Andy Albright, Adviser and Investor
Andy is a proud graduate of NC State, and author of The 8 Steps to Success, and Millionaire Maker Manual. His third book Inside The Circle was released in July of 2017. Albright is involved with numerous charities and organizations.
Albright is the namesake of the Albright Entrepreneurs Village (AEV), a place for NC State students who want to learn to think like an entrepreneur. The AEV is a residential community on Centennial Campus that involves residents from all majors and provides social and co-curricular activities to engage them in the startup world and encourage them to develop their ideas and ventures. This diverse group receives coaching from successful entrepreneurs and immersion in the programs that help students translate ideas into action.
In November of 2016, Andy and his wife, Jane pledged a $5 million gift to bolster both the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative and the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center. In honor of this extraordinary commitment, Innovation Hall — which opened on Centennial Campus in 2014 — is now known as Andy and Jane Albright Innovation Hall. One component of the Albrights’ gift is an endowment for the Albright Entrepreneurs Village, a Living and Learning Village the Burlington, North Carolina, couple previously established. NC State’s Living and Learning Villages are interest-based communities that engage students inside and outside the classroom.
Albright is a member of the advisory board for NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a member of the advisory board for the NC State University Engagement and a loyal supporter and major donor of Wolfpack athletics. Albright is a motivational speaker for various groups and organizations. He is passionate about helping mentor entrepreneurial-minded students and aspiring job creators.
Albright’s company, National Agents Alliance, aka The Alliance, is one of the country’s largest and most successful insurance marketing organizations, specializing in life event marketing and sales. Andy has appeared in regional North Carolina magazines and newspapers, and his company was selected from a pool of 35,000 area businesses as the N.C. Triad’s Fastest Growing Company by Greensboro’s Triad Business Journal in 2007. Albright was named to the Triad’s 2011 Movers & Shakers list by Business Leader magazine, and has appeared on several national radio shows.
Andy and his wife, Jane live in Union Ridge, N.C. They have two children – Haleigh (NC State graduate and MBA graduate student) and Spencer (freshman at NC State).
Brue Boehm, Advisory Board and Investor
Mr. Boehm is an angel investor in the Raleigh-Durham area and adviser to several specialty investment funds. From 1992 to 1996 he created and directed the Masters of Engineering Management Program at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Prior to 1992 he was a General Partner of U. S. Venture Partners in Menlo Park, California, with responsibility for a portfolio of approximately 20 health-care and technology investments. Prior to 1982 he was employed by several Silicon Valley and Route 128 companies as an engineer and project manager. Bruce received a BS from MIT, and an MS and MBA from Stanford University. During his career he has been a director of more than 35 publicly and privately held companies.
Stephen Bolick, Advisory Board and Investor
Dr. Stephen Bolick founded Eye Care Associates, O.D.P.A. in 1978 with the goal of providing quality, comprehensive eye health services to families in North Carolina coupled with a dedication to community outreach. He served as Chief Executive Officer and grew the business into a 27-office regional practice. Eye Care Associates was acquired by MyEyeDr. in 2014 at which time he began his current role as a member of
their Board of Directors. Dr. Bolick served as an adjunct professor at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and as a clinical examiner for the NC Board of Examiners. He has lectured and written nationally on practice management, contact lens care, and refractive surgery consultation. He has served on numerous advisory boards in the healthcare industry and on the NC Commission for Public Health. Dr. Bolick earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his O.D. at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.
Brent Burgess, Advisory Board and Investor
Brent Burgess is the President of Granville Advisers. Granville provides financial and strategic advice to businesses ranging from large banks and insurance companies to early stage companies. Brent is also a partner and investment committee member with Sovereign’s Capital, a venture fund with offices in Palo Alto, CA and Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to founding Granville, Brent was the co-founder, Chief Investment Officer and board member of Triangle Capital Corp., a private credit investment firm which had its IPO in 2007. Under Brent’s leadership, Triangle invested several billion dollars in more than 150 private companies and grew to an enterprise value of $1.5 billion. At Triangle, Brent had the opportunity to serve as a board member and/or advisor to a number of Triangle’s portfolio companies. Prior to Triangle, Brent served as Vice President of Oberlin Capital, an investor in small, private companies. Prior to Oberlin, Brent was an analyst and associate at Cherokee Investment Partners, where he focused on international investment opportunities. Brent is married with two children, Josh and Anna, and lives in Raleigh, NC. Born and raised in Canada, he loves hockey and is also an avid cyclist who enjoys riding the hills of the Raleigh area as well as the mountains of British Columbia.
