Mitch has primary responsibility for venture capital firm Intersouth Partners’ technology portfolio. He joined Durham-based Intersouth in 1989, shortly after its founding. Mitch has extensive full-cycle venture investment experience and has personally led more than 20 investments for Intersouth. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of four Intersouth portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Intersouth, Mitch served as CFO for a high-growth computer hardware and software company. Previously, he worked as a manager in the high-growth business practice at Deloitte.
Mitch is a former Director and Chairman of the Board of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED). He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) and served for six years on the Board of the entrepreneurially focused NC IDEA Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In 2015, Mitch was appointed by Governor McCrory to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation. In addition, he has served as a mentor to the Kauffman Foundation’s Kauffman Venture Fellows Program. In 2017, Mitch was inducted into the NC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
Mitch is a frequent speaker on the topic of venture capital. He is also a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, where he teaches two courses on venture capital; and an Adjunct Professor at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, where he teaches a course on entrepreneurial execution. He received an A.B. in management science from Duke University.
1. What is in your pockets?
I have credit cards and identification including UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Duke Fuqua School of Business.
2. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?
I recently finished teaching this course on entrepreneur execution at the Fuqua School. I’ve been teaching a venture capital course at UNC since 1999 and this was the first time I broadened out the scope of what I taught beyond just the venture capital-as-finance world. I brought in a handful of really terrific entrepreneurs to share their experiences with the class as we went through things like ideation, marketing, market segmentation and sizing and all those things that entrepreneurs face. It was a bigger challenge for me than I thought but I actually learned a lot along the way.
It was really great to have so many guest speakers who did a fantastic job including; Ursula Mead from InHerSight; Scott Bolin from Tethis; John Cowan from 6Fusion, which has an interesting blockchain project and is an Intersouth portfolio company; Craig Stone from Hire Networks; and Noreen Allen, who is the chief marketing officer at Bandwidth.
3. What is your favorite coffee spot?
I’m a Joe Van Gogh guy. There are a couple of them but there’s one close to where I live in the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Mad Hatter’s would come in second in that department.
4. What keeps you up at night?
A couple things. One is I think the amount of private money that’s being raised is incredible and maybe there’s too much money being raised privately. Second, I am worried for my companies, some of which are hopefully heading toward an exit in the near-term, say the next 12 to 18 months, and we’re due for an economic downturn. There’s nothing I can do about that so I don’t really lay awake at night about it, but if you just look at the odds, it’s pretty likely to happen in that window. The effect that a downturn in the economy would have on the market, both in terms of having exits happen at all and lowering exit values, is something I’m worried about.
6. What is next for you or your organization?
I am working on a new project that I’m pretty excited about, but it’s not ready for prime time yet. It will involve some amount of capital and some amount of community engagement and it will be a Research Triangle-focused thing. I can’t say much more about but I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on it and at some point I’ll share my deck with you and pitch you on it, but I can’t do it right now.