About the Program
Coffee for Eight (C48) exposes students to a diversity of perspectives in entrepreneurship by offering them the opportunity to meet a featured entrepreneurial guest over coffee. Only eight select students attend each C48 event, which allows for a more intimate roundtable discussion. The C48 program was designed specifically as a complement to traditional networking events frequently encountered by business students—the unique chance to have an honest conversation with an entrepreneur or industry professional about their career and the lessons they've learned along the way. Interested in being a future Coffee for Eight guest? Please contact Carrie Harbinson.
Friday, March 22nd (8-9am- McColl 4125)
Coffee for Eight Roundtable Discussion
Anna is a senior business consultant with FranChoice, the industry’s leading franchise consultancy. Anna has spent her career placing highly qualified, risk adverse executives into the nation’s top franchises. On multiple occasions, she has been recognized as one of the Top 10 franchise consultants in the United States. Anna consults with Fortune 500 executives, corporate refugees and investors desiring strong financial returns in recession resistant and sustainable franchised businesses.
Anna started off in the corporate world, became an entrepreneur herself and has been helping others to become business owners for the past 10 years. After earning her degree from UNC Kenan-Flagler (MBA ’89), she served 5 years in the U.S. Air Force in Health Services Administration. Anna currently lives in Augusta, GA with her husband and two young sons and is very active in the local community. She also recently joined the Alumni Council at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Previously Featured Guests
Wednesday, Nov. 28th (8am, Café Carolina-Meadowmont)
Jan Davis is a board member and advisor of companies in software, analytics, marketing, and personal information. She has over 20 years of direct and interactive marketing experience as a lifelong entrepreneur and innovator. She presently serves on the board of directors for ShowingTime.com, where she chairs the audit committee, and on the board of advisors for BiddRocket, Buzz Referrals, Gift Boogle, LiPi, Market Vue Partners, ReTel Technologies, and Three Ships Media. These enterprises sell products and services to the retail, real estate, marketing services, and information industries as well as to consumers. From 2004 to 2008, Jan served as CEO of ShopperTrak RCT Corporation, the global leader in pedestrian traffic counting. During her tenure as CEO, Davis led the company to profitability; revenues doubled and the number of managed counting devices increased by 136%. Prior to ShopperTrak, she spent eight years with TransUnion LLC, the international credit reporting giant. In the late 1980s, Jan co-founded SmartNames, a database marketing information, analysis and services company, raising $15 million in venture capital and acquiring four other companies.
Wednesday, Oct. 31st
Brett Smith is the co-founder and President of Counter Culture Coffee headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. Founded in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee is a different kind of coffee company. Dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting, authentic, and delicious coffees in the world, Counter Culture Coffee approaches their work with a passion for the ideal of coffee perfection, a dedication to real sustainability, and a commitment to cutting-edge education throughout the coffee chain. Brett also serves as a director for SouthWings; a non-profit promoting environmental conservation through aviation and as a director for World Coffee Research; a non-profit working to increase the global supply and quality of Arabica coffee. Brett has a degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a master's of business administration from the University of North Carolina. He currently lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and three children.
Tuesday, Oct. 23rd
Doug currently serves as President and CEO of Square 1 Bank. Doug is responsible for the overall direction and administration of Square 1's programs and services ensuring that the bank’s operational and financial goals are continually met. Founded in 2004, Square 1 Bank has a very unique story and clientele and is one of only two banks which tailors its offerings specifically to the needs of entrepreneurs. In only two years, Square 1 achieved $223 million in loans, $615 million in deposits and over 500 clients. Prior to his role at Square 1 Bank, Doug started two companies of his own in China (Beijing) and Europe (Dublin and London). Doug also has nearly 30 years of commercial and corporate banking experience at Bank of America (BAC) and its predecessors. He spearheaded a series of bank enterprises as Head of Commercial Banking, Head of Foreign Exchange, and President of BAC’s leasing. Doug also spent 18 months as Managing Director of Lone Star Funds, a private equity firm, and its affiliate, Hudson Advisors. Doug received a BS in Economics and Finance from Ball State University.
Joseph M. DeSimone
Wednesday, Sept. 26th
Dr. Joseph DeSimone is a world-renowned chemistry scholar, innovator and entrepreneur. DeSimone has applied his research to design novel nanomedicines for cancer therapy, improve vaccines and drug delivery mechanisms and create successful new commercial ventures based on his discoveries. He is the current Director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC, and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State and at Chemistry at UNC. DeSimone has published 260+ scientific articles and has over 115+ issued patents in his name with over 120+ patents pending. He has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honors that a U.S. scientist or engineer can receive. DeSimone has received 40 major awards and recognitions including the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation. DeSimone co-founded Liquidia Technologies, a Research Triangle-based nanotechnology company, to further develop the PRINT technology. Liquidia has its first product – a nanoparticle flu vaccine – in clinical trials. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested $10 million in Liquidia Technologies – the foundation's first-ever equity investment in a biotech company – as part of a move to help make vaccines more affordable and improve global health outcomes.
