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These experienced investors and entrepreneurs will lead this Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur program:

Michael Dial, Ph.D.

Mike is a Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners and an experienced investor and scientist. Mike has over a decade of experience working with early-stage life science and healthcare companies. Mike joined Hatteras in 2009 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group focused on emerging tech and life science companies and venture capital funds. Prior to SVB, he held research scientist positions in the Department of Biochemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Laboratory of Structural Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the UNC-Duke Michael Hooker Proteomics Center. He has performed research in the fields of cell cycle regulation, proteomics, and cancer therapy.

Mike is a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the Manager for the Carolina Research Ventures Fund, a $10M fund dedicated to UNC-Chapel Hill related start-ups. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mike serves on the boards of Ribometrix, StrideBio, and Genturi. Previously, Mike was involved with G1 Therapeutics, Viamet, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Artizan Biosciences, and Curoverse among others, and has held various operational roles in Hatteras portfolio companies. Mike has also served on committees and panels for the North Carolina Biotech Center, Council for Entrepreneurial Development, SEBIO and PTP NEXT. Mike serves on the board of SE BIO.

Vivian Doelling, Ph.D.

Vivian Doelling joined the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in February of 2015 as Director, Business and Technology Development. In this role, she supports the start-up and growth of life science companies in North Carolina primarily through management of the Center’s loan programs. Additionally, Vivian identifies and mentors early stage and loan portfolio companies as well as supporting key scientific/investor events

Vivian has strong experience in life science product R&D leadership, including senior roles at Embrex/Pfizer, ILS, and SCYNEXIS. Her background includes starting and managing research, development and commercial operations for human and animal health products. Vivian has broad expertise in technology assessment and strategically managed a wide range of collaborative research and licensing agreements with universities, large pharmaceutical partners and customers.

Vivian currently serves on the Industry Advisory Board for the Masters of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program at North Carolina State University and is an Executive Council member of the North Carolina One Health Collaborative. Dr. Doelling holds an undergraduate degree from Dickinson College in Biology and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Biochemistry.

Bert Kinsey, Ph.D. PharmD

Bert is a Senior Associate at Pappas Capital and brings significant experience in translational biomedical research and biotechnology equity research. Prior to joining Pappas, he spent two years at RBC Capital Markets in New York City as a Senior Associate on an Institutional Investor-ranked equity research team covering large-, mid- and small-cap biotechnology companies. At RBC he gained experience building and maintaining financial models, vetting public and private biotechnology companies to support investment banking, and conducted clinical and commercial diligence to shape investment theses. Prior to RBC, Bert was Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia (UVA) where he established an independent research laboratory investigating the role of the immune system in different forms of kidney disease. Throughout his 10 years at UVA, his laboratory was consistently funded by the NIH, including R01, R21, K01 and F32 grants focused on the role of regulatory T cells in acute kidney injury. His academic experience included in vitro and in vivo preclinical experimentation, as well as translational clinical research in cardiac surgery patients.

Bert previously served as an observer for Reneo Pharmaceuticals. He holds degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina (PhD in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences) and (Doctor of Pharmacy/PharmD).

Ben Scruggs, Ph.D.

As a Principal at Hatteras Venture Partners, Ben supports the firm’s new portfolio company diligence, existing portfolio strategy, and overall operations. Prior to joining Hatteras in 2016, Ben completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He has performed research in the fields of genomics, metabolism, RNA biology, and transcription regulation. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Molecular Cell and Cell Metabolism, among others.

Ben received his B.E. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from Washington University in St. Louis. Ben is a board observer at Altis Biosystems, Dropworks, Myeloid Therapeutics, Qpex Biopharma, and Trefoil Therapeutics. He was formerly a board observer at Graybug Vision (Nasdaq: GRAY). He serves on NHLBI’s national network of mentors and the North Carolina Microbiome Consortium Steering Committee. He has served on various committees and panels for the National Cancer Institute, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and Southeast Life Sciences.

Katie Warner, Ph.D.

Katie is co-founder and Vice President of RNA Biology at Ribometrix, Inc. a North Carolina based platform therapeutics company whose mission is to discover and develop novel small molecule medicines that target RNA structures to treat human diseases. Since founding Ribometrix, the company has raised over $45M in equity financing and has numerous corporate partnerships.

Katie was an early pioneer in SHAPE technologies, showing in 2009 with Dave Mathews and Kevin Weeks that SHAPE data can be used to model RNA secondary structure at high accuracy. She continued her work with Adrian Ferré-D’Amaré and Chris Abell to show the first structure-based proof-of-principle that RNA is targetable by fragments. Katie has solved multiple RNA-small molecule crystal structures, including the fluorogenic RNAs “Spinach” and “Corn.”

Katie received a BA in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MPhil in Pathology and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. Katie was a Beckman Scholar, a Churchill Scholar, an RNA Society/Scaringe awardee and an NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholar.

Bill Wofford, J.D.

Bill is a corporate transactional lawyer and drug development entrepreneur. He leads the biopharmaceutical and life sciences practice at Hutchison PLLC, where his practice focuses on structuring and negotiating transactions for drug development, biotechnology, medical device and healthcare services companies and financial, strategic and philanthropic investors. Bill helps growing and established companies raise capital, acquire and out-license technology, collaborate with strategic partners and engage in mergers and acquisitions. He is also an investor in and advisor to various drug development companies and a principal with Arrivo Bioventures, a Research Triangle biopharmaceutical development company. Bill earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Eco Institute at Pickards Mountain and supports environmental, mental health and social justice causes.


Mike Carnes    SBTDC, Equity Funding Specialist

Mike is Equity Funding Specialists and Technology Commercialization Counselor at the North Carolina SBTDC, a business development service of The University of North Carolina. Mike supports the SBTDC’s technology development and commercialization initiatives by providing business counseling, training, grant and equity capital formation support to NC entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Mike is the SBTDC's Equity Funding Specialist leading training and client engagement related to equity funding support. He also supports several university Technology Transfer offices where he participates in their intellectual property management strategy as well as assisting with new university based startup companies.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology in 2006, a Professional Science Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology in 2012, and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in 2013 from North Carolina State University. Before that time, Mike used his scientific and analytic skills as a bench researcher at a large agricultural biotechnology firm and NCSU’s Department of Plant Pathology.