WINSTON-SALEM- The Triad Entrepreneurial Initiative’s latest round of courses gets underway today as part of its commitment to growing startup companies in the region.

Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, the fund executive for the Piedmont Angel Network, and Doug Gawrych, partner at accounting firm Grant Thornton, are among the instructors.

The first class (“Prepare for Takeoff: How To Enter Your Concept in Our Competition and Win Money)” will be led by Tony Johnson, a regional director of the Small Business Technology Development Center, and Sheila Lyons, executive director of TEI. The TEI’s annual business plan competitions offer $125,000 in cash and other awards.

Also scheduled to participate in other classes are: Troy McConnell, chief executive officer of Batanga; Jeffrey LeRose, president of Research Triangle Software, Eric Button, president of BioEmerge Partners, and many others.

“Our main objective in offering these classes is to foster high-growth companies that will stay in the Triad and boost the local economy,” Lyons says.

“The ultimate goal of the classes is to sharpen entrepreneurs’ focus on business development techniques,” she adds. “The instructors who will teach the classes are leaders in the entrepreneur community because they have special skills or because they are successful entrepreneurs themselves.

“We have made the classes very relevant by allowing those with hands-on knowledge of business development, venture fund investors, manufacturing, technology, marketing and finance to teach the classes along with entrepreneurs who can provide insight about starting a business.”

The classes will be offered in several different locations across Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth counties.

Most classes are one night only events, based on recommendations coming from students in earlier programs. Fees range from $30 to $125. TEI underwrites half the cost of classes and materials.

Other instructors scheduled to participate are: Stan Mandel, director, Angell Center for Entrepreneurship; Barth Strempek, associate professor of business administration at Elon University; Johnson and Tim Janke of the SBTDC; Lyons, and Charles Tuttle, executive director of the Piedmont Entrepreneurs Network.

For a complete list of classes, visit: