Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WCU partners with Serrus Capital Partners on educational speakers series for local entrepreneurs

Western Carolina University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has partnered with Serrus Capital Partners (Serrus) of Greenville, SC to create a program to help educate and inspire local entrepreneurs. The eleven-week program, Successful Entrepreneurship, will launch on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at Western Carolina University at Biltmore Park  Participants must apply to be accepted into the free program which features highly successful entrepreneurs from WNC and the Upstate SC areas.  These business owners will share their experiences and advice on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  
"We believe this partnership with Serrus is an example of a leading trend in public education whereby public and private organization come together to facilitate regional economic development for the benefit of all the residents" stated Darrell Parker, Dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina.  

Leighton Cubbage, Chairman and Co-Founder of Serrus Capital commented, "Serrus, which owns and develops several properties in the greater Asheville area, launched the Successful Entrepreneurship program in Greenville, SC in 2013.  To date, we have welcomed over 350 class members.”  Cubbage further stated, "The program has generated a lot of interest in the upstate area and we are delighted to work with WCU to generate excitement about entrepreneurship across state lines."

Speakers for the class will include Cubbage (Serrus Capital), Phil Drake (Drake Software), Justin Belleme (JB Media), Tom Finger (SBFI North America), Dale Freudenberger (FLS Energy), and 15 other business owners and successful entrepreneurs from the region.  

The free 11-week class session will be held Aug 25, Sept 1, Sept 8, Sept 15, Sept 22, Sept 29, Oct 6, Oct 20, Nov 3, Nov 10, and Nov 17 at WCU Biltmore Park.   The class will be limited to 75 participants. All local entrepreneurs or anyone interested in learning more about what it takes to start a business are invited to apply starting July 14 via the application link found at:

Those chosen to participate will be notified via email by Aug 14.

Serrus Capital Partners combines real estate developers, entrepreneurs and financiers to manage capital wisely while growing a portfolio of properties strategically. With decades of collective experience across multiple industries, Serrus Capital is the area’s leader in real estate asset investment and management. Serrus started the Successful Entrepreneurship program in 2013 to help meet what company leaders saw as a need in the local community for programs to help bolster entrepreneurism in the Upstate of SC. The entry into the greater Asheville area marks the company's first step towards making the program a more regional endeavor.

WCU was founded in 1889 to bring higher education and career opportunities to the western region of North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina system, WCU now provides an education to more than 10,000 students from 48 states and 35 countries. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, established in 2007, serves as a catalyst for the creation of successful entrepreneurial ventures. The center's faculty and staff provide support for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, expertise to organizations working for economic development, and collaborates with other institutions and campus departments to include entrepreneurship theory and practice in their programming.

For more information about the upcoming Successful Entrepreneurship program, contact Dr. Ed Wright at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation ( or 828.278.8CEI). 

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