Dick Daugherty, Adviser and Investor
Dick Daugherty retired from IBM in 1994 after 37 years of service, 22 of which were spent as the Senior Executive in the State of NC. At IBM, he served as the VP of Worldwide Manufacturing for the PC Company. He served as Executive Director of the NC State University Research Corporation, focusing on the development of Centennial Campus. He serves as Director on many industry boards, including, Wells Fargo Bank, LobbyGuard, Xanofi, and Troxler Electronics. He also serves on numerous voluntary and charitable boards, including Wake Education Partnership, Research Triangle Foundation, Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, & Science, N.C. Symphony, and Rex Healthcare Foundation.
Anthony Dilweg, Advisory Board and Investor
Anthony founded The Dilweg Companies investment firm in 1999 and is a partner in various firm-owned real estate partnerships. He oversees the acquisition, enhancement and disposition strategies on all firm-owned assets, through his guidance of the Investment Committee, as well as the strategic direction of the firm as a member of the Leadership Committee. Anthony graduated from Duke University in 1989. He spent 3 years in the NFL as a quarterback before entering the commercial real estate business as a broker in 1993.
Peter Fox, Adviser and Investor
Peter B. Fox is the Founder of Fox Development Corporation, a real estate development firm in Champaign, Illinois. His companies are focused on creating and retaining jobs associated with technology, healthcare and the service sector. He serves as Managing Member of Fox/Atkins Development, LLC, as the developer and manager of the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and invests in companies in the park through equity on debt, funding, or favorable lease terms. In 2008, the I Hotel and Conference Center opened in Research Park as a joint development of Fox/Atkins Development, LLC and UIUC. Along with his real estate interests, Mr. Fox utilizes his company, Fox Ventures, LLC to invest in start-up companies primarily in the technology and healthcare sectors. Throughout his career, Mr. Fox has also been involved with restaurant franchising, first as a Wendy’s franchisee and continuing through Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar and Jimmy John’s. As a franchisee of Jimmy John’s, his holdings have grown to include 33 Jimmy John’s restaurants located in Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. He is a former Jimmy John’s Franchisee of the Year. Mr. Fox is an alumnus of Stanford University and formerly served as Senior Managing Director of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.
Erik Frederick, Adviser and Investor
Erik Frederick is an entrepreneur and software expert. He is currently focused on the home automation industry with specific expertise in energy management, algorithm development, technology integration and large dataset management and mining. Interested in medical devices, home automation, B2B software, startups, and all kinds of new technologies. Erik received a BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering from NC State University and a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.
Bob Greczyn, Advisory Board and Investor
Bob Greczyn retired on February 1, 2010 as chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer. Greczyn joined the company in 1998, bringing 20 years of leadership experience in health care and a solid understanding of the North Carolina health care market. In his role at BCBSNC, Greczyn served on both the Board of Trustees for BCBSNC and on the board of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. He was the chairman of the board of directors for The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), which is an alliance of the nation’s leading health plans working on simplifying health care transactions. Greczyn serves on many boards from healthcare organizations to higher education. He is also the owner of several Mellow Mushroom franchises and Fortnight Brewery in Cary. Greczyn earned a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from East Carolina University. He also completed the executive program in health care finance management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mike Hockenberry, Adviser and Investor
Mike is an experienced business leader, disruptor, and investor on a mission to improve peoples’ health & wellness. Mike has extensive experience in retail and consumer products leading and managing businesses ranging from pre-revenue startups to over $10 Billion. Mike began his career at Hallmark Cards holding positions within Retail, Brand Management, and Marketing; spent nearly 13 years at Target within Target.com, Operations, and Merchandising roles; and successfully grew and completed a major exit through a strategic sale at Scivation. He is currently an owner, founder, and CEO of Disruptive Enterprises which is a holding company for several food and dietary supplement companies focused on improving health & wellness. Mike is also an accomplished investor and sits on the boards of several early-stage, mission-driven, consumer products companies. Mike lives in Cary, NC with his wife and four children and enjoys wine and anything that involves strapping skis to his feet.
