy
My superpower is… Taking ideas into execution and scale start-ups.
Founding Senior Partner, CORE Industrial Partners, LLC
TJ Chung is a Founding Senior Partner at Core Industrial Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm with $700M AUM investing in North American lower middle-market manufacturing and industrial technology businesses. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Chung was the CEO of Teletrac Navman, a leading global SaaS provider of fleet management solutions. From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Chung was CEO of Navman Wireless. Mr. Chung served as President of New Technologies Division at Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) from 2002-2007. Mr. Chung also served as Corporate Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Brunswick Corporation and was Senior Vice President of Brunswick’s Mercury Marine. Prior to Brunswick, Mr. Chung was with Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) in multiple executive roles.
Mr. Chung currently serves on the boards of Littelfuse (NASDAQ: LFUS), Mastercraft Boat Holdings (NASDAS: MCFT), Airgain (NASDAQ: AIRG), Fathom Digital Manufacturing Corp (NYSE: FDMG) and several privately held companies. Chung also serves on the advisory boards of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Chung holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, an MS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University, and a BS Honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Industry expertise: Industrial technologies, electronics, B2B software
Functional expertise: Strategy, general management, M&A
Come to me if you need… to develop highly focused growth strategies and/or growth via acquisitions
My superpower is… mentoring management/teams to strive for high performance
Wesley M. Cohen
Snow Family Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Economics, Strategy and Law, and Faculty Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Wesley M. Cohen (Ph.D., Economics, Yale University, 1981) is Professor of Economics and Management and the Frederick C. Joerg Distinguished Professor of Business Administration in the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He also holds secondary appointments in Duke’s Department of Economics and School of Law, is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and serves as the Faculty Director of the Fuqua School’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
With a research focus on the economics of technological change and R&D, Professor Cohen has examined the determinants of innovative activity and performance, considering the roles of firm size, market structure, firm learning, knowledge flows, university research and the means that firms use to protect their intellectual property, with a particular focus on patents. Most recently, he has been conducting research on the “division of innovative labor,” where he considers the ties across firms, and between firms other institutions that importantly influence innovative performance.
He has published widely in scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, the Review of Economics and Statistics and Science, and has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, among others. He served for five years as a Main Editor for Research Policy and served on the National Academies’ Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy, the National Academies’ Panel on Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation, and, more recently, the National Academies’ Committee on the Management of University Intellectual Property. He has taught courses on the economics of technological change, industrial organization economics, policy analysis, organizational behavior, corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, technology strategy and the management of intellectual capital.
Partner, The Curry Rockefeller Group
Mike Curry is President and founding partner of The Curry Rockefeller Group, LLC, a leading healthcare communications agency based in Tarrytown, NY and Research Triangle Park, NC. The Curry Rockefeller Group provides communications support to more than two dozen pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies in the United States and Europe. Among the services provided are medical education to healthcare providers, publication planning for clinical trial data, innovating digital communication tools, and strategic consulting to medical affairs departments throughout the healthcare industry. Prior to starting The Curry Rockefeller Group in 2001, Mike was a partner in Medical Publishing Enterprises, which was sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1999.
Mike began his marketing career in 1984 at Pfizer, Inc., where he was responsible for numerous successful product launches and multibillion dollar established brands.
Mike received his BA in English and History from Denison University in Granville, OH in 1982 and his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1984. Mike is currently serving as a Board member of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business.
Mike also serves as President of the Foundation Board of the Open Door Family Medical Center, which provides full-service medical and dental care to over 40,000 uninsured and underinsured residents of Westchester County, NY. Mike resides in Ossining, New York (where he recently concluded five years of public service as Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor) with his wife Meg and daughter Campbell.
Founder and CEO, AWE & Company
Ann W. Elliott is Founder and CEO of AWE & Co, a wellness platform and home of AWEthenticity. © Ann utilizes her business leadership skills and knowledge of holistic health practices to create and deliver unique wellness experiences and programs to both individuals and groups.
Prior to AWE & Co, Ann developed and implemented Corporate Wellness Programs benefitting thousands of employees and their families while providing employers with millions of dollars in healthcare cost savings.
After managing million-square-foot distribution centers, Ann founded Solertis, a Supply Chain consulting firm. For more than 23 years, Ann worked with clients from fast-growth startups to the Fortune 500 and Private Equity firms. She led both pre and post-acquisition operational restructuring and integration efforts and has advised companies on the commercial viability of Intellectual Property developed internally to support their core businesses.
