The Advisory Board reflects the unique integration of practice and research that is at the core of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
- Glenn Boghosian, Owner, MPD Holdings, Inc.
- Danny Briere, CEO TeleChoice, Inc. Startup Connecticut
- David C. Carroll, CEO, Oak Circle Capital, LLC
- Jefferson Clark, Managing General Partner, The Aurora Funds
- Wesley M. Cohen, Frederick C. Joerg Professor, Professor of Economics, and Faculty Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Michael Curry, Partner, The Curry Rockefeller Group
- Ann Elliott, Solertis
- Josh Felser, Co-Founding General Partner of Freestyle Capital
- Jon Fjeld, Professor of the Practice of Strategy, Professor of Philosophy, and Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Don Haile, Former Chief Information Officer, Fidelity Investments
- Richard S. Kolodny, President, Drive Medical
- T. Reid Lewis, President & Co-Founder of GroupLogic
- Bill Luby, Seaport Capital – Managing Partner
- Catherine E. Massey, Co-Founder, LawDocsXpress
- Matthew Megaro, President & CEO of Quill Medical, Inc.
- Mitch Mumma, General Partner, Intersouth Partners
- Manju Puri, J.B. Fuqua Professor of Finance
- Howie Rhee, Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business 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, Co-Founder and Principal, SPARK Solutions for Growth, Division of The Jannick Group, LLC
- Derek Wilson, Co-Founding Partner of Manhattan Pacific Partners
Owner, MPD Holdings, Inc.
Glenn started his career in the Corporate Audit and Tax departments of Ernst and Young and the Advisory and Valuation departments of the Geneva Companies. For the last 20 years Glenn has successfully started, developed and operated multiple businesses in California that currently manage over 300 different products. His companies, MPD Holdings, Inc. and Atlas Holdings, Inc. operate in the following four business areas: computer and gaming accessories; fitness equipment; event furniture; and trash can container parts.
Glenn graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1985 with a BA in Economics and an emphasis in Accounting. In 1991, he received an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business with an emphasis in Finance and Marketing. He has been married for 18+ years to Pauline who he describes as ‘an amazing, beautiful, intelligent wife’ and has three daughters: Alexa, Christina, and Sophia.
CEO TeleChoice, Inc., Startup Connecticut
Danny Briere has a global, strategic background in business having been involved in management consulting, corporate management, business development, and worldwide alliances for more than 25 years in the technology, software, and aerospace/airline industries. His consultancy, TeleChoice, was a well-respected and well-known worldwide Internet and network management consultancy in the 1990s/early 2000s, growing to nearly 100 consultants worldwide. In his strategic role, he advised CEOs of startups, boards and senior management of major corporations like Lucent and Sprint, and even the leadership of entire countries like Ukraine, Jordan, and others – on how to launch and exploit broadband and wireless networks, services, and applications. This ranged from corporate strategy for specific products and firms to country-level economic impact studies and financial analysis related to broadband deployment. Since the mid-1990s to date, he has been involved with the launch and early business operations of more than 200 startups, working closely with venture capitalists, clients, and industry alliances to optimize startup success and exit in the market. Over the past 25 years, he has started and managed companies on his own and with partners, ranging from three Caribbean airlines to social media monitoring services to education-focused social network and communications products to “Big Data” technologies. Danny has worked with government officials, standards bodies, associations, trade groups, vendor alliances, and other groupings of diverse personalities to achieve business goals. He has been sought out for technical and business design, public policy advice, boardroom guidance, and industry leadership. Danny has started industry alliances from scratch, worked with countries’ most senior political and royal leadership, served as on-air commentator for CNN, written more than a dozen books and a thousand articles, spoken at dozens of conferences including keynotes, testified as an expert witness in corporate cases, and patented his own inventions. Danny has lived and worked globally in more than three dozen countries, including long range stints in Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Most recently, Danny has been leading job growth and startup initiatives as the head of Startup Connecticut, advising universities and communities on entrepreneurship and innovation programming, counseling many student teams on their startups, working with a number of non-profits including the Connecticut Invention Convention — which annual trains nearly 10,000 kids to be inventors, and helping advise and launch new companies in the mobile, social networking, and education spaces — consulting on technologies and business aspects of the startups. Danny has a Masters in Business Administration and undergraduate degrees in Public Policy and Economics from Duke University. Danny lives with his wife, Dr. Holly Fitch, a professor and neurobiology researcher at the University of Connecticut, and their four children, two sets of twins, in Mansfield Center, CT. The eldest twins attend Duke, in Engineering and Trinity.