Henry Kaestner, Advisory Board and Investor
Henry is a Managing Principal in Sovereign’s Capital, a VCl fund that invests in faith driven entrepreneurs in SouthEast Asia and the US from it’s offices in Silicon Valley, Washington DC and Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to co-founding Sovereign’s Capital, Henry was co-Founder and previous CEO, and then Chairman of Bandwidth.com (NASDAQ:BAND) and it’s sister company, Republic Wireless (which spun out of Bandwidth in 2016). Together the companies have grown from $0 to $300 million in revenue. Prior to co-founding Bandwidth.com Henry founded Chapel Hill Brokers (a predecessor to ICAP Energy), an institutional energy derivatives broker that became the top ranked electricity broker in the country. Henry has also been involved in a number of ministry and philanthropic activities. He co-founded DurhamCares, and the Board of Directors of Praxis, an accelerator committed to helping Faith driven entrepreneurs. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Bandwidth, CloudFactory, ThriveFarmers, First, and RevBoss. Additionally, Henry serves as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America and currently lives in Los Gatos, CA with his wife Kimberley and their three sons.
Steve Knier, Adviser and Investor
Steve Knier is the Founder/Director at ASPE, Inc, a leading IT and professional development company that specializes in tailored solutions for all levels of the enterprise. Prior to ASPE, Steve was the Founder/CEO of American Research Group (ARG) and President of American Institute Inc. Steve received a BA in Business and Economics from Northland College.
Tom Lotrecchiano, Advisory Board and Investor
Tom Lotrecchiano is an investor and hands on adviser to early stage ventures. Tom, with his business partner, Joe Schmidt, founded Canvas On Demand in 2003. They turned that concept into a high growth business and a beloved brand which spawned an entire industry. This INC 500 company, which includes www.CanvasOnDemand.com and www.greatBIGcanvas.com, was acquired by internet powerhouse CafePress and was later part of a successful IPO. Prior to founding Canvas On Demand, Tom was part of several successful businesses including Putnam Printing (sold privately), Harperprints (sold privately and IPO), and Art.com. Tom was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.
Scott Moody, Advisory Board and Investor
Co-founder and former Chairman/CEO of AuthenTec, a leading provider of security and identity management solutions, acquired by Apple in October, 2012. The AuthenTec fingerprint sensor is now the foundation of the iPhone’s and iPad’s Touch ID. As the co-founder of AuthenTec, Scott raised over $70M in venture capital (including such investors as Sierra Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Texas Instruments, Stonehenge Growth Capital, China Development Industrial Bank and others), and led the company’s successful IPO in 2007 (NASDAQ). Scott also co-founded and is CEO of K4Connect, a software development company on a mission to leverage technology to make people’s lives better. K4Connect recently announced its first planned product, K4Life, a home, wellness and life management system for those who would benefit most – the disabled and senior communities. Prior to founding AuthenTec, Scott was the Vice President of a $200M division of Harris’ Semiconductor Sector (now Intersil) where he started as a new grad engineer in 1980.
Alex Osadzinski, Adviser and Investor
Alex is a lifelong lover of technology with a passion for building, growing and managing teams and companies. He was early at five startups that created great products, employment and economic value. Besides leading several startups as an entrepreneur, Alex also worked for seven years as venture capitalist with Trinity Ventures nurturing early-stage technology startups. He has been a very active angel investor, adviser, and Board Member in the Triangle. Alex continues to be addicted to fast-growing startups, and, since the beginning of 2016, has been on the executive team at Relias, a local company providing software solutions to reduce variation in healthcare. Alex’s specialties include computer systems, software and networking, video technology, strategy, engineering management, product management, marketing, team building and general management.
