Virtual Mentoring

All mentors are able and eager to meet with you virtually. Please shoot them an email with your availability so they can schedule a chat with you. Thanks!

1789 members get complimentary office hours with local entrepreneurs, business and innovation experts to help them navigate everything from career decisions to venture creation and challenges. 

From ideation to business development, Patrick Kastian guides you through each step of the process. You’ll find that market research answers important questions facing every entrepreneur and learn to analyze that information in context of your project:

  • Who is my customer, and what can I do for them?
  • Who are my competitors and potential partners?
  • What will my customer pay for my product?
  • How do I design and build my product?
  • How do I scale my business?

Email Patrick to set up an appointment:

Learn more about Patrick!

Need software help? Jeff Terrell is a professor of the practice in the computer science department. He’s been coding professionally for over a decade in a variety of programming languages, and he’s also familiar with how software and business connect from his CTO and startup experience. He can help with anything from general advice on strategy software to debugging your code.

To schedule a session, find the current office hour signup link on his UNC web site. For questions, email him at

Learn more about Jeff!

  • Get info about CUBE and the Campus Y
  • Receive support for social justice and social innovation initiatives
  • Learn from personal experiences related to research and volunteering abroad. 

Set up an appointment with Jaki Bonilla

Learn more about Jaki!

Starting to think about raising money? Chat with IDEA Fund Partners Analyst and UNC alumni, Ethan Peikes to better understand the deal screening process, due diligence, and valuation. 

Email Ethan to schedule a session:

Learn more about Ethan!

Are you seeking to create a more just, equitable and inclusive society through entrepreneurship and innovation? Are you working in under-resourced communities? Or does your solution complement the traditional approaches of business, nonprofit and government to address social and/or environmental needs in a creative and novel way? Or do you have a business idea that also creates positive ecological or social impact? Meet with Melissa Carrier (Professor of Practice) to talk about how your idea might transform the world through social innovation.

Email Melissa Carrier to schedule a session: 

Learn more about Melissa!

We are the engineering resource on campus to help you with your start-up ideas and commercialization goals. We offer one-on-one consultation as well as workshops and classes on topics where research, technology, engineering, and business converge.

Engineering and strategic planning is our forte´. We are a group of seasoned engineers and scientists with entrepreneurial backgrounds.

Email Matt Verber or Collin McKinney to schedule a session: and

Learn more about Matt and Collin!

Niki Shamdasani (UNC c/o 2015) is the co-founder and CEO of Sani, a South Asian-inspired fashion brand. Before Sani, she was on the Program and Investments team of Matter, a startup accelerator and venture capital firm for early-stage media companies in San Francisco and New York. She has built several businesses from the ground up, including the university’s first official mobile app CarolinaGO, Matter’s New York program and office, and her current business. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at UNC. Niki can provide guidance around storytelling for both your personal brand and/or your business for maximum impact. She can also help advise current or prospective startup founders.

Contact Niki Shamdasani:

Learn more about Niki!

Come get answers to your questions surrounding design thinking, how you can better apply it to your work, and identify future opportunities to develop your design thinking skills.

Sign up for a 30-min slot for more information:

Learn more about Liz!

Come get answers to your questions surrounding 

  • Business Operations
  • Customer Experience 
  • Retail space planning, design, and construction
  • Food/Beverage Safety & Best Practices 

Email Jonathan Collins to set up an appointment:

Learn more about Jonathan!

Arden can provide you with support in the following:

Establishing Your Company: 

  • Guidance on LLC applications, general startup considerations and helpful local resources

Defining Your Value Proposition: 

  • Identifying your ideal target market, problem statement and unique selling proposition

Developing Your Business Plan: 

  • Using tools like the Business Model Canvas to create a 1st draft business plan

Validating Your Business Model: 

  • Applying techniques such as Customer Discovery and Minimum Viable Products to validate your business model and product-market fit with target customers 

Selling Your Vision: 

  • Pitching your company to prospective customers, advisers, and investors at the earliest stages

Email Arden for more information:

Learn more about Arden!

Are you searching for authoritative information to plan your business or research your market? Trying to navigate thousands of search results? Not sure where to find answers to your questions? Nancy will guide you to information sources for business research.

Email Nancy for more information:

Learn more about Nancy!

Need some help figuring out if your venture really solves a problem? Can’t figure out how to create a prototype? Don’t feel comfortable giving a pitch or need someone to help you craft your venture’s story? Come by Trevor Scanlon’s office hours with any and all questions.

Email Trevor for more information:

Learn more about Trevor!

Not sure how to track your venture’s success or build a data dashboard? Need help creating visualizations to communicate this information to stakeholders? Mirah’s office hours offer guidance to organizing and tracking your venture’s key metrics (be it sales, social media presence, or societal impact). You can also get advice on how to visually and strategically communicate this information to negotiate with partners or market your value.

Come for advice on:

-Growing online sales and maximizing profit

-Creating Excel and Tableau data dashboards

-Designing aesthetically pleasing infographics and pitch decks

-Introductory level: Inventory forecasting & SEO

Email for more information:

Learn more about Mirah!

Ellie is a Shuford Program alum and current investment analyst at NTTVC, a $500M, returns-driven fund based in Silicon Valley. She helps source, analyze and screen potential investment opportunities in addition to supporting portfolio development to encourage business growth.  

Before joining NTTVC, Ellie was a Production Coordinator for IMG FOCUS., a division of Endeavor Group Holdings. Prior to IMG FOCUS., she worked for Endeavor’s IMG Models and IMG Fashion Events. Previously, Ellie completed summer internships at Tibi, Michaels Kors, and The RealReal in various operating roles in development, merchandising, brand licensing, and inventory management.

She would love to chat with you about how to connect and grow your network. She is also immensely valuable in helping student ventures prepare for funding. Set up a one-on-one chat with Ellie by shooting her an email today.


Her email:

As the Student Engagement and Events Manager at Innovate Carolina, Kimi can help you navigate the plethora of resources related to innovation and entrepreneurship that exist at Carolina. She manages the 1789 coworking space, recruits student mentors, advises multiple student clubs, hosts the annual Student Startup Meet and Greet at Launch Chapel Hill and preps a team for the ACC InVenture Prize each year. Do you have questions about programs or funding? New to entrepreneurship and not sure where to start? Email Kimi and schedule a time to chat about how to get involved in the Innovate Carolina student community.

Email for more information:

Learn more about Kimi!