RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – North Carolina entrepreneurs on the prowl for equity funding will get some professional help this Thursday, July 11, as  the North Carolina Biotechnology Center hosts the Small Business and Technology Development Center’s “Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur” program.

The full-day workshop is designed to provide valuable insights into the world of equity funding, helping entrepreneurs navigate and secure funding opportunities more easily.

SBTDC graphic

SBTDC provides statewide counseling to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow, or improve their emerging companies. When partnering with NCBiotech, SMTDC aids the growth of North Carolina’s emerging life science companies.

This year’s keynote speaker, Joy Parr Drach, president and CEO of Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD), has a strong connection to NCBiotech and North Carolina’s ag tech community. NCBiotech helped fund AAD as a startup company in 2006.

Drach is no stranger to innovation in agribusiness. Having launched over 30 new products, she is successful in product development and promotional execution. Drach was previously a founder and senior partner of management and marketing consultant firm Entira, whose clients consisted of agribusiness companies of all sizes. Her strategy implementation led each of these businesses to higher success; some lead the industry as Fortune 100 companies.

Joy Parr Drach

“Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur” was launched in 2006. Since then it has provided new and experienced entrepreneurs with tools needed to create success. The SBTDC has hosted 48 “Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur” events statewide, and an additional 11 events outside North Carolina.

Mike Carnes, counselor for SBTDC technology and development commercialization, will host this month’s discussion, offering a conversational approach that personalizes the attendee’s experience and features the importance of detailed financial consistency and competitive wit. Entrepreneurs will apply SBTDC’s formula for navigating equity investment directly to their own ventures — the tried-and-true methodology is reliable yet adaptive.

Supporting keynote speaker Drach is a panel of four experienced entrepreneurs and investors who will lead the conversation on the equity investment process and share tips on enhancing the value of an enterprise:

  • Eva Doss of The Launch Place has 20 years of U.S. and international experience in establishing business ventures and seed investment opportunities. Doss currently consults entrepreneurial development in two equity funds in Research Triangle Park and Danville, Virginia.
  • Morningstar Law Group attorney Kip Johnson will offer insights into due diligence, funding, and business strategy. Johnson typically works with seed-stage startups in the tech industry.
  • Bill Warner, co-founder and executive director of Entredot, aligns well with SBTDC’s mission as a nonprofit geared toward growing small businesses. Warner also is a fund executive of an RTP angel seed fund known as IMAF-RTP.
  • Ed Pettiss serves as RTP Capital Associates’ VP, treasurer, and member of its board of directors. Focused on start-ups, Pettiss offers experienced guidance in strategy and investment.

This year the Pfizer-NCBiotech Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows in Gene Therapy will also attend. In accordance with the program, the fellows undergo professional development to learn about the importance of private equity. Also in attendance will be SBTDC’s interns, a noteworthy program highlighted in Business North Carolina Magazine.

The next IRE will be held at East Carolina University in Greenville this fall.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center