A leader in Supply Chain and Logistics industry, Ann received more than a dozen awards including being named one of DC Velocity’s Rainmakers and was a featured speaker at numerous conferences.
Ann graduated cum laude from Duke University and served on the Duke Alumni Association Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. She also served as an Alumni Club President in three cities and is a recipient of the Charles A. Dukes Award, the University’s highest honor for volunteer service.
Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Professor of the Practice of Strategy, The Fuqua School of Business, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
Jon Fjeld serves as the Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke University. The I&E initiative is a university-wide effort to stimulate and teach innovation and entrepreneurship to students, faculty and staff across the university.
He has been teaching entrepreneurship and strategy at the Fuqua School of Business since 2005. He created a three-course sequence called the Program for Entrepreneurs (www.dukep4e.org) that applies a disciplined approach to entrepreneurial ventures ranging from social ventures to life science and technology start-ups. He has taught strategy and entrepreneurship at all levels of the university from undergraduate to executive MBA. In addition, he served as Executive Director of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation from 2005 to 2019. His primary focus is studying innovation in large and small firms.
Before returning to academia, he spent over twenty years in marketing, engineering and general management in start-ups and public companies. From December, 2000, until July, 2004, he served as vice president of engineering for Align Technology in Santa Clara, CA. Between 1995 and 2000, he served as CEO of two RTP venture backed firms: Geomagic, a 3D software company and NetEdge Systems, a data networking equipment company. Prior to that, Fjeld spent 13 years at IBM, where he served in a number of management and executive positions within the networking and software business units. He began his professional career as an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Duke University.
Fjeld holds a Ph.D. (1977) and MA in philosophy from the University of Toronto, an MBA from Duke University, an MS in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in mathematics and philosophy from Bishop’s University.
Stephen W. Fusi
Managing Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and Founder/CEO, Posh Provisions Limited
Stephen W. Fusi is the Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Prior to joining Fuqua, Stephen was Vice President of Customer Experience and Marketing Technology at Fidelity Investments, and held executive leadership roles in marketing and brand management at Starbucks, C. R. Bard and Procter and Gamble. Stephen is also an angel investor focused on technology businesses in Africa, and founder of Posh Provisions Limited, a food processing business in Cameroon.
Stephen obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Stephen previously served on the fundraising and communications committees of the board of Note in the Pocket, Inc., an organization which provides clothing to impoverished and homeless children in Wake County, NC.
Investor, Board Member and CEO Advisor at GameChanger
Andy most recently served as Co-CEO of Black Mountain Systems for over 10 years, leading its growth over that period to its recent acquisition by Vista Equity Partners, the largest private equity group in the world focused on software and technology-enabled services. Vista and Black Mountain subsequently acquired Alta Return and combined the two firms to create Allvue. Allvue is now the industry leader in cloud-based software solutions targeted to private capital and credit market investment managers, serving over 400 clients including 150 private equity and venture capital firms, 20 of the 25 largest managers in the world (as ranked by AUM), and 10 large global commercial/investment banks.
Under Andy’s leadership Black Mountain grew from a single client with less than $100,000 in revenues to 400 clients employing over 750 people and generating $100,000,000 in annual revenues. The company was named a “Hot Banking Technology Company to Watch” by Forrester Research and was on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States 11 straight years reaching as high as #63 on that list.
Prior to joining Black Mountain and embracing his entrepreneurial spirit, Andy worked as a banker for Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Andy is currently an active personal investor and advisor to tech-enabled companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Industry expertise: Banking, Asset Management, FinTech, Capital Markets Software
Functional expertise: Business Development Strategy, GoToMarket, Sales, Finance, Capital Raising
Come to me if you need… advice on strategy including utilizing my network to connect great ideas with knowledgeable people who can often provide capital or commercial relationships to help those ideas succeed.
My superpower is…business plan assessment and my desire to help founders succeed by using my network for commercial introductions.
Jamie N. Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the Practice and Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Prof. Jones serves as the Executive Director of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Management. Prior to joining Fuqua, Prof. Jones served as the Executive Director of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Lilie) at Rice University. She has taught courses on New Venture Discovery, New Venture Development, Financing the Startup Venture and Design Thinking, as well as managed the Student-lead Rice Venture Fund.
