The Carolina Angel Network (CAN) brings together the UNC entrepreneurial community and the UNC alumni network to empower the early stage new businesses that drive our future.
Our mission is to support the UNC startup community with funding and advice from experienced alumni who are members of the network. CAN is an angel investing platform for members and co-investment funds (the Carolina Angel Investment Fund and the Venture Capital Angel Multiplier Fund).
In 2016 the CAN program was founded by and supported by the UNC Office of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development., UNC Development Office, Kenan-Flagler Business School, the UNC Law School and Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration. The team started evaluating its first deals in February 2017.
Randy Myer, Managing Director
Besides leading the Carolina Angel Network, Mr. Myer is presently a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School on the University of North Carolina campus. He teaches entrepreneurship classes in the MBA program. He joined the UNC faculty in 1999 as a part-time instructor and became a full-time faculty member in 2002. He assumed the ;leadership of CAN in November 2016.
Besides his teaching activities, Mr. Myer is an active angel investor and board member. He is an investor in two NC venture capital funds, a private equity fund and two local angel groups as well as one in Seattle. He is a board member of the Carolina Research Venture Fund and part of the founding team for the Carolina Angel Network. He is a board member for NC Idea, which is a foundation devoted to funding early stage companies in North Carolina. He is a current board member and former Exec Committee member of the NC School of Science & Math Foundation.
In 1991, Mr. Myer founded Best Friends Pet Care, a national chain of high quality luxury hotels and day care facilities for dogs and cats. Beginning with just an idea, he raised $3 million in seed capital to launch the company and then did three more rounds of financing raising another $45 million. He built into a large national chain that is presently located throughout the country before successfully selling his interest in the company to a private equity firm in 1997. Between 1997 and 1999 he was President of Lindblad Expeditions, a high end travel company
Before starting Best Friends, Mr. Myer was a partner with Booz, Allen & Hamilton for 13 years. He specialized in the consumer product and services industries and led consulting assignments in customer service, strategy, marketing and operations. In 1989 he authored an article in the Harvard Business Review on customer service strategy.
Mr. Myer graduated with a B.A. from the University of North Carolina and received his MBA from Harvard University.
Chelsea Eshraghi, Director
Prior to joining the Carolina Angel Network, Chelsea was a Senior Associate at Casla Capital Management, a New York based private equity fund with a focus on lower middle market special situations. While at Casla, Chelsea was responsible for all aspects of the investment process including sourcing, due diligence, execution and operations. She previously held trading positions at boutique investment banks Imperial Capital and Global Hunter Securities where she was responsible for trading industrial, retail and European high yield debt. Chelsea began her career on the short term fixed income trading desk at Bank of America. Chelsea graduated with a B.S. in Finance from University of North Carolina at Wilmington and received her MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where she was an Alternative Investment Fellow.