David Rizzo- NC IDEA
David serves as the President and CEO of NC IDEA, and is also a Venture Partner with NC IDEA Funds, the organization’s affiliated venture fund. David brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in general management, strategic planning, acquisitions and divestitures and corporate finance and investment within technology-based business environments. In addition, David has established a proven track record of entrepreneurial success. He has keen insight and knowledge of interplay among technology, economics and public policy.
David is recognized nationally as a visionary for technology-led economic development. This passion led him to a position as President and CEO of MCNC, a private, non-profit created to be a catalyst for technology-based economic development throughout North Carolina. David strategically realigned the company into three separate organizations – including the creation and leadership of MCNC Ventures. David also led the company through a restructuring that resulted in the spin-off of MCNC Research & Development Institute (now NC IDEA).
David is actively involved in North Carolina’s technology community and has held numerous leadership positions with civic and professional associations. He currently serves on the boards of NC IDEA, CED (Council for Entrepreneurial Development), STI TechInventures, Affinergy, Strikeiron and Ziptronix. Previously, David served as Chairman of NCTA (North Carolina Technology Association) and on the boards of Chorus Systems, Unitive Technologies, the Kenan Institute’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Intervolve and the Governor’s Board of Science and Technology. David received a B.A. in Economics from the College of William & Mary. He also studied at the Wharton School’s Financial Services Institute and The Brookings Institute’s Public Policy Issues in the Financial Services Industry.
Laura Baverman- Exit Event and Capitol Broadcaster
Laura Baverman is the editor of ExitEvent, a two-year-old Triangle-based news site covering early stage startups and entrepreneurs. She’s also a freelance columnist for USA Today, writing the Startups and Entrepreneurs column every two weeks for print and online. Before taking the role at ExitEvent in February 2014, Laura spent more than a year covering entrepreneurship as a freelance journalist for USA Today, Upstart Business Journal and a handful of North Carolina news media. Before that, she spent eight years as a daily business reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, where she initiated its coverage of startups in 2010, and the Cincinnati Business Courier. She’s covered Fortune 500 companies, real estate, technology, retail and sustainability. But startups and small business have been a real passion for Laura, the daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs. The Cincinnati native and Miami University of Ohio graduate moved to Raleigh in October 2012 and lives downtown with her husband, Clark, and cat, Monkey.