Carolina Angel Network names UNC professor Ted Zoller as executive director

“I am honored to serve as the leader of CAN and to build on the successful foundation that the network has already built,” said Zoller. “Working with leaders of our impactful entrepreneurial culture in Carolina, I want to make CAN the nation’s premier campus-based entrepreneur and investor network. We will be successful because entrepreneurship is in UNC-Chapel Hill’s DNA.”

Highly respected in regional and national entrepreneurship communities, Zoller teaches and researches entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he has been recognized for his work by many national organizations. He was Director of the Business School’s Entrepreneurship Center for 15 years and is an active practicing entrepreneur and business angel. During that time, Zoller helped create notable programs including the Startup UNC Venture Development Program, Launch Chapel Hill Accelerator, the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Network, the Adams Apprenticeship, and BLUE, an entrepreneurial community that has evolved into a dorm and makerspace on the campus is embedded.

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“This will be vital as our Angel network continues to grow”

As one of the largest angel investor networks in the country, CAN facilitates financial investments and mentoring for UNC-affiliated startups. The network recruits UNC-Chapel Hill alumni into its network and provides them with access to early-stage investment deals with UNC-affiliated companies. Zoller’s significant business know-how and national connections put him in a position to further expand CAN’s influence.

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“Ted has a very broad and deep reputation in the entrepreneurial community,” said Randy Myer, Managing Director of CAN. “With more than 25 years of experience teaching entrepreneurship, he has built a community of UNC graduates and entrepreneurs that spans the country. This will be vital as our Angel network continues to grow.”

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With more than 400 members, CAN helps early-stage startups grow and thrive by providing the advice, networks and capital that young companies need to be well-positioned for success. For its investors, CAN curates and provides insight into the best UNC-connected startups.

“Ted’s long history of investing in early-stage startups gives him a great background for knowing when deals aren’t appropriate because they’re likely to fail,” says Myer. “He will have a good sense for businesses with great potential for success.”

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Zoller will continue to teach several courses

As a seasoned entrepreneur and early-stage investor, Zoller brings useful knowledge and hard-earned wisdom to CAN investors.

“I believe university alumni networks can be activated to be one of the most powerful catalysts for developing and investing in Carolina’s most promising companies and founders,” says Zoller. “I have seen the power of UNC in building an entrepreneurial flywheel and I look forward to leading CAN into the future to support our alumni and student entrepreneurs by building the best university-based fishing and consulting network to emerge from Tar Heel- graduates and friends.”

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Zoller will continue to teach multiple courses, keeping his finger on the pulse of innovation emerging within the business school, the university and beyond. He will also continue to work on innovation initiatives with Innovate Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill’s central innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development team that oversees CAN operations.

Visit for more information on CAN.


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