1000 x 90

McLeod Entrepreneurship Summit to Feature Experts, Startup Advice at ASU on Friday

By Emily Willis

On Friday, November 11, 2016, business owners from across the region will present and discuss entrepreneurial issues in 3 concurrent sessions at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Plemmons Student Union on the Appalachian State campus. Breakfast will begin at 8:15 a.m. and lunch will be at 12:30 p.m. with a luncheon speaker. Topics entrepreneur_summitdiscussed range from specific advice on certain subjects, to the success stories of a company, to general startup advice.

Hosted by the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship of ASU, the Carole Moore McLeod Entrepreneur Summit is an opportunity for students and community members to meet, network and learn from successful entrepreneurs. This annual event is named for the 1981 Walker College alumna, Carole Moore McLeod, in recognition of her gift that provides ongoing support of the program.


  • 8:15 a.m.  Continental breakfast and registration
  • 9 a.m. Introduction and kickoff   – Erich Schlenker
  • 9:10 a.m.  Welcome message  – Dean Heather Norris, College of Business
  • 9:30 -10:20 a.m.  Breakout sessions
  • 10:30-11:20 a.m. Focus Sessions
  • 11:30 – 12:20 p.m.  Keynote presentation – Chris Heivly
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch and Speaker – Warren Bare*First 50 participants to check in will receive a FREE copy of Chris’ Heivly’s new book, Build the Fort.

About the Speakers and Presentations:

Chris Heivly, Keynote Speaker

Keynote presentation: Chris Heivly

Chris is the co-founder of Mapquest, which he sold to AOL in December of 1999 for $1.2 billion. Since then he has been the Managing Director of a $25 million Venture Fund and the CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20 million in size. Currently, Chris invests and supports startups through counseling and seed investments. Come hear Chris share his journey and his insights on starting your own business and making it big.

Focus Sessions:

Steve Norwood, Co-Founder, Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems (CARS) – Steve founded CARS in 2005 and has enjoyed a decade of growth and industry awards. Steve sold 80% of CARS to a private equity firm in January 2016 and used a slice of the proceeds to establish the CFE Student Venture Fund to help student entrepreneurs at Appalachian get their ventures off the ground. Come hear ASU Mountaineer Steve Norwood talk about his experience and how you can follow in his path!

Bobby Martin, Author, The Hockey Stick Principles – After a successful sale of his first company, First Research, and well into his second company Vertical IQ, ASU Mountaineer Bobby Martin decided to share his insights on entrepreneurship in The Hockey Stick Principles, which was published in April 2016. Come hear Bobby share the lessons learned from successful entrepreneurs like himself, and use those principles to get your own ideas off the ground.

Sarah (Green) Freed, Founder, Obliquity; Former Owner, Empact – Sarah is an international economic development leader dedicated to addressing systemic global sustainability challenges. Sarah was recognized twice by President Obama for her work as a young leader in entrepreneurship in America, and her work has been featured in prominent media outlets including Forbes, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox Business. ASU Mountaineer Sarah Freed is returning to her alma mater to share the story behind her decision to follow her passion to make a difference in the world.

Luncheon speaker: Warren Bare

Warren Bare is a serial entrepreneur that made his impact on the world by changing the rules. Warren’s first notable success came in the mid 1990’s, when he launched Headhunter.net. At the time there were already dozens of well established competitors including Monster.com, but he broke into the space by introducing a disruptive pay­-for­position business model, which has since become very popular with search engines. Headhunter grew quickly and was purchased after the tech bubble for $200 million. Headhunter is now known as CareerBuilder, the largest US revenue producer in the online recruitment advertising space.

After Headhunter, Warren launched InJesus, an Internet company focused on helping Christian missionaries and ministries communicate. The landscape in this space was similar. There were already several large, well funded companies including Christianity.com which raised and burned $50 million and Crosswalk raised and burned $30 million. While these companies focused on high dollar transactions from large ministries, InJesus focused on micro transactions and building a social network of 3 million Christian communicators in over 200 countries spanning the globe. Since that time, Warren has started several more companies, but his focus now is primarily on helping other younger entrepreneurs.

Breakout Sessions:

Bonnie and Jonathan Burton, Burton Photography – Jonathan and Bonnie Burton share a passion for using photography to “reflect the energy and emotion of everyday living and the significance of relationships.” They choose to live in the High Country and have grown their business into an award-winning, custom studio that serves the Southeastern U.S.

“We will be discussing the challenges of running a business, so not much of the artistic side of photography,” says Jonathan Burton. “When we started out, we attended seminars like the Summit event and had great teaching situations from other businesses. We wouldn’t be where we are without those opportunities and it’s only fair if we give back by sharing our own knowledge with others.”

Brady Buckley, Distribution Direct – Serial entrepreneur Brady Buckley built his latest business helping other businesses build happy and loyal customers through fast and accurate shipping strategies. By handling the warehousing, packing, shipping, and returns, Brady enables business owners to concentrate on what they do well.

Kelly Buckley, Just One Little Thing – Imagine a business with loyal customers, recurring revenue, free marketing and no product. Kelly Buckley did. Membership sites charge customers for access to information through online subscriptions. Kelly Buckley uses social media to drive 125,000 users to Just One Little Thing.

Dana Dorroh, DocuSource – Dorroh is an award-winning entrepreneur, investor, and small business advocate, with a 25-year history of building, acquiring, and selling businesses. As the recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s Top 25 Women in Business Award, Dana shares her journey and lessons learned along the way.

Sarah Freed, Obliquity – Design thinking is a powerful framework for understanding and solving complex problems. It’s a people-centered process for collaborative problem solving that pushes you beyond the first good idea. Sarah Green will introduce us to this powerful model and how to apply it to our own opportunities.

Chris Grasinger, Mountain BizWorks – For 25 years, Mountain BizWorks has been providing small business loans to help businesses in Western North Carolina launch and expand. Chris will explain how local entrepreneurs can borrow $1,000 to $150,000 to get their own ventures off the ground.

Shannon Koontz, Burbon & Grits – Fast friends and roommates at Appalachian, Shannon and Missy Durkin shared a taste in fashion and a desire to own their own online boutique. Shannon will share their decision to get started and the unique ways that Bourbon & Grits has grown customers, revenue and their brand.

Tyler Moffatt, Attourney at Law – Tyler offers advice to students at Appalachian in starting a business and protecting their interests to get them off on the right track. Tyler will discuss legal considerations for a start up business, including formation of LLCs, contracts, patents, trademarks, partnerships, operating agreements and much more.

Boomer Sassman, Big Boom Design – Boomer is an Appalachian grad, website designer and digital technology guru. With so many new tools and techniques to maximize the impact of your website content, Boomer will share his expertise to help take some of the mystery out of website development and optimization.

Sean Spiegelman, Appalachian Mountain Brewery – Sean is motivated not only by his love for the game of business, but also by what AMB can do to make Boone the best community in America to start a business and raise a family. Sean will share his insights on running a business sustainably, equitably, profitably, and still make it a fun place to work.

For more information about the opportunities given by the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship of ASU, check out their website. The event is free and open to the public. Register online before Nov. 11 or at the beginning of the event.