Virtual Mentoring

1789 members have access to free mentorship from entrepreneurs, business and inn ovation experts. Please email any of the mentors to set up a time to chat about your own idea or a career related to entrepreneurship.

To connect with other mentors and mentor programs across campus, click here.


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!

  • 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!

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!

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!

Contact John if you need help in:

  • Business Operations
  • Customer Experience
  • New Retail Space Planning, Design, and Construction
  • Food & Beverage Safety & Production Best Practice

Email Jonathan Collins to set up an appointment:

Learn more about Jonathan!

Want to test your business model? Need product development strategies? Interested in Sustainable Development? Meet with Talpha Harris to determine strategies of beta testing, model development and overall sustainability goals. Talpha is a current Venture for America fellow, UNC alum and entrepreneur.

Book an appointment with Talpha: Calendly

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!

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.

Contact Ellie:

Learn More About Ellie

Katie Tippey formerly worked to manage projects developing digital health interventions and conducts research to support researchers in designing interventions for the Connected Health Applications & Interventions (CHAI) Core at UNC Chapel Hill. She also gives guest lectures within different departments to teach students, faculty, and the community more about human factors and systems engineering. Katie has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and an industry background with systems engineering and usability. She can help ventures who are exploring the creation of health-related products/devices, students who are engaging in remote user testing, and students who are interested in exploring careers in engineering.

Contact Katie:

Learn more about Katie!

Stephanie serves as the Career Development Lead in the UNC Department of Computer Science. She can help provide career exploration and guidance in technical and tangentially related fields, as well as information on how to land an internship or a full-time job. Stephanie also specializes in professional development and preparing for interviews as a student. Lastly, she is also happy to speak with potential employers regarding best practices for attracting and hiring computer science students.

Email for more information:

Learn more about Stephanie!

Alex Brandwein is the founder/owner of Brandwein’s Bagels, a retail shop in downtown Chapel Hill, offering New York-style bagels and bagel sandwiches. Upon receiving his MBA from Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC, he launched the business in the spring of 2020 and has a wealth of experience in the ups and downs of a starting a company.

Alex is originally from New York. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. After college, he spent seven years in investment banking and private equity in Chicago and New York. In 2018, Alex decided to come to UNC for its MBA program, to explore his entrepreneurial passions, to cultivate his leadership skills and to develop the tools necessary to start a business.

Email for more information:

Learn more about Alex!

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!

All students face an unavoidable question – “How do I translate my degree into a rewarding career?” Dr. Ruiz serves on advisory boards and technology review panels at UNC as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Bio-sciences Organization (NCBIO) which is dedicated to supporting NC’s life science community through its advocacy for supportive public policy. As an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Ruiz is active in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the biotech sector.


Email for more information:

Learn more about Joe!