Triangle Alumni Chapter

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“Entrepreneurship in the Triangle” – A Panel Discussion
A Production of the Triangle Alumni Chapter of Elon University

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
City Club Raleigh

150 Fayetteville Street
28th Floor - Wells Fargo Building
Raleigh, North Carolina

Register today!

For this year’s ‘Professional Pathways’ program, Elon University’s Triangle Alumni Chapter presents a moderated panel discussion with local experts who will share insights and anecdotes about the Triangle’s robust entrepreneurship ecosystem. Before and after the program, there will be ample opportunity for networking. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash-only bar will be provided.

Our Panel Discussion

The Raleigh-Durham region has earned a national reputation as a place that embraces and fosters entrepreneurship. Each year, the creative minds of our local startup community produce an array of exciting new products and services. Of course, not every startup succeeds, but there are many inspiring success stories to celebrate. Indeed, some startups grow to become large job-generating enterprises. In a relaxed conversational format, our moderator will  invite our panelists to talk about their respective career journeys and their place within the local startup community. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions, as well.

Our panel is comprised of four accomplished Triangle professionals who have firsthand experience in what it takes to turn a good idea into a successful enterprise:

Emily Sexton, Elon ’07
Founder and CEO, The Flourish Market

Em Sexton shifted into entrepreneurship after several years as a global investment bank’s vice president of change management and communications. In her spare time, Sexton did photo and video work for social enterprise groups at home and abroad, and she found those experiences particularly rewarding. In time, Sexton’s desire to encourage American consumers to use their purchasing power for good led her to abandon the corporate role altogether. In 2015, she created The Flourish Market as an online business which sold handcrafted goods produced by artisans of vulnerable communities in developing nations. Today, her creation is a fast-growing enterprise that combines ecommerce, a unique ‘fashion truck’, and a boutique fashion store in downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South. The goods sold by The Flourish Market help provide dignified jobs and fair wages to handcrafters and seamstresses around the world. When Sexton is not minding her store at The Devon, she’s likely overseas building relationships with the talented partners whose wares she features through The Flourish Market.

Liz Tracy
Director of HQ Raleigh

Comprising more than 140 startup companies across multiple
locations and with 300+ members benefiting by its programming, HQ Raleigh is the city’s premier innovation hub. As HQ Raleigh’s Director, Liz Tracy and her team are focused on building an inclusive community of entrepreneurs that create lasting social and economic impact. As Lead Facilitator for the Citrix Startup Accelerator, Tracy has spent the last three years working with internal innovators at Citrix and Red Hat and external B2B tech companies to help them scale their ventures. She also leads the NC B Corps growth committee -- a group of business and university professionals that educate and create growth funnels for aspiring B Corps. Tracy helped launch the B Corps Clinic at NCSU Poole College of Management, and she continues to serve as a coach to help companies measure and improve their social and environmental impact. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University and former coordinator/instructor Leadership exCHANGE in Panama, Tracy brings international experience and a love for sustainability to her community development initiatives.

Tatiana Birgisson
Founder and CEO, MATI Energy

Tatiana Birgisson is the founder and CEO of MATI Energy, the first healthy, no-compromise craft energy drink. She began brewing small batches of tea in her dorm room using a pasta pot at Duke University. Birgisson soon realized other students needed a healthy energy drink, and MATI Energy was born. Fastforward four years -- MATI now has a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and products are found throughout the southeastern US at retailers such as Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam’s Club, and Earth Fare, and on Amazon. Birgisson and her MATI team strive to win a major award every year. A sample to date: Best undergraduate startup at Duke (2013), NC Idea Grant (2014), Google Demo Day (2015), Inc. 30 Under 30 (2016) and Forbes 30 under 30 (2017). In her spare time, Birgisson rock climbs and skis with her fiancé, coaches Duke student entrepreneurs, and enjoys 2 or 3 MATIs a day.

Craig Stone, Elon ‘90
CEO, HireNetworks

Craig Stone is focused on the day-to-day management of HireNetworks (which he founded in 2001), and its sister firm Campbell & James Executive Search. The companies offer executive and strategic hiring services to emerging and highgrowth companies. A former Chairman of Triangle Technology Executives Council, Stone is an active board member of several local and national nonprofits, including the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and Hope International. A regular speaker and mentor on the topics of careers, recruiting, angel investing and entrepreneurship, Stone serves on the advisory board of Elon University’s Doherty Center. He stays engaged in the entrepreneurial experience as an investor in Southern Capitol Ventures and Bull City Ventures. He also co-founded Triangle Angel Partners – a fund formed to invest in early-stage companies in and around North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. In his senior year at Elon College, Stone was a member of the varsity team that won the NAIA men’s tennis national championship.

Our Moderator

Again this year, the Elon University Professional Pathways panel will be moderated by Raleigh native and Cardinal Gibbons High School graduate, Adam Constantine '10. Before launching his professional basketball career in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Constantine led Elon’s varsity men’s basketball team as its captain. He earned his Elon degree in Communications: Media Arts and Entertainment. After returning from overseas, Constantine served as director of social media for downtown Raleigh’s Live Work Play. Since 2015, he has served as Elon University’s social media manager.

Adam Constantine '10
Social Media Manager, Elon University

This event is open to alumni, parents and friends of Elon University and their guests, and there is no admission fee. A cash-only cash bar with complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be provided in the City Club Raleigh loft. City Club Raleigh is located on the 28th Floor of the Wells Fargo Building (150 Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh). Parking is free on city streets after 5pm; the public parking structure closest to Wells Fargo Building is the Alexander Square Parking Deck (entrance at 120 Wilmington Street). For information about other events and activities hosted by the Elon Triangle Alumni Chapter for area alumni and friends of Elon University, ‘Like’ the chapter’s Facebook page ( and follow @ElonInTriangle on Twitter.

Register today!