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NC Tech Talk by NCTA: AvidXchange and nCino

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Michael Praeger   Michael Praeger, CEO & Co-Founder, AvidXchange

Michael Praeger is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AvidXchange, Inc., the leading provider of on-demand accounts payables management and automated payment solutions. Since founding AvidXchange in 2000, Michael has been an active participant and speaker on “payables and payment automation” at various industry conferences and considered a thought leader within the industry in developing creative solutions and best practices for payables and payment automation.

Michael has spent the last 20 years founding, managing, merging and selling technology and web services-related companies. Prior to establishing AvidXchange, Michael was Co-Founder of, a technology career enhancement and recruiting site that successfully completed its merger with and in November 1999. Prior to that, he was Co-Founder and CEO of InfoLink Partners and InfoVentures, LP. Michael also served as an Associate with Summit Partners, a Boston-based Venture Capital and Buyout partnership with more than $1 billion under management. He received a B.S.B.A. in Finance from Georgetown University. Michael is also a graduate of the “Birthing of Giants” executive entrepreneurship program at MIT.

Michael is currently active in the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), as well as the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Michael is also currently serving on the advisory board of the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA), and on Comdata’s Customer Advisory Board. Michael is revered as a leading business-to-business provider of innovative electronic payment solutions.

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Pierre Naude   Pierre Naudé, CEO, nCino

Pierre Naudé has more than 34 years experience in the financial technology industry. Named CEO of nCino in 2012, Pierre played a key role in the initial founding and oversees all aspects of the organization including strategy, sales, marketing, professional services, customer support and product engineering. Prior to joining nCino, Pierre served as divisional president of Community Financial for S1 Corporation, a leading global financial services software company, until its acquisition by ACI Worldwide in February 2012. Prior to S1, Pierre was vice president and managing partner of the Global Channels and Alliances division at Unisys Corporation, a global technology services and solutions company. Pierre earned his degree from Upper Iowa University.

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InMotionNow, Wyrick Robbins, and Toss the Boss

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Ben Hartmere   Ben Hartmere, CEO, inMotionNow

Ben Hartmere is the CEO of inMotionNow, serving on the company’s board of directors.  As CEO, Ben has brought his 15 years experience leading venture-backed and publicly-traded technology organizations delivering enterprise technology solutions and professional services. Hartmere works closely with the inMotionNow leadership team to set strategy and foster a culture of innovation and continuous process improvement within enterprise creative departments.

Prior to joining inMotionNow, Mr. Hartmere served as Vice President of Business Development for FileONE, managing the company’s global sales and marketing efforts.  Among his achievements, Hartmere led the implementation of an enterprise-wide business registration workflow application for the Government of Puerto Rico, credited with positioning Puerto Rico as the world’s 11th most efficient country/territory in which to open a business.

Mr. Hartmere holds both a M.B.A. and undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he also serves as Advisory Board member for the school’s Executive M.B.A. programs, as well as an Adam Advisors with Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

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Zach Bishop   Zach Bishop, Partner, Wyrick Robbins

Zach’s practice is concentrated on technology and corporate transactions, including the licensing and distribution of intellectual property, business process and information technology outsourcing, technology acquisition and development, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and general corporate matters. Zach’s practice includes the representation of prominent video game and middleware developers on a full range of matters. He has significant experience in sourcing and complex technology transactions. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Zach practiced in the Raleigh office of Hunton & Williams LLP and the Atlanta office of Alston & Bird LLP.

Zach received his B.A. in Economics from Duke University and received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School. Zach served as an Assistant Managing Editor for the Tulane Law Review and is a member of the Order of the Coif.

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Chip Fudge   Betty Fudge    Chip Fudge & Betty Fudge, Consultants, Toss the Boss

Since 2001, Chip and Betty Fudge have matched new and veteran franchise owners with America’s best and fastest growing franchise systems. They have an extensive background in owning and operating franchised and non-franchised businesses. They understand the challenges of balancing work, marriage, and raising children within the constraints of corporate demands and they have enjoyed the freedom of business success. They are ideally suited to answer our questions about franchise ownership.


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HQ Raleigh, Citrix, Akili, and Red Hat

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Elizabeth Tracy   Elizabeth Tracy, Director of Community Development, HQ Raleigh

Liz Tracy is the Director of Community Development at HQ Raleigh and a facilitator for both the ThinkHouse and Citrix-Red Hat Accelerator programs. Liz brings international experience in community development and public outreach to her role as Community Director. She has coordinated  international leadership and social entrepreneurship programs in Panama, started and run a nationally-recognized jewelry company and last year  was selected by the U.S. State Department as the adult mentor for an entrepreneurship program in Central Europe for high school students. Originally from California, Liz has lived in the Triangle for the past two years.

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Grady Slane   Grady Slane, Product Marketing Manager, Citrix

Grady Slane is a product marketing manager at Citrix. He is a graduate of Duke University and joined ShareFile in 2010, prior to its acquisition by Citrix. He is a cofounder of one of two internal teams participating in the Citrix Innovators Program.

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Michelle Harper   Michelle Harper, CEO, Akili

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DeLisa Alexander   DeLisa Alexander, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Red Hat

DeLisa Alexander serves as the executive vice president and chief people officer of Red Hat, leading the organization responsible for global human resources including Red Hat® University. The organization’s mission is to be a strategic partner to the business in acquiring, developing, and retaining talent and to enhance the Red Hat culture and talent brand. Red Hat has been recognized as one of the best places to work in multiple publications around the globe.

