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Funding Options for Your Business

October 12, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Free Workshop on Funding Options for Your Venture with SBTDC in New Innovation Hub

Cash is king, the saying goes, and is undoubtedly the case in business. If you are thinking of starting a company, scaling your business, or expanding your established enterprise, then you are going to need funding. In this session, former CPG founder and bootstrapper entrepreneur, Neal will moderate a lively panel that explores various ways you can fund your business. Neal is currently the Center Director for the SBTDC (Small Business and Technology Development Center) at UNC-Chapel Hill and works to help small businesses thrive.

The first part of the session will go over three primary channels that business owners use to fund their business: (a) Investor Capital, (b) Debt and (c) Bootstrapping. After working through the nuts and bolts of each, the session will then shift to a discussion by the panelists in which they share their own experiences as successful founders and seasoned business leaders. With something for everyone, this is sure to be an engaging and informative session. Enjoy a s’more while you learn how to get more money.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Understand grants, loans, gifts and other funding options
  • Learn about resources available through the SBTDC
  • Hear from panelists who have navigated various sources of funding


4:00pm Smores and welcome

4:15pm Presentation by Neal McTighe

4:45pm Panel Discussion

5:15pm Networking

Bios of Presenter and Panelists

Currently Regional Director with the SBTDC at UNC-CH & NCCU, Neal McTighe previously founded and led Nellino’s Sauce Co. (formerly Nello’s Sauce), which was a premium pasta sauce brand for nine years. At its peak, Nellino’s was distributed in retailers in roughly twenty states (1,500 locations, such as Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Ingles, Costco). That business touched millions of people and generated millions in revenue. Today, Neal is on a mission to help our state build a robust ecosystem for entrepreneurs to get financed, scale, and have successful outcomes. Neal holds a PhD from UNC-CH in Italian Language & Literature and previously lived in Italy for three years. He earned a BA from Dickinson College and an MA from Middlebury College. He’s a past educator, having taught at UVa, UNC-CH, and Meredith College. He combines his love of business and entrepreneurship with education in his role at the SBTDC, which is a business advisory service that is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of North Carolina.

Darlene Deberry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from SUNY Old Westbury, and as a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship recipient, Darlene obtained a Master of Science Degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School of Social Research in New York. Her career includes working with Self-Help and the NC Rural Economic Development Center, two well know Community Development Financial Institutions in NC. With a penchant for small business Darlene pursued her own entrepreneurial dream by owning and operating an Edible Arrangements franchise for 12 years with locations in the Durham and Raleigh markets. Prior to joining CSBDF, she served as an Adjunct Professor with Durham Technical Community College and North Carolina Central University. Darlene is currently a doctoral student at UNC Charlotte – Belk School of Business where she is pursuing a degree in business administration. Her research interests include exploring the resiliency of women-led organizations in the wake of the digital age. She currently works for the Carolina Small Business Development fund, another CDFI partner in NC, providing technical assistance and funding to small businesses across the state.

Alex Brandwein is the founder and owner of Brandwein’s Bagels, a retail shop in downtown Chapel Hill, offering New York-style bagels and bagel sandwiches. Upon receiving his MBA from Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC, he launched the business in the spring of 2020 and has a wealth of experience in the ups and downs of a starting a company. Alex is originally from New York. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. After college, he spent seven years in investment banking and private equity in Chicago and New York. In 2018, Alex decided to come to UNC for its MBA program, to explore his entrepreneurial passions, to cultivate his leadership skills and to develop the tools necessary to start a business. He fell in love with the community and recognized an opportunity to share his love of bagels by opening a shop in town. This would not have happened without the support of the UNC and broader Chapel Hill/Carrboro community. Outside of work, Alex enjoys everything ice hockey, reading biographies and listening to all types of podcasts.


October 12, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


367 Freedom Pkwy suite 130
367 Freedom Parkway, #suite 130
Pittsboro, NC 27312 United States


Innovate Carolina