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, Owner, MPD Holdings, Inc.
- Kirsten Castillo Hall, Board Director and Consultant, KCH Consulting, LLC
- Aaron Chatterji, Ph.D., Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
- Jim Chou, Chief Technology Officer at Splice Music
- T.J. Chung, 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
- Josh Felser, Co-Founding General Partner of Freestyle Capital
- Jon Fjeld, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Professor of the Practice of Strategy, The Fuqua School of Business, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
- Jamie N. Jones, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Associate Professor of the Practice of Management 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, Director, MasterCard International
- Katherine Manuel, Operating Partner, IDEA Fund Partners
- Jillian Manus, Managing Partner, Structure Capital
- Mitch Mumma, General Partner, Intersouth Partners
- Dr. Shankar Musunuri, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Ocugen Inc.
- Marnie Oursler, Founder of Marnie Homes
- Manju Puri, J.B. Fuqua Professor of Finance
- Hetal Pandya, Co-founder & VP of Marketing, Edison Software, Inc.
- 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, Co-Founder and Principal, SPARK Solutions for Growth, Division of The Jannick Group, LLC
- Richard J.Star, NEXgistics
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.
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.
Kirsten Castillo Hall
Globaltranz – May, 2017 – Present
Kirsten joined GlobalTranz in 2017 as part of its acquisition of Logistics Planning Services (LPS), where she was chief executive officer. She brings 22 years of supply chain, freight brokerage and operations management experience to her role. She is responsible for all company operations including branches extending across the U.S. as well as carrier relations for the company now on pace to deliver $1.1B in revenue in 2018. Prior to joining Globaltranz, Kirsten was instrumental in achieving LPS’ aggressive growth plan and overall success in the 3PL industry. LPS has received several business-related awards including a top 50 in 2015 for women-led fastest growing companies in America from the Inc5000.
Prior to joining LPS, Hall was director of operations for Imation, a spin-off company of 3M.
Kirsten holds a BAS from the University of Minnesota and a global executive MBA from Fuqua School of Business. She is involved in several non-profit organizations and notably has led women based initiatives both through the United Way as well as professionally in her own organizations. At home, Kirsten is the proud mother of six children.
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.
Chief Technology Officer, Work Market
James Chou is a high tech software executive with years of technology and start-up experience. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Work Market, headquarters in New York City. Prior to joining Work Market, Chou served as CTO and officer for Shutterstock (NYSE:SSTK), where he was a member of the executive team that successfully grew a 80 person start-up leading to an IPO with over $2B market cap in 2012. Before Shutterstock, Mr. Chou served as Senior Vice President and CTO of American Greetings Interactive, the interactive media division of American Greetings Corporation. He’s also held leadership role at Apple, Inc., JP Morgan, and Accenture Plc. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from SUNY Buffalo and an MBA from Duke FUQUA.
Partner, CORE Industrial Partners, LLC
TJ Chung is currently a Partner at Core Industrial Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm investing in North American lower middle-market industrial and manufacturing businesses. Chung was most recently the CEO of Teletrac Navman, a leading global SaaS provider of fleet management solutions. From 2007 to 2012, Chung was CEO of Navman Wireless where he led the buyout of the company and eventual successful exit to Danaher (NYSE: DHR). Before Navman Wireless, Chung served as President of New Technologies Division at Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC). Prior to that, Chung was Chief Strategy Officer of Brunswick and Senior Vice President of Brunswick’s Mercury Marine Group. Before joining Brunswick, Chung was an executive at Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR). Chung currently serves on the boards of Littelfuse (NASDAQ: LFUS), Mastercraft (NASDAQ: MCFT), and several privately-held technology companies. Chung also serves on the advisory boards of the Corkrell 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 had previously served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois and the board of visitors of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Chung has over twenty plus years of leading strategic development, business acquisition, operational excellence, global expansion, and innovation across software, electronics, and industrial sectors. 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 in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
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.
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.
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.
Jamie N. Jones, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Associate Professor of the Practice of Management 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 where she focused on developing curricular and co-curricular programs for students and faculty across the university. She taught courses on 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. Impact Engine supported three cohorts of early-stage companies through its accelerator program and is now placing capital into seed and series A venture investments through its second venture fund.