Prof. Jones co-founded Impact Engine, an investment firm with a mission to bring more capital to a market where financial returns are linked to positive social and environmental impacts.
Prof. Jones served as an Innovation Advisor at RTI International, a leading nonprofit research institute based in North Carolina, where she supported companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations in their quest to commercialize technology-driven new products. Sitting at the nexus of technology, customers, and markets, Prof. Jones has deep expertise connecting user-insights to technology commercialization pathways and business model development and has worked on project ranging from sanitation and energy to agriculture and health.
Prof. Jones has experience combining design thinking and Lean Startup practices to optimize business models. She has worked in India, East and West Africa and Latin America on agriculture, education, health, and water-focused ventures. Her contributions have been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal 40 Under 40.
Industry expertise: chemistry, education
Functional expertise: general management and innovation management
Come to me if you need…help designing low-fidelity testing methods to get customer feedback.
My superpower is… helping people get started by moving from idea to action.
President, Drive Medical
Mr. Kolodny is a principal founder of Drive Medical. He joined the Company in April 2003 as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel, and became President in 2008. From 1999 through March 2003, Mr. Kolodny was a corporate partner in the law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist Park Chapin, LLP. Mr. Kolodny specialized in the areas of general corporate and securities laws. From 1993 through 1999, Mr. Kolodny served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of a publicly traded healthcare company where he served as a member of the Board of Directors of such company’s domestic and international operating companies. Prior to such time, Mr. Kolodny was associated with the New York law firm of Shea and Gould.
President and Chief Business Officer, R-PHARM US
Demetrios Kydonieus is the President and Chief Business Officer of R-PHARM US. Demetrios is a senior pharmaceutical executive with proven success leading multibillion-dollar global transactions and complex negotiations. He has been instrumental in assisting small, medium and large BioPharma companies in executing their corporate strategies resulting in significant growth and shareholder value.
In 2014, Demetrios teamed up with Mark Pavao to create a differentiated specialty BioPharma company. The opportunity to work with Russia’s premier pharmaceutical company, R-Pharm CJSC, presented a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth and importance of the BioPharma start-up (R-PHARM US).
Prior to R-Pharm US, Demetrios was the Vice President, Strategy, Alliances and Transactions (SAT) at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) where he was instrumental in helping BMS implement the BioPharma transformation and execute the String of Pearls strategy.
Demetrios began working at BMS in 1998 as Director, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs in the Health Care Group. After leaving the Health Care Group, Demetrios joined the Corporate Strategy and Issues Management Group as Director, Business Risk Management, where he identified and helped manage the largest risks to the BMS strategy. Demetrios later moved with his family to Boston to be General Counsel for BMS Medical Imaging, where he was a member of the business unit’s Executive Team and helped lead the divestiture of the business to private equity.
Demetrios earned his Juris Doctor degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law and his Masters of Business Administration from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business.
President of Southeast TechInventures and COO of Ag TechInventures
Karen LeVert is President of Southeast TechInventures and Chief Operating Officer of Ag TechInventures, Inc. She co-founded both companies as technology innovation labs focused on further developing promising technologies from universities and spinning them off into the commercial marketplace. Ms. LeVert’s business experience encompasses both corporate and entrepreneurial worlds with over twenty-five years of successful leadership experience in start-ups, technology commercialization, and executive management. She started her career at a Fortune-500 company in positions of increasing responsibility from computer programmer, to controller, to general manager of a 500-person operation.
Her first entrepreneurial venture was launching a franchise bioremediation company in 1998 that she later sold in 2001. Before co-founding STI, Karen co-launched a Silicon Valley venture-funded software company where she served as Executive Vice-President of Business Development. Karen holds an MBA from the University of Dayton and an Information Technology undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Along with her professional duties she serves as a Board member for Ag TechInventures, Southeast TechInventures, Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), North Carolina School of Science and Math, and NCIDEA.
T. Reid Lewis
Chief Product Officer, FrontStream, LLC
Reid joined FrontStream in 2021 to work to understand and satisfy customer requirements and laying the foundations that deliver measurable value to our customers.
As Co-Founder and Co-Chair of The Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network (DukeGEN), Reid both oversees and contributes to the implementation of DukeGEN’s many programs, each designed to help entrepreneurially minded students and alumni achieve their goals.
Reid serves on the Advisory Board of The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
Reid served on the Duke Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 2016 to 2021.