Guarav “G” Patel, Advisory Board and Investor
“G” Patel was born in India and grew up in Morehead City, North Carolina. Before becoming a local entrepreneur, he attended NC State University and graduated with a degree in business. During his time at school, G noticed the immense potential for growth in Raleigh and decided to stay. Here, he founded Eschelon Hospitality, a fast growing and innovative fine dining group. In just a few years, G has almost doubled the size of his company, as well as set a standard for the restaurant industry. In addition to his business, G works closely with a number of local non-profit groups including the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities and The Hope for Haiti Foundation, as well as being a board member of the Caring Community Foundation. G has been a trusted adviser to several startup entrepreneurs in the GRM, POS and distribution space.
Ven Poole, Adviser and Investor
Ven Poole is the Chairman and CEO at Waste Industries, a solid waste and recycling collection company. Ven graduated from North Carolina State University in 1985 with a BS in Aerospace engineering. From 1985-1990 he was a Senior Engineer in the systems engineering group with Martin Marietta Orlando Aerospace. He currently serves on the Boards of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (Treasurer), Detachable Container Association (Treasurer), the NC State University Entrepreneurship Initiative, and St. David’s School (Treasurer). Ven is a licensed pilot and enjoys Blue Marlin fishing and travel.
Lee Prevost, Adviser and Investor
Lee Prevost is a co-founder of Dude Solutions and serves as its Chief Strategy Officer and a member of the board. A passionate and forward-thinking leader with nearly 30 years of experience in software and technology, Lee works closely with the executive team to set the vision, mission and strategies for Dude Solutions and is responsible for identifying growth opportunities that drive significant value across the company. He co-founded and launched SchoolDude with Chairman Kent Hudson in 1999 and FacilityDude in 2007. Serving as SchoolDude’s president for 15 years, Lee has been pivotal to developing Dude Solutions into an enterprise asset management leader. Prior to SchoolDude, he worked for Applied Computer Technologies (ACT) and Honeywell Home and Building Controls. Lee earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
John Replogle, Adviser and Investor
John Replogle is a leader in the conscious consumer and mission-driven brand movement, with extensive experience leading fast growth, high performing businesses including Seventh Generation and Burt’s Bees. John believes that business is one of the most powerful forces on earth and that power must be harnessed for the greater good.He also served as GM of Unilever’s Skin Care business and President of the Guinness Bass Import Company. John started his career at the Boston Consulting Group and holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Dartmouth lege. He serves on the Boards of Dartmouth, Zarbees, Leesa, Cree, Beautycounter and BEST NC. His focus is on growth strategies, organizational and cultural design, mission and values and CEO coaching.
David Schantz, Advisory Board and Investor
David Schantz has over 24 years experience in high technology, including telecom, Internet backbone, smart home and energy management. He previously served as a General Partner of Matrix Partners where he helped in the formation of numerous telecommunications equipment, storage systems and software startups. Mr. Schantz served on the board of directors of several high tech companies including; Airvana, Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRV), Appian Communications, Inc., Netezza, Inc. (NYSE:NZ), Sandburst, Inc. (Sold to Broadcom), Silverback Technologies, Inc. (Sold to Dell), and Snowshore networks, Inc. (Sold to Brooktrout). Previous positions were Director of Product Management at Cadia Networks, Senior Product Manager at Bay Networks (Wellfleet Communications) and Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs. David Schantz received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from Stony Brook University and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.
Joe Schmidt, Adviser and Investor
Joe Schmidt is an entrepreneur, investor, and speaker. His passion is applying the knowledge accumulated over 20 years of launching successful e-commerce start-ups to mentorship, humanitarian efforts, and public speaking. Joe was the co-founder of Canvas on Demand, which he sold to CafePress, where he continued to serve as CMO until 2013. He is co-author of Entremanureship, and founder of the Audacity Factory, a non-profit incubator and accelerator for organizations fighting form more than 40 million people trapped in modern slavery. Joe was an undergraduate student in the Entrepreneurship program at Ball State, and has an MBA from Boston College.