David C. Carroll
CEO, Oak Circle Capital, LLC
Mr. Carroll has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of trading, structuring and management roles within the credit markets, spanning both cash and derivative products and varying market conditions. Mr. Carroll is presently CEO of Oak Circle Capital, a management company owned by its employees and XL Group Plc (NYSE XL). Oak Circle is the investment advisor to the mortgage REIT Five Oaks Investment Corp. Previously, Mr. Carroll formed a specialized investment management company that he co-founded in 1999 (which was part of Stanfield Capital Partners from 2001-2007) to focus upon the establishment and management of structured finance operating companies. The primary operating company during this period grew to become one of the largest independent structured investment vehicles in the market with over $14 billion in assets, and was active in purchasing a wide range of asset types including bank, finance, insurance and structured or secured credit within the consumer, commercial and corporate sectors. Mr. Carroll spent 13 years at Morgan Stanley & Co. in a variety of management and trading roles. Initially, Mr. Carroll traded corporate and bank credit risk. In 1991, Mr. Carroll became a founding member of the Derivative Products Group where he established and managed the firm’s structured products trading desk. In 1996, Mr. Carroll established a joint venture between the Derivative Products Group and Mortgage Securities Group, which focused on ABS/MBS and derivatives trading. His prior affiliations and responsibilities have given him very broad experience in the structuring, trading and hedging of a wide range of credit market products whether expressed in cash, derivative or hybrid formats. Mr. Carroll graduated with an M.B.A. from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Managing General Partner, The Aurora Funds
Jeff Clark co-founded The Aurora Funds, Inc. in 1994 and is currently Managing General Partner responsible for life science investments in Aurora’s five existing funds, which encompass in excess of $234 million. Jeff currently serves on the boards of several of Aurora’s life science portfolio companies, including Aldagen, Argos Therapeutics, Hyperbranch Medical Technology, Metabolon, Regado Biosciences and Xsira Pharmaceutical, assisting in the strategic direction of each. Prior to forming Aurora, Jeff worked in development and external affairs for Duke University. Jeff has extensive strategic planning and operational experience and has overseen more than twenty life science investments since 1995. Jeff is a former Chairman of the Board of North Carolina’s Council for Entrepreneurial Development and is on the board of overseers of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Jeff holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Wesley M. Cohen
Frederick C. Joerg Professor, Professor of Economics
Faculty Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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.
CEO and President, Solertis
Ann Elliott brings over 25 years of logistics, marketing and general management experience to client engagements. Prior to founding Solertis, she managed third-party warehouses for Chep USA, the largest pallet and container pool in North America. As an Operations Manager with Exel Logistics, she managed the Kellogg Company’s largest distribution center. At the Ingram Book Company, Ann helped develop and implement a warehouse management system for seven distribution centers, each with radio frequency capabilities and a real-time inventory status of more than 350,000 SKU’s. Ann also worked in the brand management and product development areas of Hallmark Cards. This marketing experience enables her to assess how sales, marketing and customer service functions relate to various logistics matters.
Ann’s knowledge and insight produce impressive results for her clients. For example, a $3.5 billion distribution company was able to reduce case costs by 52%, decrease order fulfillment errors by 53% and increase productivity by 30% due to the efforts and execution of Ann and her team.
Ann is actively involved in all consulting projects and is often viewed by clients as an extension of their team, providing both experienced leadership and specific subject matter expertise. In a recent engagement, Ann served as Interim Vice-President of Operations for a high-growth company. Packaging rates increased 30% as a direct result of improvements in processes and people.
Additionally, Ann also shares her expertise through speaking and training. She has addressed audiences at the Warehousing Education and Research Council, the Supply Chain Expo and the National Confectioners Logistics Council. Ann is a regular presenter at the Executive in Residence program at Georgia Southern University.