Reid has a B.S. in computer science and a second major in economics from Duke University.
Katherine Gilbert Manuel
R64 Capital, General Partner
Katherine is an accomplished executive with deep and varied experience spanning technology, strategy and innovation. She is a partner of an emerging venture fund which is raising capital with the intent to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem within North Carolina.
For over a decade, Katherine climbed the professional ladder at Thomson Reuters, and before leaving the firm had advanced to Senior VP, Innovation where she was entrusted to build and lead a new organization focused on shifting the company from acquisition- to organic-oriented growth. This encompassed defining the vision, developing the team and creating international programs that reached employees, customers and partners. Under her guidance, the innovation fund she ran invested in over 100 ideas and experienced over 330% ROI within three years of launch.
As a trusted thought leader, Katherine has produced content for notable media outlets such as Forbes Woman, Innovators Magazine and Cheddar TV. She has also delivered presentations for the Dallas Business Journal’s Tech Awards, DFW Alliance of Technology & Women and a myriad of university courses on innovation, among others. Katherine is passionate about sharing knowledge and being a positive role model, particularly for aspiring leaders in technology and innovation.
Industry expertise: Enterprise technologies (e.g. fintech, legaltech, regtech)
Functional expertise: Strategy and Innovation management
Come to me if you need… a thought partner to brainstorm new growth trajectories, opportunities for scale, connections to thought leaders and funding mechanisms
My superpower is… seeing white space, forming a plan, and enrolling people (and their superpowers) to make it happen
Managing Partner, Structural Capital
Jillian Manus is an experienced banking and media executive, a technology investor and entrepreneur. She is Managing Partner of an early stage Silicon Valley venture fund, Structure Capital. Branded “Architects of the Zero Waste Economy” investing in underutilized assets and excess capacity.
Ms. Manus serves on numerous boards including: Stanford University School of Medicine Board of Fellows, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center Board of Directors, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Communities in Schools. Ms. Manus was named one of the top 25 early-stage Female Investors by Business Insider in 2021.
Prior to Structure Capital, Ms. Manus was Founder of Broad Strategy, Global Goal Management, Inc. She served as Co- Director of TMT for Credit Suisse Zurich, and Director of Development for Universal and Warner Bros and Associate Publisher of the national publication Upside, reporting on the financial strategies of the technology industry.
As a frequent global public speaker, Ms. Manus provides business and political commentary in the media, primarily on CNBC’s Squawk Alley and Bloomberg Business news. She also co-hosts Spotify’s Media’s business podcast “The Pitch.”
Ms. Manus attended The University of Oxford & NYU, where she served on the Board of Trustees. Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity, frequently speaking on the topic of “Investing in Values, not Just Valuations.”
Industry expertise: Digital Health, Marketplaces and Defense Innovation
Functional expertise: Innovation Management, Early Stage Operational Infrastructure
Come to me if you need… Creating Brand and Values Narrative, Enterprise Partnership
My superpower is… Architecting Valuable Networks, Optimizing People’s Potential
Managing General Partner, Intersouth Partners
Mitch is a managing general partner at Intersouth Partners which he joined in 1989, shortly after its founding. During Mitch’s tenure, Intersouth has raised $750 million from a premiere list of institutional limited partners. Mitch has extensive, successful, full-cycle venture investment experience and personally led more than 20 investments for Intersouth. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of four private Intersouth portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Intersouth, Mitch served as CFO for a high-growth computer hardware and software company. Previously, he worked as a manager in the high growth business practice at Deloitte.
Mitch is a former Director and Chairman of the Board of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the North Carolina Technology Association (NC Tech) and served for six years on the Board of the entrepreneurially-focused NC Idea Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In 2015, Mitch was appointed by Governor McCrory to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation. In addition, he has served as a mentor to the Kauffman Foundation’s Kauffman Venture Fellows Program. In 2017, Mitch was inducted into the NC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
Mitch is a frequent speaker on the topic of venture capital and a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC where he teaches two courses on venture capital. Previously he was an Adjunct Professor at the Duke Fuqua School of Business where he taught a course on entrepreneurial execution. He received an A.B. in management science from Duke University.
Industry Expertise: Technology and tech enabled services
Functional Expertise: Growing early stage ventures
Come to me if you need… capital.
My superpower is… partnering with entrepreneurs to help them build great companies.
Shankar Musunuri, PhD.
Chariman, CEO & Co-Founder, Ocugen, Inc.
Dr. Musunuri is Chairman, CEO and a co-founder of the Malvern, PA-biotech, Ocugen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing gene therapies to cure blindness diseases and developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19. As a co-founder, Dr. Musunuri has been instrumental in growing Ocugen into an emerging, diversified biopharmaceutical with a commitment to serving unique populations with unmet medical needs. The company is now an innovator in gene therapy and is expanding into vaccinology.
Dr. Musunuri held leadership roles at numerous companies such as multinational pharmaceutical companies and novel start-up biotechs. Prior to his current role, he founded Nuron Biotech, Inc., which he grew to a commercial company in less than three years, serving as its President and CEO. Dr. Musunuri spent nearly fifteen years at Pfizer (and its legacy company, Wyeth), where he gained extensive product launch and life-cycle management experience. He served in a key role as Global Operations Team Leader for the most successful launch in vaccine history, Prevnar 13®. Prior to that, he was a group leader focused on Phase 3 clinical development at Amylin Pharmaceuticals.
Known as “Shankar” by his colleagues, he obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy and serves on the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University.
Industry expertise: pharmaceutical and life sciences management
Functional expertise: general management and entrepreneurship
Come to me if you need… ideas on how to convert complex processes into more nimble solutions.
My superpower is… finding ways to get to solutions faster and encouraging people to bring their best. Art of structuring deals for success!!
Founder, Marnie Homes
Innovative use of materials, impeccable craftsmanship, and a brilliant sense of design have propelled Marnie Oursler from building beach homes as a hobby to presiding over a thriving custom home building business. Marnie is revolutionizing the industry with her fresh approach to established building practices and processes. After building the first LEED certified home in Delaware, she challenged herself to use more locally sourced materials. Now, Marnie encourages other builders to do the same as the proud spokesperson for 84 Lumber’s “We Build American” initiative. Marnie is dedicated to doing the right thing whether it’s building practices that are good for the environment and promote domestic jobs or helping students gain field experience to launch construction careers.
Marnie has been nationally recognized by as Professional Builder Magazine’s “40 Under 40” – a recognition of entrepreneurs to watch in the building industry – and received one of the world’s most distinguished business honors, the Gold Stevie® Award as Entrepreneur of the Year for Women in Business. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Cross Continent MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Co-founder & VP of Marketing, Easily Do
Hetal Pandya is a mobile entrepreneur with more than 20+ years of experience in the industry. She co-founded EasilyDo as she has always had a passion for mobile products that enable people to simplify their lives. She has a strong vision for the future of the smartphone and how it can improve users’ lives – and she’s determined to achieve that vision. Whether she’s creating a new partnership for EasilyDo or working on the long-term vision of the app, Hetal is driven in her approach and loves to solve problems. Her specialties align with marketing telecom services and developing mobile products for enterprises and consumers. Most recently, she served as the director of product management and marketing at Nuance Communications where she built a $30+M revenue mobile care product portfolio from concept. She has also worked in senior level marketing management at Microsoft (Tellme Networks) and Nortel Networks. She holds a MS in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, Dallas and a MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
J.B. Fuqua Professor of Finance
Manju Puri is the J. B. Fuqua Professor of Finance at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. She was earlier Associate Professor of Finance at Stanford Business School, which she joined after earning her Ph.D in finance at New York University. Professor Puri has been an executive and consultant in the banking industry, and is a leading scholar in banking and venture capital. Her research interests are in the area of empirical corporate finance and financial intermediation, with focus on commercial banks, investment banks, venture capital and entrepreneurship.
Professor Puri has published widely in the leading finance journals including Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies. Her research has won multiple awards including two Western Finance Association best paper awards, and two Fama-DFA awards in Journal of Financial Economics. Professor Puri is a co-editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation, and serves as associate editor of several journals including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Journal of Empirical Finance, Journal of Financial Research and Journal of Financial Services Research. She is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work has been supported by the FDIC, National Science Foundation, and Sloan Foundation Fellowship.
Professor Puri teaches an elective she created on “Raising Capital” for the MBA students at Fuqua. She also teaches a Ph.D class on Empirical Corporate Finance and has taught Advanced Corporate Finance, and Venture Capital Financing at Fuqua and Stanford Business School. She has mentored a number of Ph.D students who have been placed at the leading schools including Columbia, Northwestern, MIT and Yale University.