Prior to joining Rice, Prof. Jones was 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, Dr. 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 maintains an affiliation with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she serves as the faculty lead for the Emerging Markets and Social Impact cohort of the Zell Fellows Program. Previously, Dr. Jones was the Director of Social Entrepreneurship and a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Kellogg, where she worked with startups, nonprofits and companies to build and finance ventures that create both financial and social returns.
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.
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
President & Co-Founder of Proxidyne
Reid co-founded Proxidyne in 2014 and serves as the company’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
Proxidyne builds proximity IoT solutions that solve customers problems enterprise-wide. Proxidyne solutions deliver powerful software automation managing inexpensive IoT technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth sensors. Reid works with customers, partners and the media and focused his efforts on growing the business by working to understand and satisfy customer requirements and laying the foundations that deliver measurable value to our customers that will spur company growth.
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.
Senior VP of Innovation at Thomson Reuters
KATHERINE is an accomplished executive with deep and varied experience spanning technology, strategy and innovation. She uses her insatiable curiosity of all things – from people to markets to emerging technologies – to shape a clear vision and engage stakeholders to enact positive change.
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 300% 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 Duke University’s innovation courses, among others. Katherine is passionate about sharing knowledge and being a positive role model, particularly for aspiring leaders in technology and innovation.
Katherine holds an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. She also participates on three nonprofit Boards of Directors and serves as operating partner of IDEA Fund Partners, a venture capital firm based in Durham, NC.
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” they invest in underutilized assets and excess capacity.
Ms. Manus serves on numerous boards including: Stanford University Digital Health, Stanford University School of Medicine Board of Fellows, Advisory Board of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center Board of Directors, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Communities in Schools.
Prior to Structure Capital, Ms. Manus was Founder of Broad Strategy, Manus Media and Global Goal Sports Management. 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 Gimlet Media’s business podcast “The Pitch.”
Ms. Manus attended The University of Oxford & NYU, where she served on the Board of Trustees. Throughout her careers, she has been a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity, frequently speaking on the topic of “Investing in values, not just valuations”.
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.
Dr. Shankar Musunuri
Founder, Chariman, and CEO, Ocugen
Dr. Shankar Musunuri is a Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ocugen, Inc. Dr. Musunuri is an accomplished seasoned biotech veteran with over 22 years of successful experience driving a diverse portfolio of products from a Big Pharma point of view to a start-up biotech companies’ vision and from the start-up to full commercialization. As a serial entrepreneur, Dr. Musunuri has raised about $180 million in capital. Dr. Musunuri was the former President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of ioGenetics, Inc. Prior to ioGenetics, Dr. Musunuri was a Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Board Member of Nuron Biotech, Inc. Dr. Musunuri’s career at Pfizer spanned almost fifteen years in various roles of increasing leadership and responsibility. His extensive experience in product launches and life-cycle product management includes the most successful launch in vaccine history, Prevnar 13® Global Operations Team leadership. Dr. Musunuri worked for Amylin Pharmaceuticals prior to Pfizer. Dr. Musunuri has won numerous company, society and organizational awards.
Dr. Musunuri obtained his Ph.D. 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.
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
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.
Richard J. Star
Principal and Co-Founder, NEXgistics, LLC
Richard Star is currently a principal and co-founder of NEXgistics, LLC, a 3-year-old third party logistics provider. 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. He worked in many capacities at Cliffstar including: Sales Manager, Director of Strategic Planning, Vice President of Manufacturing, President of the ShanStar Biotech Division and VP of Processing and Ingredient Technology. Richard was a part owner of Cliffstar and a member of the senior management team. In August 2010, Cliffstar Corporation and related companies were sold to Cott Corporation (NYSE:COT). Richard remained at Cott through October of 2011 serving as VP of Grower Relations in addition to VP of Ingredient Technology. Richard also served on the Cott US Senior Management Team reporting directly to the General Manager of the US Business Unit.
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. Richard 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 Ltd (Bermuda – Chairman), Star Snaxx, LLC and Portland Bottling Company.
Richard is a past member of Young Presidents’ Organization Empire State and has served on the board of several non-profits including: The Buffalo Zoological Society, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf (NY), Reading Partners (currently Chairman of SC Regional Advisory Board), Chabad of Charleston (Chair of Capital Campaign), and the Chautauqua County (NY) Industrial Development Agency (past Treasurer), among others. Richard earned a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and holds Masters Degrees from New York University (MA) and Duke University (MBA).