Alexander received a “Women in Business” executive award from the Triangle Business Journal in 2010. She serves on the executive committee for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the board of directors for Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the board of advisers for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Bull City Ventures, NC State University Poole College of Management, Soar, and Innovate Raleigh.

Alexander joined Red Hat in 2001 and served in the office of general counsel until mid 2006, most recently as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary. During this time, Alexander was responsible for equity and executive compensation, and trademark, copyright, and employment matters. Alexander also advised the company’s management and board of directors on securities and corporate governance.

Prior to joining Red Hat, Alexander was associated with the law firm Kilpatrick Stockton where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, venture capital, and intellectual property licensing. She started her career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable William B. Chandler, chancellor of the renowned Delaware Court of Chancery.

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Pivot Points by EntreDot: FanBase and Tru Access

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Fred Hathaway   Fred Hathaway, Managing Director, EntreDot and Host of Pivot Points

Fred Hathaway understands growth strategies and the tactical execution that creates successful outcomes. Whether advising on higher order decisions (e.g. succession plans, new product launches, diversification through new enterprise development, restructuring business development approaches, client persona identification, organizational and leadership development, or cultural due diligence in a transaction) or tactical issues like social media engagement, investor relations, personal marketing plans and similar, he knows how to take theory and create best practice. Deep experience in consulting and marketing across industries and cultures helps shape the innovation and creativity that his clients appreciate and that distinguish custom solutions from “shelf product” alternatives. Fred demonstrates identification with the client needs through making strategic introductions, negotiating alternative fee arrangements, and working with the existing team of executives and advisers to create “win-win” scenarios on a recurring basis. Some of the projects he has led are listed below:

At the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, he conducted the research that led to the establishment of the Turnaround Management Association, pulling together 8,000+ professionals in the field of business renewal. Fred was integral in the publishing of the research findings in 46 national business publications and the creation of a monograph of best practices.

Under contract with the National Association of Homebuilders, Fred and a co-author wrote Building Up When Business is Down, a definitive discussion of how a builder can identify and respond to warning signals in their business performance. In similar manner, he advised the American Banking Association on how to view loan workouts as turnaround opportunities through quarterly contributions to the Workouts column of The Commercial Lending Review.

While working within a non-profit, Fred and his team grew the volunteer base from 40 to 1000+ in five years, resulting in a 100X increase in number of prospects reached with the programs of the organization. Additionally, the model that was developed for the operation on North Carolina was prototyped for use in similar locations around the world.

As an internal advisor to the executive committee of a CPA firm, Fred rebranded the organization, implemented an e-marketing and CRM platform, and developed and delivered training that resulted in all billable professionals taking responsibility for personally marketing the firm. Subsequent to these accomplishments, he contributed to the institution of a performance and compensation management system that rewarded business development activities.

Within another professional services organization, Fred led the strategic marketing planning associated with a series of transactions that resulted in a regional firm becoming one of the top 50 national firms in their field. Niche practice business development and marketing messaging were coordinated with identification of thought leaders and assignments were given and managed by Hathaway.

In an interim executive role with a consulting firm serving family businesses, Fred launched national accounts strategy that resulted in securing the first billion dollar client as well as faculty appointments at several corporate universities of organizations with extensive dealer/operator networks. A national business talk radio show was conceived, designed, and hosted by Hathaway on the topic of succession planning.

A local non-profit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs commercialize their business ideas was looking for a way to create sustainable competitive advantage. In a volunteer role, Fred advised the group on curriculum-based programs, marketing campaigns, and management team and board development.

Now serving as the managing director of EntreDot, Hathaway has been instrumental in guiding the organization to a national platform whereby virtual learning and application of best practices can occur, thereby giving more businesses the tools to succeed. In addition to the key projects above, Fred Hathaway has served as startup COO, outsourced CMO, Director of Programs, advisory board member, board of directors’ chair, and in an adjunct capacity with numerous enterprises. Whether working on the clock, by the project, or on retainer, he brings a wealth of experience, insight, and energy to each situation.

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Will Hardison   Will Hardison, Founder, FanBase

Will Hardison is a serial entrepreneur and avid sneaker collector. Making his first deal at age 13, he turned a $250 pair of rare Air Jordan sneakers into a $750 online sale. Since then, he’s been hooked on the daily hustle of building companies. He is currently the founder of FanBase, LLC, a customer retention application for the fitness industry. When Hardison isn’t working on FanBase, you are likely to find him on stage as an emcee at events like the RTP180, or orchestrating entrepreneurial meetups like StartupAndPlay.

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Tru Pettigrew   Tru Pettigrew, Founder, Tru Access

Tru is an award winning marketing executive, inspirational speaker and successful entrepreneur. Tru’s expertise also includes co-founding qualitative research agency Y-Access, which was acquired three years later by Alloy Inc. He is currently the founder and CEO of Tru Access, which is a leading Millennial Insights and Empowerment organization. Mr. Pettigrew has been featured in such prominent publications as The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe and Fortune Magazine for his marketing expertise. Some of the brands that Tru has worked with include Axe, Moet-Hennessy, Nike and State Farm just to name a few.

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