Managing Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
Howie Rhee is the Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. In his role, he develops and maintains the relationship between the center and the entrepreneurial community both locally and globally.
Prior to coming to Fuqua, Howie developed extensive entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries including software, media, energy and biotechnology, and executive search. For several years, he has worked on technology startups. He helped over a hundred entrepreneurs develop and grow their companies, while at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the largest entrepreneurial support organization in the nation. Previously, he co-founded Internet Games Corporation, a leading games provider, that was acquired by Go2Net in the late 90s. Howard also worked in marketing and strategy for TechTrader, a software company based in Washington D.C, and earlier in his career, he worked at MicroStrategy in product development. Howard is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Howie was the president of the MIT Club of RTP (2004-2007), and was a board member of Leadership Triangle, a non-profit created to build leadership capacity to foster regional awareness and cooperation in the Triangle. He served on the Board of Directors for the Global MIT Enterprise Forum which has 24 chapters around the world.
Professor of Finance, J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Professor of International Management
Research Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
David is the William and Sue Gross Distinguished Research Scholar, and Professor of Business Administration. He also is a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is the Research Director in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance in the daytime MBA program. In 2007, he was awarded the Daimler-Chrysler Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching, Fuqua’s highest teaching honor. He has published numerous research articles in leading academic journals in finance and economics, including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Law and Economics.
Professor Robinson earned an MBA and PhD from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, a Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts with highest honors in economics from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining the faculty of Duke University, he was an Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University.
Rachel Braun Scherl
Managing Partner and Co-Founder, SPARK Solutions for Growth/Chief Development Officer, Pulse/Speaker/Author/Business Advisory
Rachel Braun Scherl is a champion for women’s sexual and reproductive health and a pioneer in the space. As Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth, a strategic and marketing consultancy, Rachel has built an international client list that includes Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Pfizer, Merck, Bayer and Church & Dwight, as well as venture-backed start-ups. While President and co-founder of Semprae Laboratories, Rachel and her team built a company that developed and marketed sexual health and wellness products for women – creating a new category and transforming women’s health. Semprae attracted significant media attention and industry interest and was sold to Innovus Pharmaceuticals in 2013.
Today, Rachel works with companies large and small, from menstruation through menopause. In addition, Rachel serves as Chief Development Officer for Pulse, a company with a device and consumable model that is elevating personal care across categories. Rachel’s career-long findings, learnings and recommendations are at the heart of her best-selling book: Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women’s Health and Wellness.
In May 2021, Rachel launched a podcast, Business of the V, with a leading OB/GYN focused on the intersection of women’s health, unmet needs and the businesses being created to respond to those concerns. Rachel is a frequent public speaker at universities, colleges and industry conferences, including Duke University, Stanford GSB, CES, SXSW, Johnson & Johnson, Abbvie, and The Minnesota Vikings, and has been a resource for CBS, ABC, New York Times, among others. In addition to serving as a Board member and Advisory Board member for female health companies, Rachel provides ongoing mentorship to many female entrepreneurs.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke, Rachel earned an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Industry expertise: women’s health, entrepreneurship, leadership
Functional expertise: marketing strategy, business building, innovation and growth
Come to me if you need… help identifying levers to pull to drive growth for your business
My superpower is… translating ideas into action.
Richard J. Star
Principal, NEXgistics, LLC
Richard Star is currently a principal and co-founder of NEXgistics, LLC, a seven year-old third party logistics provider located in Buffalo, NY and North Las Vegas, NV. Richard was involved in numerous businesses prior to NEXgistics. Richard worked for 14 years at Cliffstar Corporation/Cliffstar LLC, a vertically integrated private label beverage company sold to a publicly traded company in 2010. Richard is also involved with commercial real estate development projects in South Carolina, is a licensed real estate agent and is a founding member of Dunes Commercial Properties, LLC. He has made numerous strategic investments in private companies over the past six years and serves on the board of several closely held firms including: Vitamins Direct, LLC (Chairman), Star Snax, LLC and Portland Bottling Company.
Richard earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University majoring in history and political science and holds a master’s degree from New York University (MA) and an MBA from Duke University (Fuqua School of Business).
Industry expertise: CPG, Food and Beverage, Logistics
Functional expertise: General management, Operations, Strategic planning.
Come to me if you need… Feedback on business plans and revenue projections
My superpower is… assisting with organizational development and gap analysis.