University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School Prepares Students for Stages of Entrepreneurial Careers

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UNC Kenan-Flagler introduces a new curricular model and expanded opportunities for educating entrepreneurs.

UNC Kenan-Flagler is known for excellence in entrepreneurial education and real-life learning opportunities.

Educating entrepreneurs is a tradition at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and now a restructured curriculum and new programs continue the school’s leadership in the field.

The latest innovation is a new education model that prepares students to learn entrepreneurship, launch their ventures and lead their enterprises. It features a restructured curriculum and expanded opportunities for real-life learning and engagement with the wider entrepreneurial community.

“Our mission is to prepare students with an entrepreneurial mindset that will serve them in any professional setting and during all phases of their careers,” said Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and a strategy and entrepreneurship professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

“What makes our curriculum distinct among leading business schools is its breadth, preparing our graduates to make a successful transition to entrepreneurship over the course of their career – as founders of new enterprises, as senior leaders in a high-growth venture or as corporate intrapreneurs, and as leaders in venture capital and private equity investing,” he said.

“While we have always focused on new ventures, we’re not just a business school for startups,” Zoller said. “We’re a school for ‘grow ups.’ We want to support UNC entrepreneurs over their entire entrepreneurial and professional lifecycles.”

An experienced and talented team is working with Zoller to achieve the CES’ mission.

  • Kris Hergert (MBA ’09) is the new CES associate director. He previously served as associate director of the MBA Career Management Center and expanded the School's relationships in entrepreneurship, investment management, private wealth management and innovative, venture-backed technology firms, specifically on the West Coast. Hergert will continue to champion MBA students who are interested in entrepreneurship and technology, engage with alumni and lead the campus-wide Carolina Challenge.
  • Dina Mills, a serial entrepreneur and program manager of UNC Kenan-Flagler's venture accelerator, Launch Chapel Hill, is expanding her responsibilities for entrepreneurial venture activities, including 1789, a student venture lab on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill. She will provide administrative leadership for new Adams Apprenticeship, which will prepare students to make successful transitions to entrepreneurship.
  • Patrick Vernon (MBA ’03) is now director of venture initiatives. He will focus on the Venture Capital Investment Competition, the innovative global competition that brings together MBA students, startups and venture capitalists. Vernon teaches classes in the MBA and Undergraduate Business Programs and is expanding venture offerings and strategic connectivity with the venture capital community.
  • Serial entrepreneurs Laura Zavelson and Jim Kitchen are entrepreneurs-in-residence. In addition to teaching, Zavelson will lead the Adams Apprenticeship and work with Launch Chapel Hill, and Kitchen will serve as faculty advisor for the Carolina Challenge and continue to advise students and companies at 1789 and Launch Chapel Hill.
  • Fred Barringer is the new regional director of UNC’s Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC), a resource for growing and developing businesses. He was channel manager at Lucas Milhaupt, Inc. and served with the statewide SBTDC at Western Carolina University.

“UNC Kenan-Flagler receives top rankings for our entrepreneurial programs, and we collaborate to foster a culture of entrepreneurship across UNC,” said Zoller. “We are fortunate to be part of the Triangle’s entrepreneurial hotbed and proud to contribute to its vibrancy with the success of our graduates. Our leaders are powering entrepreneurial hotspots around the world.”

About the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
Consistently ranked one of the world's best business schools, UNC Kenan-Flagler is known for its collaborative culture that stems from its core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. Professors excel at both teaching and research, and demonstrate unparalleled dedication to students. Graduates are effective, principled leaders who have the technical and managerial skills to deliver results in the global business environment. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers a rich portfolio of programs and extraordinary, real-life learning experiences: Undergraduate Business (BSBA), full-time MBA, Executive MBA Programs (Evening, Weekend and global OneMBA®), online MBA@UNC, UNC-Tsinghua Dual-Degree EMBA, Master of Accounting, PhD, Executive Development, and UNC Business Essentials programs. It is home to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

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