Tuesday, November 19

1:00 PM

Rev Up - Registration & Networking

2:00 PM —
2:20 PM

Opening Session - Plenary

  • Local host’s welcome:  Patsy Kinsey, Mayor of Charlotte
  • Emcee: Dan Roselli, Packard Place
2:20 PM —
3:40 PM

Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

One of the honors for the host city of the N.C. Entrepreneurship Summit is to introduce the statewide audience to a few of the entrepreneurs creating sparks locally.   In this session, after a short video previewing the featured speakers, the founder of Packard Place will moderate a discussion with the founders of five Charlotte startup companies and invite the audience to participate as well.

  • Dan Roselli, Founder of Packard Place (moderator)
  • Rob Cummings, DealCloud - streamlines the investor deal flow process
  • Greg Gentner, rFactor - helps businesses measure & expand their social reach
  • Travis Manigan, GamePlan - tech startup to match young people to careers & colleges
  • Abhishek Mehta, Tresata - continuously innovating big data firm
  • Lenore Vassil, The Torch - helps loved ones carry on the business of the deceased
3:45 PM —
4:30 PM

Fueling Your Business: Resource Fair

In this session an array of capital and technical assistance providers will give brief pitches about what they offer for various segments of the entrepreneurship spectrum in North Carolina. Then the audience members will have time to visit and speak one on one with representatives of the organizations best suited to serve their needs.

4:30 PM —
5:45 PM

Networking Reception

6:00 PM

Dinner (options)

Food trucks at Packard Place

Eat on-your-own with Charlotte restaurant map in hand

7:00 PM —
9:00 PM

Queen City Forward Pitch / Demo Night at Packard Place (optional)

Ten social entrepreneurs graduate from Queen City Forward’s Social Innovation Accelerator Program. Fellows will present and demonstrate innovative business models addressing community challenges in Education, Job Creation, & Community Development.  Free with RSVP at Charlotte Demo Day

Wednesday, November 20

7:30 AM — 8:30 AM

Breakfast Buffet & Networking

8:30 AM — 8:50 AM

Plenary Opening

  • Emcee: David Phillips
  • Jonathan Robinson, Kauffman Foundation
8:50 AM — 10:00 AM

Morning Keynote Session

15 Years of Lessons Learned

Doug Lebda, Founder and CEO of Lending Tree

10:00 AM — 10:15 AM


10:15 AM — 11:30 AM

Morning Concurrent Sessions (three choices)

Switching Gears: Reinventing Your Company

Entrepreneurs need to be prepared to shift gears when the industry, environment or other circumstances change.  In this session, three entrepreneurs will describe and how they changed their companies over time to stay profitable and grow.  They’ll discuss what motivated the change(s), adjustments they made (products/services, market, revenue model, staffing), what happened during the transition period, the current status, and lessons learned.

  • George McAllister, SBTDC Charlotte (moderator)
  • Michelle Menard, Choice Translating, Charlotte
  • Tom Robinson, ERD Ltd, Kernersville
  • Todd Zagaroli, Revive Furniture, Hickory

What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

This session is geared toward both social entrepreneurs and angel investors interested in the latest trends and opportunities in social impact investing.  The speakers will cover a range of related vehicles for impact investing including venture competitions, angel investing, corporate investment in social ventures, and venture philanthropy.  They will also highlight specific organizations and programs that are active in North Carolina.

  • Charles Thomas, Queen City Forward, Charlotte (moderator)
  • Mark Bruinooge, Tykoon and Seismic Partners, Charlotte
  • Susan Daniel, Social Venture Partners, Charlotte
  • Steve Monti, Solidarity Capital and Investors Circle NC, Raleigh
  • John Warner,, Greenville, SC

The New Manufacturing Entrepreneur

This session offers a glimpse of modern manufacturing through the eyes of several entrepreneurs involved in this rapidly evolving industry.   A few of the major changes they will discuss are the lower barriers to entry, technology and 3-D printing, crowd funding, and the authenticity consumers now demand in manufactured products.  The speakers will offer their practical advice for anyone who is a product maker – about capital, marketing, human resources, technology, infrastructure and policy. Community leaders in the audience may see ways to modify their economic development focus.

  • Gart Davis, Spoonflower, Durham (moderator)
  • Mor Aframian, Redress Raleigh
  • Mariano deGuzman, Appalatch Clothing, Asheville
  • Rick Levine, XOAB Socks, Hickory
11:45 AM — 1:15 PM


Pushing the Economic Envelope as a State

John Lassiter, Chair of N.C. Governor McCrory’s Economic Development Board, will discuss the administration’s new directions in economic development, including a public-private partnership to launch in 2014.  The economic development board is also developing a new strategic plan for the state and conducting listening sessions statewide. A few questions and suggestions from entrepreneurs speaking at the summit will be posed to Mr. Lassiter as part of this session. 

1:30 PM — 2:45 PM

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (three choices)

Equity Crowdfunding: Where Are We Now?

The new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule changes on raising money is definitely in the news, and depending on whom you listen to, either a great boom to entrepreneurs, or something to approach with extreme caution.  This session will cover the distinction between donation-based, reward-based and equity crowdfunding, the proposed SEC 506(c) rules for general solicitation, accredited vs. non-accredited investors, the crowdfunding marketplace, and implications for entrepreneurs.

  • Tim Janke, SBTDC / Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF), Winston-Salem (moderator)
  • Kip Johnson, Morningstar Law Group, Raleigh
  • Troy Knauss, Angel Resource Institute / Guardant Partners, Greensboro

Turbo Charging Your Marketing & Social Media

A panel of experts on social media marketing offers real and actionable ways to start social media and local marketing for a low cost no matter what the size of your company. The speakers will also give tips on how to grow your existing presence and insights on what to look for in hiring a company/contractor to run social media for you.  The session will also be interactive with the entrepreneurs who attend.

  • Jason Yarborough, LocalVox, Charlotte (moderator)
  • Lisa Frame, Writer & Social Media Marketing Analyst, Charlotte
  • Chris Harrington, Digital Marketing Manager for Business Direct, Wells Fargo, Charlotte
  • Kseniya Martin, Edison Nation Medical, Charlotte

The Statewide Engine of Local Food

Because of the many innovative entrepreneurs and organizations involved here, North Carolina is becoming a national leader in developing local food systems. Rural farmers say they can grow nearly any meat or plant based food somewhere in the state.  In urban markets there is fast growing consumer demand for fresh local food in restaurants, farmers markets and grocery stores.  Many communities are supporting commercial kitchens or food trucks.  This is the session for entrepreneurs and community leaders interested in best practices and business opportunities in bringing locally grown food to market.

  • Debbie Hamrick, N.C. Farm Bureau & Sustainable Local Food Council (moderator)
  • Smithson Mills, project launcher for Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Asheville and a local small animal meat processing facility in Marion, NC. 
  • Cassie Parsons, owner of Harvest Moon Grille in Charlotte, Grateful Growers Farm in Denver NC, and Farmer –Baker –Sausage Maker in Lincolnton. 
2:45 PM — 3:30 PM

Ice Cream Social / Networking

3:30 PM —