In 2008, Ann was named “Logistics Professional of the Year” by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Ann is also a past President of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – Atlanta Roundtable, a former Roundtable Advisor, former Chair of the CSCMP Roundtable IT Committee and served as Finance Chair for the CSCMP Annual Conference. Ann received the President’s Award for Distinguished Service from the CSCMP Atlanta Roundtable. She was also named one of DC Velocity’s Rainmakers.
Ann graduated cum laude from Duke University and was elected to the Duke Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2004 and to the Executive Committee in 2007. She is a past President of Duke in Atlanta and a recipient of the prestigious Charles A. Dukes Award, the University’s highest honor for volunteer service.
Co-Founding General Partner of Freestyle Capital
Mr. Felser is a serial entrepreneur and early stage investor. He is the co-founding General Partner of Freestyle Capital, an early stage venture fund. He is also a co-founder and board member of The Start Project, a bay area startup incubator. Mr. Felser was the CEO and co-founder of Crackle (formerly Grouper), an Internet video community, acquired by Sony for $65 million in 2006. Until February of 2001 he was GM of AOL Time Warner’s music brands’ Spinner, Winamp and Shoutcast. In October 1997 he became co-founder and President of Spinner.com, a leading Internet music destination until its 1999 purchase by America Online for $320 million. From 1994 to 1996 he was Head of business and product development in Qwest/U.S. West’s Multimedia Group. From 1990 to 1994 he was an executive with News Corp., working with Fox Inc. in Los Angeles and BSkyB in London. Mr. Felser obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University in 1986, an M.B.A. in Marketing from Duke’s FUQUA School of Business in 1990 and is currently on the Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
Professor of the Practice of Strategy, Professor of Philosophy
Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Jon Fjeld has been teaching entrepreneurship and leading the entrepreneurship efforts at Fuqua since 2005.
He has spent over twenty years in marketing, engineering and general management in start-ups and public companies, as well as over ten years in academia.
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. 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.
Former Chief Information Officer, Fidelity Investments
Don Haile has spent 40+ years in the Information Technology field, with two companies, IBM and Fidelity Investments. He is currently retired and consulting with several companies.
From 1964 until 1998, Don was employed by IBM at various US and European locations. He was involved in development of many of IBM’s hardware and software products and managed several key IBM development laboratories, in the US, UK, Italy and France.
Mr. Haile joined Fidelity in 1998 as executive vice president responsible for the worldwide development of infrastructure and application products that support the processing needs of Fidelity. He moved to the position of CIO in January, 1999 and in that position reported to Fidelity’s Chairman, Edward C. Johnson until October, 2005.
From October, 2005 to the end of 2007, Mr. Haile was the site General Manager for Fidelity’s operations in NC. During that period, Fidelity grew from 1000 NC employees to nearly 3000 people.
Haile received a BA degree in mathematics from St. Vincent College in 1963 and a BS degree in electrical engineering from Penn State in 1964. He is currently serving as a Trustee on the Board of Directors for St. Vincent College, and is an advisor to the Information Science and Technology College at Penn State. He is also a board member of the NC MicroElectronics Center (NCMC).
Don is married to Mary Higgins and they have three adult children, Matthew, Kathryn, and Andrew. They have seven grandchildren.
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 & Co-Founder of GroupLogic
As GroupLogic’s President & Co-Founder, Reid Lewis helps drive the strategic direction and growth of the company’s product lines, and works to ensure the success of customers who use mobilEcho, ExtremeZ-IP and Mass Transit. Reid represents GroupLogic at industry conferences and in online communities related to GroupLogic’s products, customers’ successes and related technologies.
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 has a B.S. in computer science and a minor in economics from Duke University.
Seaport Capital – Managing Partner
Bill Luby has been investing in private equity for 20 years. Currently, he is the Managing Partner of Seaport Capital, a private equity firm which he co-founded in 1996. Seaport Capital specializes in investing in communications, media and information services companies,. Prior to this, Mr. Luby was a Managing Director at Chase Capital, the equity-investing arm of The Chase Manhattan Bank, and was also a Managing Director in Chase’s Merchant Banking Group, where he financed leveraged buyouts. He is currently a Director of Equinix ((NASDAQ:EQIX), Chairman of the Board of the Derby County Football Club, and is a Board member of numerous private companies, including Logicworks, Mandalay Baseball, FTJ Fundchoice, Bay Towers and Story Worldwide.. Mr. Luby holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA in economics from Trinity College. He is married and has 4 children.