Tuesday, January 31st
Jason is a general partner at Raleigh-based venture capital firm Southern Capitol Ventures. He co-founded Southern Capitol after spending two years at Red Hat, where he directed the company's global budgeting process, provided financial analysis for the successful IPO in August 1999 and performed due diligence on many of the company's acquisitions. Prior to Red Hat, Jason was at Harrison Hurley and Company, an investment banking and business-consulting firm headquartered in Providence, RI. Jason currently serves on the boards of ReverbNation and Zift Solutions, and is also a board observer for eTix, WeddingWire, and DoublePositive Marketing Group. Jason has received the Triangle Business Journal's "40 under 40" leadership award and was named by TechJournal South as one the Southeast's Internet Mavens in 2009.
Tuesday, February 21st
Judith currently serves as Special Assistant to Chancellor Thorp on Innovation and Entrepreneurship here at UNC-Chapel Hill. It is her mission to cultivate and accelerate a culture of innovation such that the University can maximize the impact and public benefit of work being done across all disciplines. This also involves building out the University’s capability to seize viable business opportunities and generate solutions for research challenges. Prior to joining us at Carolina, Judith served as VP of emerging strategies for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In this role, she led efforts to explore new program opportunities to advance entrepreneurship and innovation and to serve as a global ambassador for the foundation. Earlier on in her career, Judith co-founded two highly successful management consulting firms serving Fortune 500 clients.
Tuesday, March 20th
Martin is Managing Owner of Venn Capital, LLC and Executive Committee Member of the Piedmont Angel Network. (PAN). Before moving to North Carolina in 2004, Martin served in a variety of operations and problem-solving assignments with MBNA America Bank, Fidelity Investments, and Prudential Home Mortgage. Martin is currently an active investor with venture capital, real estate, and private equity interests. In addition to his investment and management roles at Venn Capital and PAN, Martin launched three franchise Planet Fitness locations in the Triad. Martin also has commercial real estate experience including construction management, lease negotiations, and land acquisition. Martin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia.
Tuesday, March 27th
Bob is Executive Director of the new Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network here in the Triangle. Bob has over thirty 30 years of experience in commercializing new technologies, both as an entrepreneur and investor. He is the Founder and former Managing Partner for the Partners Innovation Fund (PIF), at Partners Healthcare in Boston. He also served as vice president of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, an early stage venture firm that funds technology-based companies, and then as General Partner at Egan-Managed Capital, a $150 million dollar Boston-bsed venture fund. Bob has reviewed more than 2,500 business plans and invested in more than 40 companies. He has extensive experience in putting together syndicates of investors, corporations and third parties to fund technology companies.
Tuesday, Nov. 29th
Lorenzo has 20+ years of business building experience in investment banks and entrepreneurial environments. He has been CEO, CFO or SEVP for four technology startups— two of which were acquired—and has raised $50 million in venture capital over the course of his career. Lorenzo is the former head of Latin American investment banking at Nikko Securities, and has participated in $7 billion of public market offerings. He has extensive international business experience in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Lorenzo also recently won the prestigious 2011 “CFO of the Year” award from the Triangle Business Journal. Lorenzo received his MBA from Stanford, his M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.S. degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Thursday, Nov. 17th
Tina is Chief Executive Officer of Farmhand Foods, a startup venture that connects North Carolina’s pasture-based livestock producers to local food lovers, restaurants, and retailers with the ultimate goal of building a more sustainable food system for North Carolina. Tina spent her early career working with the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency as an environmental engineer enforcing the Clean Air Act. From this work, she became convinced that the power of business can be used to solve social and environmental problems. Prior to starting Farmhand Foods, Tina pursued the dual degree program between UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Department of City and Regional Planning, where she received both an MBA and an MCRP in 2009. Tina also holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a B.S. in Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Tuesday, Nov. 1st
Elaine is an experienced CEO and investor building high-growth companies in financial services, consumer goods, and e-commerce. Her latest endeavor involves serving on the Board of Directors for RTP Capital, a consortium of angel investors that seeks to stimulate seed-stage capital formation primarily in the RTP area of North Carolina. Elaine has been a senior executive and board director leading domestic and global organizations from venture-backed startups to $750M+ enterprises. Over the course of her career, she has served as CEO for six different companies and boasts deep industry experience in multi-channel retail sales, financial services, web services, and consumer goods. Elaine earned her MBA and B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Wednesday, Oct. 26th
Andy currently holds the position of Fund Executive for the Piedmont Angel Network, an early stage committed capital angel fund based in Greensboro, NC. The Piedmont Angel Network has invested over$14M in twenty one companies since 2001 and is one of the only angel funds in the entire state. He is also a Managing Member of Princeton Partners, a real estate investment partnership focused on under-capitalized properties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Andy has previously served as Director of Career Management at Wake Forest University, and has over twenty years of experience in business planning and business development. He received his MBA from Wake Forest in 2007 and his Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University.
Tuesday, Sept. 20th
Kate Blanchard is a UNC alumnus (MBA ‘08) with an impressive entrepreneurial resume. After attending The Ohio State University, Kate was a management consultant and gained experience in strategy and operations across a variety of industries. At Kenan-Flagler, Kate was a Carolina Venture Fellow with Hatteras Venture Partners, worked on the private equity fund, and participated in Launching the Venture. Upon graduation, Kate began working for ArtusLabs, a venture-backed company in the Healthcare IT space offering the first cloud computing product specifically designed for life sciences reducing time to market. She currently holds the position of Sr. Director, Americas Marketing for Informatics at PerkinElmer, a publicly-traded advanced technology company that acquired ArtusLabs earlier this year.