About the Authors
Annette Beck is the senior director of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation as an associate, Beck ran ASK Consulting, serving as a subcontractor with Tallgrass Technologies and a senior project manager for the Kauffman Foundation. Prior to launching her entrepreneurial venture, she was chairman, CEO and president of Protection One, the second largest security company in the U.S., following her role as president and chairman of the board of Kansas Gas and Electric. Annette earned her associates degree in computer science from Wichita State University and her bachelor of business administration from Baker University. She has served on various school council and community boards, including interim director of the YWCA.
Wendy Torrance is Director of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with a focus on education and curriculum. She has led the development of the Kauffman Founders School, the Foundation’s online educational resource for entrepreneurs. From 2007–2012, Torrance served as the founding director of the Foundation’s Global Scholars Program, which provided a comprehensive experiential education program for both U.S. and foreign aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition, Torrance established the Foundation’s Global Faculty Visitors Program, which provided faculty from abroad training in teaching entrepreneurship. Torrance writes on the subjects of campus entrepreneurship and founder education.
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Torrance was assistant dean of freshmen and lecturer on social studies at Harvard University, where she also was appointed director of undergraduate student programs at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Previously, Torrance was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria, and a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Torrance graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors from the University of Washington, with bachelor's degrees in international studies and political science. Torrance has a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, where she was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.
Nathan Kurtz is a manager in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he focuses on Kansas City entrepreneurship, promoting the Kauffman Foundation’s programs to startups, entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders in the community. Kurtz also works to develop and expand the Entrepreneurship team’s programs around the region and nation. Prior to joining Kauffman, Kurtz worked in numerous entrepreneurial capacities. He was the president and chief operating officer at KR Legal Management, where he was instrumental in helping the company grow and scale. He also was the co-founder and chief operating officer at Legal Sonar/National Lawyer Review, a privately held and angel-funded legal resources and marketing company. Earlier, he was the general manager and chief operating officer at The Roasterie, Inc., where he worked in several different positions helping to grow the regional coffee roaster into a Kansas City entrepreneurial success story. Kurtz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College. He was named to the 2009 class of Ingram’s magazine Twenty in their Twenties. He served for two years as president of KC Roundtable and is a volunteer alumni interviewer for Claremont McKenna College.
Jonathan Robinson is a Manager in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he oversees a number of initiatives to connect founders to financial, human, intellectual, and social capital, and expand access to entrepreneurial opportunity. He leads the Foundation’s efforts to deliver entrepreneurship resources through community colleges, programs to support military veteran entrepreneurs, and other projects to improve local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He also manages the Foundation’s work on expeditionary economics, a research initiative focused on enabling economic growth in conflict areas.
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Robinson was an account supervisor and defense and security specialist in public affairs at Edelman New York, where he provided strategic communications counsel for a variety of nonprofit, corporate, and government clients. Previously, Robinson was a project associate with David Diebold & Associates, a boutique business consultancy headquartered in Hong Kong and Beijing concentrated on foreign investment in Chinese IT and telecom R&D.
Robinson served for eight years active duty and reserve in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry, including as a squad leader in Iraq and Mozambique. Robinson also has worked as a reporter for The New York Times, the Financial Times, and as an editorial assistant at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta with a concentration in law and international relations.
Prentiss Earl III
Prentiss Earl III is an entrepreneur in residence with Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he supports Kauffman Labs’ initiatives to accelerate the creation and development of new high-growth firms. Earl previously provided business development and community relations for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP), creating and executing a sales and marketing process to enhance the program’s effectiveness. He maintains a commercial photography business, PE3 Studios, based in Kansas City, Mo.
Prior to his work with the Kauffman Foundation, Prentiss served as director of marketing for American Performance Technologies in Kansas City, Mo., where he planned and implemented the company’s strategic marketing programs, including developing international outsourcing relationships. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Kansas and an MBA from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Jennifer Kearns is a Program Coordinator in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Amanda Schnieders is a Specialist in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she specializes in multimedia storytelling within the entrepreneurial community, focusing on obstacles faced by founders when first starting ventures. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Schnieders was a web editor for KOMU-TV8 in Columbia, Mo., and a multimedia editor for VOX Magazine. She also worked as a graphics designer for the Columbia Missourian, and a multimedia producer for the U.S.-European Media Hub at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. Schnieders earned a Bachelor of Journalism in convergence journalism with a minor in theater from the University of Missouri.
Taylor Brown is a senior at William Jewell College. Taylor is majoring in Business Administration & Economics. She will be graduating in December of 2013. Taylor has a passion for business ventures and entrepreneurship. Her major interest lie in the field of finance in regards to banking, venture capital, private equity, and hedge funds. Taylor also has a desire to work with start-ups in different communities around the world. She has had previous internships with Wells Fargo Advisors, Burns & McDonnell, The Whittaker Group, Applied Civic Integration & Redevelopment (an ongoing downtown revitalization project in Liberty, MO) and currently is working for the Entrepreneur team at the The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She has learned about the culture and has acquired knowledge about start-ups, social media, finance, and building communities.
Kathryn Deck provides administrative support in the area of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Deck worked for G5 Services as a loan specialist. She also was an intern for an advertising and direct-response marketing company and was an assistant to an interior designer.
Deck earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies with a business and art history minor from the University of Kansas. She currently is pursuing a certification in graphic design from the Kansas City Art Institute. Deck also is a volunteer with a local diaper bank, HappyBottoms.
Diana Kander advises the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. In this capacity, she uses her experience as a founder, investor, and academic to foster the growth of entrepreneurship through educational and applied programs.
A successful entrepreneur with experience in the legal, technology, and service sectors, Kander has founded and sold multiple enterprises. She currently serves in a leadership capacity in two companies that she founded: KR Legal Management and National Lawyer Review.
At the age of eight, Kander came to the United States with her parents as a refugee from the Soviet Union. She obtained her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and later taught in the same department as an adjunct professor. A graduate of Georgetown Law, Kander's legal career included work in the corporate transactions division of a large national law firm and as General Counsel of a real estate development company.
Kander serves on the Goodwill Board of Directors for both the St. Louis and Kansas City regions. She serves as a general board member for the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee in Kansas City. She also mentors startups through the Bloch School's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
As a senior fellow for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Ted Zoller performs research and advises Foundation leaders on entrepreneurship strategies and programs. Zoller directs the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Kenan-Flagler school of business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., where he oversees its teaching and outreach programs. He is the founding instructor of UNC's "Launching the Venture" course, which has increased the number of companies to spin-off from the university.
Zoller also taught in UNC Kenan-Flagler's GLOBE Program for undergraduate students and the European Summer School of Advanced Management in Denmark. He has developed venture academies in Europe with INITs, the leading new venture accelerator in Austria, and with the Symbion Research Park, the leading research park system in Denmark. He founded CommonWeal Ventures, a venture accelerator and private equity firm, and is a small business owner. He serves on the boards of several entrepreneurial ventures, including Idea Fund Partners, Southeast TechInventures, and CollectiveIQ Private Equity.
Zoller is a former associate dean, high-tech entrepreneur, and a principal of American Management Systems, Inc. He was founding director of economic development at the College of William & Mary, where he developed Jefferson Park, an advanced technology research park. He received his PhD from UNC, his master's degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Virginia, and a dual bachelor's degree from the College of William & Mary.