Catherine E. Massey
Catherine Massey is the Co-Founder and Chairman of LawDocsXpress (LDX), the largest domestic-based outsourcing services for legal support services. LDX clients include some of the country’s largest law firms, corporate legal departments and government entities. The firm has been in existence since 2002 and continues to experience dramatic, annual year-over-year revenue growth.
Prior to co-founding LDX, Catherine owned and managed Legal Resources, Inc. (LRI) for nearly sixteen years. LRI was a traditional legal staffing agency providing personnel to law firms and corporate legal departments in four states. Based on her knowledge of the legal community and the challenges faced by law firms to remain competitive, Catherine developed the concept for LDX to address industry concerns for productivity enhancement and a growing shortage of experienced legal support personnel. This business model, which allows LDX to deliver high quality, on-demand services at cost-effective prices, is unique in the industry has enabled LDX to become the preeminent service provider in its field.
Catherine is a recognized expert in workflow management and staffing in the legal industry. She has authored several articles and spoken on these issues both domestically and internationally. Currently she serves as a consultant to several law firms engaged in evaluating organizational structure and staffing
Before acquiring LRI, Catherine held various positions in Southern California Gas Company including: Manager of Personnel Services; Customer Services Manager for an operating division; and Manager of Community and Local Government Affairs. She also spent several years in Washington, D.C. with the National League of Cities/U.S. Conference of Mayors as a policy analyst and legislative coordinator and in Atlanta as a staff member to the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives.
Catherine holds a B.A. from Duke University and a M.S. in Business and Public Administration from Georgia State University. She is a member of Women in Technology International (WITI), the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Catherine serves on the Board of Advisors to the Atlanta Chamber Players and informally advises a number of arts organizations on fund raising and management. She was a member of the organizing task force for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and currently serves on the CEI Advisory Board.
President & CEO of Quill Medical, Inc.
Matt has extensive experience in starting and developing biotechnology and medical devices ventures. Most recently, he was President and CEO of Quill Medical, Inc., a medical device company that he co-founded in 2000 in Research Triangle Park, NC. The Company achieved profitability in 2006 following the successful commercialization of a series of minimally invasive cosmetic surgery devices. Quill was sold to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals in 2006. Prior to this, he was President of Trimeris, Inc., a Durham, NC biotechnology company focused on treatments of infectious disease. At Trimeris, he led the Company’s business development and financing initiatives including private and public stock offerings and an IPO in 1997. Prior to Trimeris, he was Chief Financial Officer of Athena Neurosciences which developed treatments for neurological disorders. At Athena, he was responsible for various product licensing and acquisition programs and for financing initiatives including Athena’s IPO in 1991. He was also a co-founder of Transprobe, Inc. (later named Signal Pharmaceuticals), a transcription factor inhibition company located in San Diego, CA that was sold to Celgene, Corp. in 2001. Matt is an inventor on numerous issued and pending U.S. and foreign medical device patents. He serves as an advisor and board member of several life science companies. He received his B.S. in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.
General Partner, Intersouth Partners
Mitch is primarily responsible for Intersouth’s information technology portfolio. He joined Intersouth in 1989 at the inception of Fund II. Mitch has full-cycle venture investment experience and has held management positions with various companies throughout his career, including three start-up companies, all of which subsequently went public.
Mitch is known for board and syndicate leadership as well as tireless focus on portfolio company success. He has provided early financing and venture leadership for numerous successful companies. He currently serves on the boards of five portfolio companies. He also served as CEO of an Intersouth portfolio company.
Prior to joining Intersouth, Mitch worked in finance and operations for a high growth computer hardware and software company. Previously, he worked as a manager in the high growth business practice at Touche Ross & Co. (now Deloitte & Touche).
