Local universities continue to be one of our startup community’s greatest assets—not only do they educate and produce talent that feeds into the startup community but they train students to become entrepreneurs and they employ professors and researchers who develop and commercialize groundbreaking innovation. 
There’s a team of people on every campus that help to connect faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members with various programs and opportunities, all to promote innovation and economic development in the state of North Carolina.
In the first of a series of Q&As with university leaders across the state, meet some of the folks making it happen at NC State University.

Lewis Sheats 

Director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic and Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship in the Poole College of Management 
What is your job/role with the university? 
I lead the undergraduate entrepreneurship concentration & minor offered by the Poole College of Management, as well as direct the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. Within our program we provide experiential learning, embed our students in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the Triangle and provide them the tools and resources to execute on their own concepts and opportunities. In doing so, we serve the community through project-based assistance for entrepreneurs and new ventures.  
How does your background contribute to your role in entrepreneurship programming? 
The collection of companies I have founded cross several unique industries. I started companies in logistics, medical waste, GPS, finance and cookies! It is a combination of this practical experience and theory that have helped us create an experiential immersion for the students at NC State.   
What’s an extra proud moment from your time in your role? 
I have several, but here’s one—a student entered our program with very little confidence and sense of self-worth. To see his growth in the classes and his success after graduation makes me extremely proud and validates that what we are doing makes a big difference in young entrepreneurs’ lives.  
Who is the most impressive entrepreneur you’ve come into contact with through your work, and why? 
I have taught 500+ students in our capstone course in the entrepreneurship concentration. Many of them have launched successful companies or become integral leaders in new ventures or entrepreneurial units of larger firms. For me to pick one is impossible. 
A fun fact about yourself? 
I like to freestyle when I sing along to a song. Sometimes, I do it when I don’t realize people are close enough to hear.