Tom Skelton, Adviser and Investor
Tom currently uses a family limited partnership as the mechanism for investing,
coaching and occasionally managing entrepreneurial ventures into high growth, profitable organizations. He has more than 30 years experience in the I.T. arena, with the past 20 years as either COO or CEO. Until recently all of that experience was with enterprise software firms, both public and private. He was responsible for helping to turn around one money-losing venture and eventually, along with the rest of the management team, took it onto the Nasdaq with a market cap of close to $1.5 Billion. His operational experience has led him into several situations as either a part time or full time turn around executive; served as COO of the Triangle Investor Group (angel fund) and CEO of a TIG IV company (Triumphant Systems, Inc.). Most recently he’s been spending more time in the non-profit world. He currently sits on the Board of The Convenience Network (TCN), serves as chair of Opportunity International’s Executive Volunteer program, and spends time advising small companies and private equity funds.
Craig Souza, Adviser and Investor
Craig Souza has been President and CEO of the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association since 1977. Mr. Souza is a graduate of East Carolina University and former Chair of the ECU Board of Trustees. He is currently a member of the UNC Board of Governors. He is a former member the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, past president of the American Society of Health Care Association Executives, past president of the Association Executives of North Carolina, former member of the Board of Directors for the NC Center for Public Policy Research, member of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership fraternity, a former member of the North Carolina Social Services Commission, former member of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, and a former member of the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators.
Ricky Spero, Advisory Board and Investor
Dr. Spero is a physicist and entrepreneur in the Triangle. He is co-founder and CEO of Rheomics, a high-tech startup developing life science solutions based on a patented MEMS technology. Rheomics was spun out of UNC Chapel Hill, where he remains active in the University’s Innovate@Carolina initiative. Ricky was also the founder of Mint Market, a peer-to-peer online marketplace for local food. Ricky completed his PhD at UNC in 2010, with a research focus at the intersection of physics, biology, and systems engineering. Thanks to this diverse exposure, Ricky offers a unique perspective that spans the strengths of the Triangle’s startup ecosystem, from software to life science, from science to engineering.
Jeff Stocks, Advisory Board and Investor
Jeff is an experienced CEO and member and/or Chair of numerous Triangle community boards. He understands the competencies required for success at the CEO level. He has served, and continues to serve, the Research Triangle community in many ways. As an entrepreneur, he was CEO of Manpower Group and built it into one of the largest and most successful Manpower franchises in the nation before selling it back to Manpower Corporate. He founded the Nautical Group and servers as CEO. His vision of providing consultative advice to clients on key human capital issues and leadership has contributed significantly to the growth of Manpower and economic development in North Carolina. Jeff is one of the most connected and influential business leaders in the Triangle.
Mark Webbink, Adviser and Investor
Mark was the first general counsel of Red Hat, Inc. and later served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Intellectual property for the company. During Mark’s tenure with Red Hat he developed a number of groundbreaking intellectual property practices, including Red Hat’s Patent Promise and the legal foundations for Red Hat’s subscription model for open source software. Prior to Red Hat, he was in private practice with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC where he represented a wide range of technology companies. After leaving Red Hat, Mark was a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law where he taught intellectual property licensing. He also spent four years as a visiting professor at New York Law School where he oversaw the Peer-to- Patent project. Mark has extensive knowledge of open source software licensing and intellectual property strategies.
Scot Wingo, Advisory Board and Investor
Scot Wingo, is a 4-time serial entrepreneur from the Research Triangle Park region. Scot is an industry thought leader in the e-commerce and on-demand economy realms. Scot has appeared on CNBC, The Today Show and contributed thought leadership to the WSJ, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg/Business Week, LA Times, AP, Reuters and many other publications. Scot regularly speaks about e-commerce and on-demand topics at IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition), NRF’s/shop.org Digital Summit, NRF’s Big Show, Shoptalk, NPD Idea, Bronto Summit, ChannelAdvisor Catalyst and many e-commerce/retail oriented Wall St. conferences.
Scot previously founded Stingray Software (95-98) which was sold to Rogue Wave Software, AuctionRover (2000-2001) which was sold to Goto/Overture and ChannelAdvisor (01-present) which went public (NYSE:ECOM) in 2013. Scot still serves as Executive Chairman of ChannelAdvisor and is working on a new company in the on-demand services space, Get Spiffy.
Scot received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of South Carolina and a master of Computer Engineering degree from North Carolina State University. Scot has received numerous awards including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Triangle Business Journal’s Businessperson of the Year.