Mitch is a leader in the entrepreneurial community and a sought-after speaker. He is an adjunct professor at the UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business and has long held leadership roles in the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA). He also has served as a mentor to the Kauffman Fellows Program. He earned a degree in Management Science from 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
Co-Founder and Principal SPARK Solutions for Growth, Division of The Jannick Group, LLC
Growth strategy consultant, marketing expert and sought-after public speaker Rachel Braun Scherl has become a trusted authority on leadership and entrepreneurship. In her 20+ years as a consultant and entrepreneur, Rachel has achieved countless gains for her clients as well as her own business, from engineering product re-positioning to regain market dominance, to providing the strategy that has secured strong customer bases for numerous startups. As co-owner and principal of SPARK Solutions for Growth, a consulting firm advising businesses on strategic growth and partnerships, product development and marketing, Rachel has built an international client base that includes multiple divisions of Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Pfizer, Merck, Bayer and Deloitte. Her firm’s client retention rate is more than 90 percent, and clients typically retain SPARK as they move to other companies and roles.
Rachel launched SPARK with business partner Mary Wallace Jaensch as a division of their consulting firm The Jannick Group in 1998, and drove its growth for 10 years before launching her next venture. In 2008 she partnered with healthcare investment firm Quaker BioVentures to create Semprae Laboratories. As President, Rachel and her team built a company that developed and marketed sexual health and wellness products for women – literally creating a new category in the process. Semprae attracted significant media attention and industry interest, and was sold to Innovus Pharmaceuticals in 2013. Rachel then returned her attention to SPARK, re-launching the company with her longtime business partner.
Prior to launching The Jannick Group and SPARK, Rachel was a principal at the Demeter Group, where she contributed to doubling revenues in the first year of her tenure. Previously, Rachel was a principal at Marketing Corporation of America, where she served as lead consultant and project manager for Johnson & Johnson’s global OTC, pharmaceutical and consumer products, and managed strategic engagements for world-class brands including American Express and Disney. Rachel began her career with Johnson & Johnson, joining a team responsible for managing the company’s flagship TYLENOLTM brand as part of its McNeil consumer division.
As an accomplished speaker, Rachel is often featured at leadership and entrepreneurship events at colleges, universities and conferences, including Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Duke University, The Fuqua School at Duke University, Barnard College, the S.H.E. Summit and Entrepreneurship Week. The noted entrepreneur and motivator has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, CBS News and MSNBC, and been interviewed for major platforms such as The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, AOL, The Huffington Post and CNN. Rachel writes a monthly blog for The Huffington Post, and has also written for INC. and contributed a chapter to Linda Ellis Eastman’s book The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life, an anthology of insights from business leaders.
Rachel earned an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1992 after graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology and Human Development. She currently serves on the Duke New York Women’s Executive Board as well as Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and the board of Formula XO, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of beauty products. Rachel serves on the board of Formula XO, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of beauty products. She is an alumnus of the Wexner Heritage Program, a learning and leadership development program for volunteer leaders in North America.
Co-Founding Partner of Manhattan Pacific Partners
Mr. Wilson has 25 years of extensive entrepreneurial and managerial experience and has helped to successfully build several businesses. Mr. Wilson is a Co-Founding Partner of Manhattan Pacific Partners (MPP), an investment business comprised of a hedge fund, merchant bank and a pledge fund.
Prior to MPP, Mr. Wilson co-founded and was Chairman of NeoSpire, Inc., a technology company in the web hosting industry. Mr. Wilson and his partner started the company from scratch, raised angel funding, built data centers, and lead all divisions within company. Mr. Wilson recently sold the company to a strategic buyer giving his angel investors an unlevered 6X return and a 16% IRR over twelve years. Mr. Wilson also was a Principal and President of Suntex Ventures, a fund that partnered with Harrison Street Partners and raised $1 billion in buying powers to invest in, operate, and own mixed-use waterfront properties including marinas, office, retail, hotel, and other select assets. In the past, Mr. Wilson worked in the Strategic Planning Department of the Walt Disney Company where he specialized in merger and acquisition analysis in the media and entertainment industry. Prior to the Walt Disney Company, Mr. Wilson was a Partner and Analyst with Wings Partners on the $4 billion LBO of Northwest Airlines.
Mr. Wilson has an AB in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business. He is a graduate of the Directors’ Consortium from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also an NASAA Registered Investment Advisor.
Mr. Wilson serves on many non-profit Boards. He is member and past Chairman of the North Texas Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). He is a founding Board member of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Fuqua School of Business. He is a Trustee of the Dallas Museum of Art, serves on the Board of the Nasher Museum at Duke University and serves on the International Council of the Tate Modern in London.