Virtual Mentors

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:  patrick.kastian@unc.edu

Learn more about Patrick!

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

Email Jeff Terrell to schedule a session:  terrell@cs.unc.edu

Learn more about Jeff!

  • Get info about CUBE and the Campus Y
  • Learn more about funding through Kenan Biddle
  • 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: https://calendly.com/jakibonilla/socialinnovation

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: epeikes@ideafundpartners.com

Learn more about Ethan!

Do you have an idea that seeks to create change for an underserved, disadvantaged or neglected population? Or does your solution complement the traditional approaches of business, nonprofit and government to address social and/or environmental problems in an creative and novel way? Or do you have a business idea that also creates impact for the environment or society? 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:                 melissa.carrier@unc.edu 

Learn more about Melissa!

Sam is a student entrepreneur at UNC studying business and entrepreneurship with a background in technology. He has a passion for helping other entrepreneurs bring their dreams into fruition, and is excited to bring my skills to the table.

Email Sam Canney for more information:  scanney@live.unc.edu

Learn more about Sam!

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:                         mverber@unc.edu and  collin@unc.edu.

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:
niki@sanidesigns.com

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.

Take a 30-min slot for more information:

https://calendly.com/lizcchen/30 

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: jonathan.arthur.collins@gmail.com

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: arsonblatt@sbtdc.org

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: nancy64@email.unc.edu

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: 

trevorsc19@gmail.com

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: 

mirah.alix@unc.edu

Learn more about Mirah!